I guess I never really thought about joining a writers guild until I was invited to speak at a guild meeting last year. My eyes were opened. You see, I always thought a writers guild was something like a book club or a quilting guild where you got together to write. I never wanted to get with anyone else to write. I write better on my own. I had entertained the thought of attending a romance writers meeting but only because I wanted to hear the guest. Then I showed up at the East Texas Writers Guild meeting to talk about grammar.
I was captivated. Instead of stuffy people with one eyebrow raised and glasses perched down their noses, I found warm, personable, friendly people who have the same passion I do for writing. They listened attentively, participated eagerly, and, without even asking, persuaded me to join their group. That meeting literally changed my life. What has the guild done for me?
1. It has given me a good boost of motivation to write. When you have someone asking you what you have written lately, it prompts you to write because you want to have something to tell them.
2. It has given me a sounding board. Being among others who have experienced and are experiencing the same frustrations in their writing that you are is comforting and uplifting.
3. It has provided writing opportunities in the form of contests and anthologies. I have entered several contests (I actually won a small one!) and have been published in our first guild anthology.
4. It has provided opportunities for networking with published authors who are willing to share their mistakes and experience so that I don’t have to make those same mistakes.
5. It has provided opportunities for critique groups and mentoring. I haven’t mustered up the courage to join a critique group yet. I don’t think my skin is thick enough, and I have a mean independent streak, but never say never.
6. It has provided access to a public relations company which has promoted my books and helped me advance my writing career. I joined Y & R PR after they spoke to our group one night.
7. It has given me a whole new group of friends and an opportunity to use my leadership skills in working with this wonderful group of people. In less than a year I am conference committee chairperson and membership liaison!
What has the writers guild done for me? So much more than I have listed here. I can’t recommend it highly enough. If you are a writer who needs support and inspiration, join us, or find a group close to you! www.etwritersguild.org (or Google “local writers groups”)