TO MEETUP OR NOT TO MEETUPby Lewis Hellyer
Writers, especially new ones, but even those who have been published for a while, sometimes wonder how a Meetup group might benefit them.
I’m still a “newbie,” and I see many beneficial aspects to joining such a group. I have to say I’m quite like a sponge — I soak up everything I can hold in my brain. There are times I leave my Meetup groups on overload, but I digress.
The first and obvious benefit is knowledge — quite a revelation. Times, trends, and methods change. Other than the Internet, there is no better place to seek and receive updated information as inexpensively.
You likely have questions that are important to you, but you may wonder whether anyone else has the same questions. Maybe you feel it’s not a big deal if you don’t get an answer. Well, darn it, those questions just keep nagging you … and lo and behold, the Internet doesn’t spit out an answer for you. Imagine that!
Surprise: Meetups have people! And people know things. Meetups have diverse persons with life experiences similar to and different from yours. Did someone say, “Answers here”? Remember, though, you have to ask the questions. No hiding behind your manuscript.
Do you have a bestseller? I hope you do. If you’re willing to ask, you may find the answers to questions – not decisions – and help with things like editing your manuscript for punctuation, readability, ideas to enhance your storyline, and characters. All this generously offered by writers who care about their craft.
Writing is a stern taskmaster. You’ve completed your manuscript. It was meant to do more than sit on the shelf or in that file folder that keeps staring at you. Meetup! Oh, boy, that word again. Publish? Print? Ebook? What about marketing? A cover design? Whoa, there … now you have a huge undertaking.
My suggestion to you?
Hmm … oh, yes, JOIN A MEETUP GROUP!
A final thought: Attending a Meetup is a lot like going to church. Just because you aren’t speaking doesn’t mean that you aren’t participating. Actively listening to the speaker is participation. Dozing on the pew, swatting a fly on your nose, or visiting with others while the Meetup presenter is speaking isn’t enlightening for you or others, and it’s just plain rude to the speaker.
Put yourself out there and see what comes back to you.
Lewis Hellyer is the pen name of Jamie Lewis Hellyer and Darlene Eutsler Lewis, a mother-and-daughter writing team. Their new novel, a light romance titled On Butterfly Wings: A Journey of the Heart, is soon to be published. Jamie is working on her thesis for her Ph.D. in metaphysical science. Darlene is tackling manuscript preparation for publishing, promotion, and marketing. Darlene is also working on a memoir and a new romance novel and a republishing of her revised children’s book, Where Is Reice?