The act of writing is by its very nature a one-person process. When the words are flowing from our thoughts, through our fingers and onto that page, we are in our own world. A sort of fugue state. Sometimes it's populated by people we've created, other times we're alone there too. I love that place.
But one of my great joys as a writer is to sit around with other writers and talk the language of our passion. There's nothing like breaking bread with people who understand the angst and the joy we live with every day. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen very often.
Here are some groups that feed me in between. Check them out, see what you think. And let me know if there are some I should take a look at for myself.
DorothyL is a wonderful group of writers and readers. As in any family, there are all kinds of different personalities that make up the whole, and sometimes there are squabbles. But as in any family, there are those members who are the glue. The ones that have the ability to gently smooth ruffled feathers and remind everyone we are indeed a family. What this group has provided me is the knowledge that a book one person can't stand, someone else will rave about. I hope to keep that in mind when the time comes for people to be talking about my work. And going beyond that, I've learned some things to both avoid and strive for as a writer.
For Mystery Addicts is a dedicated group of readers. No BSP (Blatant Self-Promotion) is allowed. As with DorothyL, this group is scary-good. They are some of the most serious readers in the world. It's worth your time to learn from their discussions and reviews. Plus, they have a Christmas card program, and own a little pub called The Moldy Cockroach where things other than mysteries can be topics of conversation.
Crime Scene Writer is a terrific resource place to begin to get the feel and facts right. It is populated by experts in police procedure, forensics, etc. It has grown exponentially over the years, and now I mostly lurk. They have extensive archives, and with a couple of key words, you can dig up all kinds of information.
Murder Must Advertise is a place where writers share marketing ideas. What's working and what's not. Strange things that happen at booksignings, and ideas regarding trailers and social networking.
MINIMAL ANNUAL DUES
American Christian Fiction Writers is a place to go to learn and grow as a writer. Members include the newest of new writers, multi-published authors, agents and editors.
Sisters In Crime (which also includes brothers) is a great group to interact with and see how other writers are coping, growing and working toward their goals. Mentor Mondays are special days in which a guest expert is invited to answer questions on the loop. From FBI agents to psychologists to private detectives, you will be provided good information and ideas.
Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers is a local group I joined primarily because I crave those breaking bread moments. Plus they have some really good workshops. When I learned that Chris Roerden was putting on a workshop, that did it. I sent in my dues. Through them, I've also rubbed elbows with members of Rocky Mountain Mystery Writers of America. Look for a local writers group where you live.
Just finished: Vanished by Joseph Finder. A winner!
Not sure what I'll read next. White? Sandford?
It's all better with friends.