LIMIT YOUR GROUPS
by Hope Clark
I was online recently when a writer said she was starting
a group that would help writers to stay organized in their
profession. I raised both eyebrows, recognizing someone who
most likely enjoyed the feeling of bring a writer, but not
the actual writing. I expressed non-interest, reminding
her that too many groups, while fun, are subtle enemies
of your writing.
A string of memberships does not a writer make. I don't
care if they are MWA, RWA, SFWA, SCBWI, or any other
alphabet organization. When I see someone who belongs to
a long list of groups, I wonder how much time they write.
That's part of the reason that writing conferences rotate
their organizers. Takes a rare breed to annually organize a
conference and still take writing seriously. While we need
those organizers, they are sacrificing their writing in
order to help other writers. Noble, but disabling for the
actual writing effort.
Same goes for Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and so on. Yes,
social networking is a necessity. Yes, they can consume
your writing time. It's a careful balance. You need the
network, but you also need to write. What's a network if
you can't get words on paper, much less polish them
I've been known to join a group, try it out, and not
renew. If the group benefits me, rejuvenates me, and doesn't
suck the life out of me, I'll stick around. I also will
allow no more than one group to be a priority for me.
FundsforWriters networking is my number one. I hope to
join Mystery Writers of America once my suspense is published.
Thank goodness my publisher is a recognized name in their
ranks. I belong to two critique groups. Past that, I'm a
back-of-the-room member of anything else. No, I'm not
lazy. Quite the contrary. I know myself. I'd be in the thick
of things wanting to be a mover and shaker. So I limit myself.
Watch the reaching out. It's needed for networking, but all
too often you forget to retreat long enough to get your
best writing done.
THE BLOG - http://www.hopeclark.blogspot.com
TWITTER - http://twitter.com/hopeclark
FACEBOOK - http://www.facebook.com/chopeclark
ABOUT.ME - http://about.me/hopeclark
Post originally appeared in the Writer Circle Yahoo Group Online newsletter
Image from: http://iteachkinderkids.blogspot.com/2010_09_01_archive.html