Help! Which Organizations Should I Join?

Writing is a solitary endeavor a lot of the time, which is why I find it important to have a critique group and attend conferences—basically, to be around other writers. We need that support, and honestly, I also enjoy giving that encouragement to others.

This isn’t some recent thing. Writers have been gathering for centuries. If not to network and workshop, then at least to drink and grouse about writer’s block.

But besides these forms of connecting, I’m thinking now of joining a professional organization. I’ve heard more than once that it’s a good idea. I’m just not sure which to join. Authors Guild? RWA? (Now that I’ve written one Regency romance and am working on another?) Or, since I also write YA, should I look at SCBWI? Maybe there’s an indie author organization I don’t know about? Should I join more than one? All? None?

I feel really overwhelmed by this, which has kept me from making a move in any direction. I’m sure there are pros to all these organizations, but as someone who writes in many genres it’s tough for me to figure out where to put my weight. And I can’t afford to toss money in every direction. So at most I’d really only consider one or two.

For a couple years I was a member of the Dramatists Guild. When I quit writing as many plays, I allowed that to lapse. Ideally I’ll next join a group where that won’t become an issue. Which is why I’m looking at the broad umbrella of the Authors Guild. I’ll always be writing, but I’m never sure what genre(s). What if I join RWA and then quit writing romances? Sure, right now I can’t imagine that happening, but . . .

I’ll also always be mostly an indie author. So again, maybe I should find a good organization for that.

Anyway, if you have any thoughts or experiences with professional writing organizations, I’d love to hear about them! Tell me about it in the comments.

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