When I started on my journey to be a romance author, I was surprised to find that the author club was a very big, mostly welcoming group of people. I quickly learned that the image of the solitary, lonely writer is so wrong.
Walking into my first RWA local chapter meeting was both scary and intimidating. What did I know about writing a book? Nothing! I completely credit my place as a published author to this great group of women who so willingly shared what they knew.
Best of all, I met other people who actually understood that those characters in books are so much more than just imaginary creations. Having that dialogue with someone who didn’t give me the crazy-eye, like I should be locked up in the looney bin, was so freeing. They got it. The excitement, anger, sadness and eagerness over fictional people and worlds was okay. Actually, even better than that. It was good.
However, in all the information I was given on the craft of writing and getting published, no one said:
“You’re going to meet some awesome, amazing, caring, kind women who will change your life.”
But you will.
Even if you’re an introvert. Even if you prefer to be alone. Even if you can’t travel or go to conferences or get out much. Even if you never publish a book. You will still meet these amazing women and some of them you will bond with for life.
I’ve connected with other authors on a completely different level than my other friendships. It’s like they get a part of me that non-authors don’t understand. Yes, I talk to myself as I mumble over scenes and dialogue. Yes, I have dozens of story ideas rattling around in my brain and scribbled on random pieces of paper. Yes, I get cranky on deadline and cry over edits. Yes, I’m invincible until some random person I don’t know say’s my books sucks. Yes. Yes. Yes!
These are my support buddies without whom I’d never finish a book. These women are my cheerleaders and commiserators. My best friends and on a very unique level, my soulmates. And I knew absolutely none of them five years ago when I first decided to create a novel.
And that alone makes the journey worth it.