Writing can be a solitary practice, isolating even. It certainly feels that way for me sometimes. I work from home and am on my own except for my two dogs. Don’t get me wrong, I love my dogs. I also have a nice home office. The setup is spacious with lots of natural light, free of distraction, and filled with everything I need. But it’s still just me in there, alone.
I’ve found that what I need isn’t just people in general. I need other writers. I need a writing community. It’s hard to find that when you’re an expat, especially when the language of your host country isn’t your writing language. (I say writing language because not everyone writes in his or her native language.) I tried to find a writing group in Vienna, but Covid made things hard. Now that we’re out of the pandemic, I realize that Covid wasn’t the issue. There simply isn’t anything for me here in terms of a writing community.
So, I looked online. I also researched some of the authors whose books I enjoy. To my surprise, I found two groups: Crime Writers of Color and Sisters in Crime. I’ll join Sisters in Crime in January. I’ve joined Crime Writers of Color last month and I’ve already reaped benefits.
I found not only social interaction but also information and resources. I found a real community. I’m so excited to have found these two organizations. It’s going to help me a lot as I work on my next novel. (I wish I had this when I wrote Nairobi Ndoto, but that book is not crime fiction.) Writing is a lot less isolating now. I feel like I’m a part of something bigger. I feel like I belong.