Professional Memberships Have Much to Offer

I took a bit longer this year to pay my membership dues because I needed to assess the groups.

I wanted to make sure I was getting everything that I could from the groups. Memberships have much to offer but if you are not taking full advantage, it might be better to attend occasionally as a guest, find a free webinar, attend a one-off conference or find a different organization that is a better fit.

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If you do to decide to join a group, here are some of the benefits you might expect to find:

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.

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, write a killer synopsis, define my audience and build relationships with bookstore owners and librarians.

New skills My involvement with VPC and NFPW enables me to hone skills in areas that I don’t work in every day. With VPC, I’m responsible for program development, which will keep me seeking individuals who are current of the latest trends.

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. Now I’m encouraging those around me to do the same.

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.

How do you decide which groups to join?