I'm going to take a minute to say how wonderful some of my friends are.
This past month, I did a serial story with the other ladies of Regency Reflections and I realized how much better I write now than I did when I plodded through my first draft a few years ago. A lot of that growth is due to the writers' groups I have joined.
If you have something you enjoy, be it writing, cycling, reading or anything else, I highly encourage you to find a group that meets about it. The camaraderie I have formed with these other writers is immeasurably valuable to me.
Why are these specialized groups so important?
[caption id="attachment_251" align="alignright" width="300"] Me and Lindi Peterson at last year's M&M Conference.[/caption]
Let's say you love photography. You are perfectly happy spending twenty minutes taking pictures of the same thing, adjusting aperture, f-stops, and white balance until you get the perfect picture. Your non-photography enthusiast friends love your work, but couldn't care less about all the minute details you want to share and gush about.
Enter a group of other photographers. If you meet with other photographers, they will get it. Not only will they get it, they'll enjoy talking about it. They'll also have ideas on how to improve your pictures and you will have ideas for them.
Meeting with others that share your passion improves your own skills - and it saves your family and friends from desperately trying to appear interested in something they really couldn't care less about.
No time to attend meetings? Get online! There are email loops and groups and forums for everything! Some of my closest writer friends are only in my inbox. That doesn't make our connection any less valuable.
Do you belong to any groups? How have you benefited from hanging out with those that share your passions?