Tuesday Tip: BELONG

(this photo is from Club Getaway, a resort in Conneticut.)

Here’s your tip for Tuesday. Whether you’re a writer, artist or musician, it’s good to have friends in the business. These friends seem to always filter into our “normal” lives which is a good thing. When you’re serious about a dream, you can’t help for the worlds to collide.

Once I started interacting with others in my writing groups both in person and on Internet loops and blogs, I began to understand the business better. My perspective changed.

When I talk about friends in the business, I don’t mean that these friends help you further your career. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t look at having these friends for that purpose. And usually, your “friends” can’t do anything for your career. It’s up to you to do that.

Friends in the business understand you. They understand your struggle with finding time to hone your craft. They understand how difficult it is to find a balance with day-to-day activities and the things you’d rather be doing – like writing or painting or working on lyrics for a new song. As far as writing friends are concerned, I know people I can call to help me pull together a proposal. I have a group of dedicated friends who are there to give me advice, pick me up when I’m rejected, and pray for me through it all.

I received an email from one of my critique partners yesterday. In it, she was thanking me for looking over her latest chapters but she also told me what she hoped to accomplish that day. She also shared that she may be just a few chapters away from finishing her manuscript. I was happy to read about her progress, but in turn, it helped me remember I have a manuscript to work on too. Reading about her progress gave me the nudge I needed to hurry and work on my WIP this morning.

After I’ve attended a writer’s meeting, I’m always inspired. It’s fun to share experiences with people who are on the same road you’re on. It’s a boost to hear from published authors who’ve been in your shoes and are walking on the next level. Some are published, some are very close.

I’m a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, and their local chapters. I’m on an email loop through ACFW where writers across the country post questions and updates. There is usually some bit of information that is helpful. From RWA, I receive a quarterly magazine that gives updates in the business and articles on the craft of writing.

Beyond writing, there are groups everywhere. You may belong to a book club, a quilter’s club, a Bridge club. You may be a Star Trek fan and go to the conventions I’ve heard about.

Even my husband belongs to a club made up of folks who love to fish. They have an Internet forum and share advice about good fishing holes and tips on catching the big one. Their all striving for the same goal and I’m sure they grow in their abilities by learning from others.

Do you have a hobby or an interest beyond your family and 9-5 job? I’d love to hear about it. Have you found your interests and your family life mesh from time to time?