Tag Archives: Writing Groups

MARA

Sam and I attended the MARA meeting on Saturday.

Things outsiders might want to know:

–business meeting starts at 11, actual meeting starts at 12

–guests can attend at no cost for 2 meetings

–there is food (The day we went there was a decadent looking cake which my doctor just told me I can’t have 😦 )

People:

–There were a lot of great people including published authors

–We met Carla Cassidy (a big personality molded into a tiny and feisty lady) and Katy Madison – who had great practical writing tips

Content:

–This seems like a group that doesn’t sit still long. They’ve got retreats, guest speakers, an acquisition agent attending to hear pitches, connections with police who talk about investigation techniques and weapons . . . .

–They were very welcoming and tried to include us in their conversation

–The meeting had an after hour that they invited us to attend. Very welcoming.

Now for the bad news:

–To join MARA, I would have to be a member of RWA. To be a voting member of RWA I would need to be seriously intending to or pursuing a career in Romance writing and pay both a $95 membership fee with a $25 first time fee.

—-I’m not sure that I am pursuing a career in romance writing. I think my stories will always have a strong romance element, but I don’t think anything I have written would fall into the romance category. So I am not sure I qualify.

—-Also, there is no difference between the cost of a voting member and a non-voting member. 😦

—-Then there is the additional fee for the local MARA (which isn’t that high)

–I’m scared

—-This group is definitely headed toward publication, and I’m scared.

—-I’m trying to get over it, but I haven’t gotten there yet.

All in all, I think MARA was a good experience. It’s definitely worth checking out.

Shiny New Things

Yesterday, I started this blog.

Then I spent hours wanting to play with it and love it and post every thought I had. I restrained myself under the assumption that less is more. All the excitement over the shiny new blog has me thinking about beginnings.

So I want to know:
1. When did you start writing?
2. After you decided to be share your work, where did you turn?

My giddiness is a pattern. Take writing for an example.

I’ve always written. I won school contests as early as 1st grade.

My alma mater - Go Bluejays
My alma mater – Go Bluejays

I even had some poetry in high school published in college magazines. Then school ended. College required me to shift focus. I still wrote, but I had to get the writing bug. The one that infected me with a great idea followed by four, feverish weeks of writing. College ended and work began. Writing became an exercise in short sprints written between tasks or after work while dinner cooked. I no longer submitted pieces to local magazines. I no longer entered competitions. I was a closet writer.

Last year, I decided I needed a support group. Hello. My name is Louise. I’ve been writing for 23 years.

Finding a support group is not that easy. I missed out on the convenient methods such as maintaining my connection with my English teachers or joining a group hosted by the college. As an adult, none of my friends were interested in a writing hobbyist group.

So I did what any good person would. I googled. Google scoffed at my attempts to find local writing groups. It suggested classes at a university. No published websites or meetings groups came up in my searches. The one group I did find, met on Wednesday during the normal work day. Why, Google, do you not create things on my whim that work perfectly in my schedule.

Finally, Google told me I needed to join a program called Nano. I was in luck. There would be a Camp Nano in July. So I joined. Nano Badge

I like Nano in many ways but not in others. Camp Nano introduced me to two people who would actually discuss writing and ideas. Great. But they both live far, far away.

Never fear, Camp Nano told me. In November there would be local events and a bigger program. I met a group of four writers who agreed to meet and talk with me after November. Thank you Second Chapter for being there.

Google also introduced me to Scribophile and Critters where I could inundate strangers with my writing. These online communities kicked my backside, scolded me for disorganization, shoved craft books under my nose, and prodded me until my writing improved a little.

In 9 months since deciding to do more than binge write at home, I have found programs I enjoy and built a small circle of folks I can rely on.