This past week, I had the pleasure of meeting up with my friend, Clodagh Murphy, author of The Disengagement Ring and A Girl in a Spin. She was gracious enough to take the train down from Dublin to Limerick. We then spent the afternoon in the picturesque village of Adare having a great chat.
One of the things I love about living in Ireland is how much more accessible the writing culture is. When I lived in the States, I only managed to finish one manuscript and I hadn't one writer friend. In the five years that I've lived here, I've written two manuscripts, almost finished with a third, published an article, started blogging and best of all, made friends with other writers. I was lucky enough to get into the chick lit group on Write Words a few years back where some of most fabulous people in writing were hanging around. Since then, I've left WW and joined a splinter group. The camaraderie of the group tempers the isolation that can dog a writer. The networking has introduced me to NaNoWriMo and led me to write 2 posts a month for the Canadian blog, Book in a Week.
But last week, I realized that nothing beats meeting face to face with other writers. It was lovely to spend an afternoon with another writer and talk about all things writing related: from what we're currently working on, to what we're reading and all the nifty stuff in between.
Clodagh's lucky in that she's met alot of the other 16 members of our group, who are scattered throughout the UK and one as far as Australia. Finances alone have prevented me from flying over to England to meet up with some of them: Debs, Keris and Jacqui just to name a few.
Half of the group are published and it never ceases to amaze me how generous they are with their advice to those of us who are not published. Yet.
And all of this is achieved through that marvelous thing called the internet. What on earth did they do twenty years ago? But still, meeting other writers in person is still the best part of the network.