Bandon Writers, circa 2009, a year after I joined, a year after two of its members died.
Since this picture was taken we lost two additional members who were not pictured here. The entire group here is still writing, some of them also painting, and all of us meeting regularly on Monday mornings, rain or shine, holiday or not.
These folks still meet and discuss word choice, grammatical errors, obscure notations, and the ins and out of writing and publishing, I'm the second person from the right, standing up. The first person on the right is a famous writer, John Wadleigh, a.k.a Oliver Lange, author of Defiance, the plot adapted and rewritten for the movie Reds, starring Patrick Swatzie. He can still look at your work and give you a most chilling evaluation that summarizes what needs to be done to improve the piece. He no longer frequents our little group regularly, but drops in now and then.
Nobody else in this picture is famous YET. Ginney Eatherton is the most prolific, working on her third book, self published, and self promoted. Look for her Looping for Love and No Broken Bones at Amazon.
A group of friends with a single vision can do wonders. We know each other's personal lives and we know each other's genre, peculiarities, strengths and difficulties. We meet outside of Mondays' meetings too, to chat, to share a piece we are working on, to cry on each other's shoulders.
Go out there and find yourself a group.
Don't know of any?
Stop by the local eateries and ask the waitresses.
Check the library for contacts.
Scour the local papers and fliers.
Write a want ad.
Sure, you have on line support, people you have never met but love what you do and encourage you to continue writing. You are satisfied with this arrangement. You get plenty of feedback on these sites too.
But, do you get friendship? Real, touching, knowing what motivates you, what keeps you up at night, what you really want to talk about when you ramble on?