40 Days of 3 Questions – Day 3

Welcome to 40 Days of 3 Questions!

For the next few weeks, meet here every morning with a notebook or document to answer three questions about writing, about your status quo as a writer, or about the writing life. You can answer briefly and go about your day, or you can use this as a warm up exercise before your regular writing schedule. Whatever works for you, works for me.

Day 3 Questions:

  1. Do you participate in any writing communities?
  2. What benefits have you gained from your community?
  3. What do you give back?

You may post answers in comments or keep your thoughts private–your choice!

And here is today’s pretty picture:

Biden Center tribe
My Delaware writing tribe.

13 thoughts on “40 Days of 3 Questions – Day 3

  1. Yes! Sisters in Crime National, New England, and Guppies. Also, a group of local writers in all genres and types, and my Wicked Cozy blogmates.
    I wouldn’t be published if it wasn’t for several writing communities. I have learned so much, have received support and had a place to vent, and gained true friends (you Ramona, among them).
    I’m now both President of Sisters in Crime New England and co-chair of the New England Crime Bake, our annual conference for mystery writers. I retweet and repost what my author pals put up, and I invite lots of guests, especially debut mystery authors, to guest post on the Wicked Cozy Authors blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. YES! It takes a village to create a published author! I’ve been on the board of directors of Pennwriters for over a decade, and I’ve served in every office except treasurer (I don’t do money) of our Pittsburgh chapter of Sisters in Crime. I’ve been active in critique groups and hosted writing group meetings over the years. My writing friends helped me hone my craft, helped me find my publisher, and came out en masse when I launched my first book (before anyone else had ever heard of me.) I continue to give back by teaching workshops, mentoring aspiring writers, and by continuing to serve on the Pennwriters board and in various volunteer capacities with my Pittsburgh Sisters in Crime.
    I honestly believe there is no way I’d be published today were it not for my writing tribe.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 1. Do you participate in any writing communities? Not any longer. I’ve met accomplished authors at seminars and they are my group now. I got tired of people standing up telling everyone that “Dan Brown stole my idea!” I teach seminars when asked, and my next one is a memoir class specifically addressing health professionals who want to write memoir, and anyone who’s freaked out about confidentiality. It’s being held at the Moravian Writers Conference this March. My writing group are direct with their criticism, creative and allow me to have my voice. We may not agree, but we have respect for one anothers journey.
    2. What benefits have you gained from your community? They share their high-level experience with me and I just gobble the information up. Real. They metaphorically slap my hand when I go into impatience, fear and believing the nonsense. They want more. And more. And more.
    3. What do you give back? I can help them with anything medical. I was a registered nurse, a pilot, a mother of three kids and married to a high level litigator for a long time, so I can help them with plausibility in those areas if they need it. They help me tons with…every damn thing.

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  4. I participate in three large writing communities, Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and the Boston Chapter of the National Writers Union and one small one, a writers’ critique. I’m not as involved with the NWU as I am with the other two groups, though I do attend its annual parties celebrating writers who’ve published during the past year, and recently I received invaluable advice from one of the union’s contract advisors about a problematic contract. Thanks to his help, I was able to negotiate a more favorable contract. I attend some monthly meetings of NEMWA, when there is a speaker of interest to me, and I also appreciate the opportunities for networking. As for Sisters in Crime, participation in its various programs and classes has been very important to my career. As with MWA, I appreciate the opportunities for networking, and have taken part in many speaking events, thanks to the SinC/NE Speakers Bureau. I now serve as Speakers Bureau Coordinator myself, as a way of giving back to an organization that has done so much for me.
    My writing group grew out of a class some of us took, has been going since the mid-nineties. Over the years, I have received so much valuable feedback and support from members that I don’t think I could have written my books without them. In return, I try to provide useful feedback and encouragement myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Do you participate in any writing communities? Many. Sisters in Crime: National, local, and Guppies; my critique group; several online communities (including the morning sprint thread from Ramona); my blog group Mysteristas; and I’m sure I’ve forgotten something.

    What benefits have you gained from your community? I’ve become a much better writer and I can definitely say I wouldn’t be published without my “village” of communities. I think I made every mistake in the book on my very first project. But with the tutelage, support, and encouragement of these communities, I was able to sell a few short stories and my first book. They not only helped me with my skills, but with my confidence.

    What do you give back? This is where I’m not sure. I’ve served as an officer for the Pittsburgh Sisters in Crime (secretary/president/treasurer). I try to give back the same encouragement I’ve received and I turn out for my “sibs'” book events locally. But I feel like I should be doing so much more.

