The Joy of a Writing Community

Writers Selfie!
Writers Selfie!

Two years ago, I joined a local writing group. Although I had known of the group for a while and even attended a conference they’d organized in the fall of 2011, joining the group was, for a long time, too intimidating.

When I did finally work up the nerve, I was ecstatic; here was a group of like-minded people, all of whom were writers. Some wrote short stories, some non-fiction, others were working on novels, but all were writers. Sadly, that group disbanded shortly after I joined. For a while, I was on my own again. The good news was, I was working on my first book. The bad news was, I was doing so in isolation. I knew I needed to find writers who were willing to critique my work, and willing to support me in my quest to write and publish. I wanted to do the same for them.

As luck would have it, I stumbled across the Shenandoah Valley Writers, an online group composed of writers from up and down this area of Virginia. I’ve met a number of SVW members in person. I found the Flash Friday Fiction community. I started a new in-person critique group that has attracted a solid group of writers, some of whom were already part of SVW, and others who were new.

My friendship circle is evolving and expanding to include numerous people for whom writing is a primary focus.I can’t tell you how thrilling this is. Many of my daily conversations now touch on writing in some way. Not only is it fun, but it’s helping me feel more like a true writer, if that makes any sense; I discuss and share this craft with others, and they do the same with me.

This week a newish but already beloved writer friend travelled from an hour away to attend the critique group, just because she wanted to see what we did in said group. Afterwards, she, several other critique group friends, and I headed out for a quick bite and lots of writerly conversation. We talked about writing for nearly two hours, people. No one got tired of it. It energized us, it fueled our interactions. It. Was. Awesome.

I want to thank them, and all the other wonderful people I’ve met throughout this journey, whether SVW members or the Flash Friday community or critique friends, or writers I’ve become friends with through Facebook and Twitter (yes, it’s happened!).

My life – and my writing – is so much richer because of you all.

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