After about 35 years spent alone writing, I needed a change. I'm ashamed to say I had some mummified notions, 20 or 30 years old: Real writers work solo, right? Writers' groups are for old ladies who look and smell like roses, right? (To be honest, I did meet once with a group just like that, but I let it prejudice me.) And with my schooling, what did I have left to learn?
So in the past 6 months I've become a member of the St. Louis Writers Guild, the St. Louis Poetry Center, the St. Louis Publishers Association, the Loosely Identified women's poetry group, and the Missouri Writers Guild.
Fortunately all the above groups are vibrant, active, well-established (90+ years for the St. Louis Writers' Guild; 25+ years for Loosely Identified) and run a tight ship, so I'm getting suggestions for my work, making friends, seeing awesome work in progress, getting invitations to parties and to submit manuscripts -- I had 3 poems taken that way -- easy! -- Also, tipoffs about hot writer websites (see the links at left) and good blogs, forums, seminars, and chances to do more and do it better. My whole mood has changed. And because of that, I've tried other positive things. How glad I am that I got into the car and joined the living!