As a self-employed freelance writer, my prospects for a holiday office party are fairly bleak. Writing by nature is a solitary undertaking. For that reason, writers often join associations and organizations in order to pool resources, exchange ideas, and yes, party, with associates.
Recently, I attended a holiday gathering at the Denver Woman’s Press Club. Coincidentally, it is the 100th anniversary of the DWPC clubhouse, a charming little Victorian building surround by tall office buildings and parking lots not far from Colorado’s capitol building. It is always a pleasure to spend time in the little house and visit with the talented journalists who belong to the organization. DWPC is one of few, or possibly the only woman’s press club to own a building. The house is a historic treasure purchased by DWPC in 1924.
My next stop on the holiday party circuit was the Columbine Genealogical and Historical Society. This organization meets in a church, and the holiday party is always a bountiful pot luck lunch. Members bring out their best recipes and wear their finest red and green sweaters for the event. This group of serious genealogists has always been interested in and supportive of my writing, and I look forward to rejoining their board of directors for the coming year.
A writing mole can socialize only so much. I was not able to attend the Colorado Authors’ League holiday party this year. I recently attended one of their interesting seminar presentations about e-books at the mens’ Denver Press Club. This past spring, I was honored at the CAL annual banquet with their 2010 award for Best YA Nonfiction book for my biography, General William Palmer: Railroad Pioneer.
Although my Women Writing the West group is spread throughout the nation, we stay in touch daily via a Listserv bulletin board. Once a year, the group gathers for a national conference in a different Western location. We often create friendships with fellow members who live nearby. I’ve enjoyed many outings and adventures with my publisher, Filter Press, my research partner, Christie, with whom I recently enjoyed a holiday lunch and history walk, and several others. Who says writers are isolated?
Groups and clubs perform an important function in our writing lives. They draw us out with opportunities to learn and socialize, and they provide fabulous opportunities to embellish our experience. Holiday parties are an especially nice way to enjoy our peers and associates.
Joyce Lohse, 12/15/10