The first step I took years ago in making my writing become more than just a hobby was to attend a writing workshop in Austin put on by Women's Story Circle. It was led by Susan Witting Albert, author of the China Bayles series and most recently The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter series. Even though the workshop was about writing your own life story I learned a lot about writing in general, whether it be fiction or non-fiction. Not to mention I met many wonderful people and made some important contacts.
Through this group I became a member of an online writing group. I've been a part of this group for over ten years now. I can't say that I'm always the most active member, but I've made many friendships across the country in which we share the same passion for writing. We support, critique, and cheer each other on.
Through this group I've had stories published in The Story Circle Journal. It was the first time I saw something I wrote published in a real, honest to goodness publication. I must say it was a very exciting moment for me. They also hold contests, publish anthologies with member's stories , and a conference every two years.
My mother-in-law ended up sitting on their board for a number of years, directing their OWL group (Older Women's Legacy) and has numerous stories published in their anthologies. It has been a fun endeaver for us both to share.
So I must say I was thrilled when they mentioned my blog in their national e-letter. I am thankful for the recognition and exposure. After all one of the most valuable tools for many writers is networking. The more people you know in the business the better. And I feel extremly lucky to be a part of this amazing group of women.
Thank you Story Circle Network!
Is there a group you belong to or credit with getting you out there and into the writing world?