I think I have finally finished paying my yearly dues for the various groups to which I belong.
I’m not complaining. The dues are worth it because of the various experiences and skills I gain through my memberships.
I’m also currently serving as membership director for Virginia Professional Communicators. A new member said it best,
“Treating myself to the gift of personal and professional growth this year is a wonderful thing.”
What can you gain from joining a group?
Encouragement and confidence My mystery writers group (Sisters in Crime Central Virginia) provides me with encouragement and confidence. Many of the members are published authors, some of whom have made the best-seller list. All of them have offered tips and advice as I work on my manuscript at my pace. Because of them, I am confident that one day my book will appear in print and reside on a shelf or an electronic device.
Writing skills I’m also working on my writing skills thanks to James River Writers. In the coming months I’ll learn how to organize my writing life and how to build a publishing resume. I’ll have opportunities to learn about the power of word choice and how traditional and indie publishing can work together.
New skills My involvement with VPC and NFPW enables me to hone skills in areas that I don’t work in every day. This year, for example, I’m co-director of the national communications conference for NFPW. Not only will I be doing some serious networking as I work to identify speakers and sponsors, but I also have to focus on collaboration and organization.
Leadership opportunities I began to develop my leadership skills serving on committees. Eventually I served as president of both my state affiliate and the national organization. I also led a strategic planning workshop for NFPW with another member.
Friendship As an added benefit, I have found that in all of these groups I have made some lifelong friends. Almost anywhere I go, there is someone I know. That’s a nice bonus.