At the SCBWI blog, Martha Brockenbrough asked fellow SCBWI members and debut authors what being part of the organization has meant to their careers. My favorite response comes from Kimberly Sabatini, whose novel Touching the Surface will be released this fall:
“The best thing I learned from SCBWI is that I will never cease to be inspired by the authors in my tribe.”
I think this is a huge part of being a member of a writing group of any kind, whether it’s SCBWI or an MFA program or a bunch of friends who get together to workshop stories while drinking wine. There’s something really energizing about being part of a group that shares your goals and passions. Writing in a vacuum can be very draining. At the SCBWI conference in January, everyone I met was so friendly and encouraging. Having a base like that can be really helpful during rough writerly periods, too. You know you’re not the only one experiencing rejections and you know that success can take a lot of hard work. But there’s a built-in cheering section spurring you on. Being a member of a writers group doesn’t mean you’ll automatically get published, but it’s a great base to have.