... and what do you get?
As a writer, one needs a support group of sorts to gather information, learn about trends in the writing world and find out what works for other authors. Who better to gather this info from than other authors?
From that, as I have mentioned a time or two before, I am a member of an online writing group. But what are we really? As I was thinking about them the other day, it occurred to me how different and far-flung this group is.
If you took each of the author's self photos off, all you would have is a group of names. What can you distinguish just from that? Not much really. One can tell gender mostly, but not much other than that. Even if you think, 'that is an Irish, or German, or Russian name', that means nothing. Any of those names could fall anywhere within the United States or anywhere across the globe. We are a mobile society.
As it is the group numbers near ninety members. We range in age from early twenties to those in their seventies (perhaps older). We are men, women, sexually straight, gay and bi-oriented. We are truly a global collection as we live in places as diverse as Japan, Ireland, Spain, France, South Africa, Mexico and many others. We have names that would be recognized in the public outside of the group, and others few would recognize. The one thing we have in common is the writing and publishing world.
So what does that mean? What it means to me is we can learn from each other no matter what our background or nationality. We are a couple years old as an 'organization' and I have learned a tremendous amount from being associated with them. I do not place any of the members in a preconceived pocket. I don't read a comment and say, oh, that's from one of the gay guys, or the Canadian, or the Texan (of course there are a lot of Texans in the group. Maybe they just need more help than the rest of us).
If you were to put all of us in a room, I think it would be a magical place. We've grown to know each other because we share a love of writing, of authorship, of striving to become successful in the same vein. We celebrate each others success. No one disparages another because they are more successful. We are different yet we all share a common bond.
Unfortunately too many in the real world close themselves off from others because they are different from themselves. When that's the case, they have failed in the world at large. It's time to look for what brings us together instead of the differences we have. If all you can do is label, you will never be able to open the door. I challenge everyone who reads this to open the door to the world. I think you'll be surprised at what you'll find.