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  6. Thanks for the Qs, Ramona — I’ve been answering in my notebook, but this one prompts me to chime in to say that while writing is a solitary activity, every opportunity I’ve had has come about because of a group: a much-cherished though long-dissolved critique group; classes, conferences, and connections made at the Authors of the Flathead; SinC and the Guppies; MWA and the RM-MWA chapter; and as Nina said, friendships forged at conventions, conferences, and workshops. I do wish for a local, in-person critique or support group, but geography complicates that, so I’ve had to substitute other connections!
    The benefits? Beyond counting! Craft and business advice, of course, and fellowship — sharing the challenges, knowing this creative life is sometimes hard but ALWAYS worth it!
    What we learned as children — when you give, you receive double — has been so true in my writing life. I was an original member of the Guppies and served on its first steering committee; served SinC as a list moderator, review counter, and in other positions before joining the board and serving a 3 year stint as VP-Pres-Immed Past President, one of the highlights and honors of my professional life. I’m now the MT rep to the board of the Rocky Mtn chapter of MWA. While I deeply appreciate the visibility those posts have given me in the mystery community, the real benefit — the joy — is seeing what the organizations, particularly SinC, mean to their members

    Liked by 1 person

  7. 1. My writing communities: YES! What would I do without my tribe? Sisters in Crime, Northern California Sisters in Crime, the Guppies chapter, Mystery Writers of America, Malice Domestic (which was my introduction to the mystery community), critique partners, and my local writers group.

    2. The benefits: I would NEVER have become a published author without the support of my writing communities. There’s no doubt about that.

    3. Giving back: I’ve served on the board of Sisters in Crime both locally and nationally, teach workshops, and I like to help out new authors like established authors helped me when I was getting started.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. We have recently moved to this city. I belong to Sisters in Crime, National, Local, and Guppies, to a fantastic regional group here, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers.and to a poetry snail mail round robin group since the mid-90s. These groups are supportive and I feel confident that if I asked for something particular that there is someone who could help me or help me find someone to help with what I needed. I would like to find a critique group. I don’t give back a lot to these groups yet. I pay my dues timely and I attend meetings and programs. I will attend book signings and similar events when I can. As I get settled in I’ll learn where I can help.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Karen, I gather you’re in or near Denver. I went to the RMFW conference, Colorado Gold, a few years ago as a speaker and student, and it was terrific. I bet if you’re looking to get more involved, there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer at the conference in September! And I love SinC’s still-newish Colorado chapter!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow! Seeing others’ comments makes me realize I’ve been missing a lot! But here’s my report:
    1.. Writing Communities–I belong to Sisters in Crime, its Guppies group, and Mystery Writers of America. I used to attend some major meetings of both MWA and Sisters in Crime. These sessions provided a broad picture of the mystery business. Because of my location and transportation issues, I haven’t done much in attending meetings or conferences in recent years.
    2. I’ve taken a number of online classes through Guppies, the latest being Ramona’s most illuminating Story Arcs class. A local critique group used to be a major factor in my writing life while living in central Illinois. I haven’t found one since moving last year to SW Florida.
    3. Contributions–Mine have been mainly through detailed critiques of others’ work and faithful participation in classes. .

    Liked by 1 person

  10. 1.) Do you participate in any writing communities? Yes! The Sisters in Crime is at the top, but also Mystery Writers of America, Novelists, Inc., and International Thriller Writers.
    2) What benefits have you gained from your community? Incredible emotional support and practical advice for what can be a lonely profession.
    3) What do you give back? I’m currently President of the Florida Gulf Coast Sisters in Crime chapter and at every opportunity I volunteer to participate in judging contests. (P.S., I learn SO much from helping others.)


  11. Communities? Austin Mystery Writers, SINC Heart of Texas Chapter, SINC Guppies, Writers’ League of Texas, 15 Minutes of Fame. I plan to check out the Austin Writers’ Breakfast and Sit Down, Shut Up, and Write.

    Benefits? Without Austin Mystery Writers, I wouldn’t be published. (Thank you, Kaye George.) I’ve taken classes through the WLT and Guppies. 15 MInutes of Fame, a writing practice group, is just fun. I’ve met people, made friends, discovered an new world through participation in writing groups. A class through the University of Texas – Austin’s Informal classes led to an invitation to join a writing practice group, which led to my marrying one of the members. I count that a benefit.

    Giving back? I was president of the SINC chapter and now edit the newsletter/blog. I facilitated 15 Minutes for several years. I try to give the best critiques I can and to restrain myself from compulsively line editing partners’ first drafts.


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