posted on August 21, 2018 by Linda O. Johnston

Solitary Writing Life?

Writers sit at their computers a lot… and write.  Right?

Well, of course.  And that means a major portion of their lives are solitary.  But all of it?

No–not mine, at least.  Sure, some writers also have full-time day jobs, but I don’t any longer so my connections with other people don’t come from that.  But I do connect quite a bit, and not just on social media but in person.  How?

As I mentioned in my blog here last month, I attended the Romance Writers of America Conference in Denver in July.  Before that, I attended Malice Domestic, an annual conference focusing on cozy mysteries.  Lots of people–other writers, readers, people in the industry such as editors and agents, and probably more, attended each of them.  And I’m already considering which conferences to attend next year.  So, yes, I interact with a lot of people at conferences.  But that’s not all.

My Romance Writers of America membership also includes memberships in several chapters: Los Angeles Romance Authors, the Orange County Chapter, and the Santa Clarita Romance Writers.

Mysteries?  I belong to the Mystery Writers of America and its Los Angeles Chapter.  I also belong to Sisters in Crime and its L.A. chapter.

And with all of them, I attend chapter meetings as often as I can.  So, yes, I interact with other people there.

I also belong to the International Thriller Authors, although I don’t attend their conferences right now… despite being tempted.  And I belong to the Dog Writers Association of America and attended one of their conferences a couple of years ago–although I have to admit that one of my reasons was because I was up for an award.  And yes, I interacted with a lot of people there.

I always volunteer to participate in the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books each year, where help out at some booths and get to sign my books at multiple booths as well.  And of course there are a lot of people I interact with there, too.  Plus, I often volunteer to be on panels at libraries and other local events, which are fun… and also attract other people.

I am in the process of joining a club where dog obedience is the focus.  I took my younger dog to classes they provided when she was a puppy and just beyond, but I’m joining them now for the camaraderie –and for the research information I can continue to gain from them since all of my current books involve dogs.  And research wasn’t the only reason I joined the local chapter of the club dedicated to the dog breed I love, though–Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.  My dogs were!  Plus, I like the human members, too.

Am I unusual in the number of organizations I belong to?  Maybe, or maybe not.  I’m far from the only author who writes in multiple genres–and is out to do research on writing ideas.

I’d love to hear from both other writers and readers about organizations they’ve joined and how they otherwise interact with other writers and readers.  I think it’s important to meet other people with similar interests… but I think you already realized that!

Meanwhile, I think I’d better sit down at my computer by myself–well, not exactly since my dogs are at my feet–and continue writing.

Linda O. Johnston

Linda O. Johnston

Linda O. Johnston, a former lawyer who is now a full-time writer, currently writes the Barkery & Biscuits Mystery Series for Midnight Ink. She has also written the Superstition Mysteries for Midnight Ink, and the Pet Rescue Mystery Series and Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime. Linda also writes the K-9 Ranch Rescue miniseries for Harlequin Romantic Suspense as well as a paranormal romance miniseries for Harlequin Nocturne. And all her current stories involve dogs.

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