Without the Blenheim Writers Group?
Lovecat in the wild Barbara Deleo, Elizabeth King, Deborah Shattock, Nadine Taylor, Kate David, and our out of town member, Lovecat Louisa George make up this wonderful group.
These women are my lifeline when my writing world is in turmoil. Not going to mention how often that is. We meet regularly, as well as have writing weekends in a cottage that sits in the middle of vineyards, and at Christmas we indulge in cocktails and laugh over the goals we set in January. Louisa joins us for a weekend whenever she can fit it in.
But it's the regular meetings that I appreciate the most.
We laugh, sometimes cry, complain and applaud.
We brainstorm plots and black moments, settings and heroes for each other.
Did I mention talking? It never stops.
The list goes on, but it all comes down to this:
We support each other to the max.
There are other people in my life who are always there for me. My family share my excitement, the days when I type THE END, my tantrums, the frustrations, and the wonder of another sale - and especially the champagne.
But the Blenheim girls are more than that. Because they know what it's like to be an author. Whether they're published or not, they are living with the ups and downs of being an author, with the stories in their heads that have to come out, the solitude of sitting for endless hours with only those characters to talk to. (Who said I'm not whacko and need locking up?)
And yes, they share the champagne too. I mean, why wouldn't they?
Romance Writers of New Zealand and Romance Writers of Australia are other important groups I've belonged to for a long time and where I've met some amazing people, including all the Lovecats. I've made some wonderful friends, and we keep in touch all year round, catching up at the annual conferences. The infrastructure of these organisations is very supportive and sharing as well.
If it weren't for these groups I wouldn't have met one of our gorgeous Lovecats who went out of her way to help me years back before I was published. Her generosity and big heart cut a few years off my trying-to sell time. In case she gets swamped with MS's I'll keep her name to myself but she's my star.
But the Blenheim Girls come first. We're there for the day to day stuff. We know each other well. That was brought home to me this week when I was questioning my career. The things Barb pointed out made me realise how well we have come to know each other when it comes to this writing world. That's precious. I wouldn't be as strong without these wonderful women supporting me.
Do you have a special group supporting you in something dear to you?
I have a close nucleus of very dear to me romance buddies and we usually meet at least once a month for brunch or an evening meal. Beyond them is a greater shell of the incredible romance writer friends I have made over the many years I've been on this journey and that shell grows wider and reaches further every year. I love this business and I love the people who have become my people, in it.ReplyDelete
I know what you mean, Yvonne. And what's more, there's a lack of jealousy in this industry, or maybe only amongst the romance writers, that's refreshing.Delete
I've always been totally honoured to be part of your Blenheim group (long distance), Sue- such an amazing group of talented authors and all round lovely women. There is nothing like the camaraderie we get from our tribe. I'm very lucky to have found some fabulous women near where I live too. I don't know how people do this journey alone, but I've always been the kind of person to seek out like-minded people whether it's a dancing community/ walking group etc...I love to chat and learn more about what I hold dear!!! LOLReplyDelete
I think I'd go completely bonkers if I had to be on this journey alone, Louisa. And yes, know all about the chatting! LOL. We're very good at itDelete
I have made many dear romance friends in my writing journey and they are totally my tribe given how hard it is for most people to understand those of us who must write. We're a queer lot! :-)ReplyDelete
My BFF and my sister are also part of my support network. Couldn't do "life" without them, Sue!
Aren't we strange, Amy?! But I love the people this journey has brought into my life.Delete
Your little group sounds wonderful! I'm not part of an established group (does being a newby LoveCat make me one?!!) but I do have some lovely writers friends both in romance and other genres of fiction. It helps to have friends who understand the ups and downs of the writing process. I love being able to "phone a friend" when I hit a roadblock in a novel.
Absolutely, the Lovecats count, Melanie. :) Anyway, those writer friends are a group in themselves. As long as we have people who understand us we're set for all the ups and downs, I reckon.ReplyDelete
Hmm.. can't think of any special groups that I belong to, unless I can count LoveCats as a regular reader (and when time/insanity allows commenter).ReplyDelete
I'm sure I may develop more of support network when I actually commit properly to making time for my writing and get involved with the local RWNZ members.
That said, my entire adult life I have had difficulty with developing good/strong support networks.
Helen, sorry to read that. Maybe when you become involved with the Wellington chapter you'll find loads of support and rapport.ReplyDelete
What a fabulous group you have! I've been part of a few groups in my writing journey - the Melbourne Romance Writers Guild and now the Toronto Romance Writers. There's also a few online groups too - the uspport is so important given we work in such an isolated way sometimes. Just being able to talk to someone who knows what it's like to deal with the struggled of being a writer, dealing with the criticism and doubt...for me, it's a must :)ReplyDelete
You're so right, Stefanie, we need each other in this weird and wonderful career we have.Delete
Sounds like such a fabulous group lots of support and love there :)
As a reader I belong to Australian Romance Readers Association ARRA and I organize lunches in Sydney once a month and there a group of us enjoy lots of good food chocolate of course and chat romance books we pass on recommendations chat about our favourite authors and what is happening in the romance world and I love these days and we talk about lots more than just books because we support each other as well. And there are conventions once every 2 years that bring lots more friends that I have made from other States bring on ARRC2017 in Melbourne :)
Friends are like pockets we all need them :)
I so like that, Helen. Pockets. Friends. Yep, need them all.Delete
Sue, I know what you mean. Having friends who understand the writing journey and are there to support and celebrate are important. I've met so many of those, mainly through writers' groups and conferences, but not always. My family are wonderful and I have close friends who are there when I need them and vice versa. Aren't we lucky?ReplyDelete
Extremely lucky, Annie. These people are the gems in our lives.Delete
Sue, I'm fortunate enough to belong to the Turramurra writers group (via Romance Writers of Australia). I've been a member for more than fifteen years and the support and friendship from the group is invaluable. I also belong to a smaller group of four writing friends who meet more often.ReplyDelete
totally know what you're saying, Kandy. We'd be sunk without these friends.Delete