Of course, joining professional organizations offers a lot of benefits. But why should you, there, sitting at your computer, reading this blog post, write that check every year?
First and foremost "You will be revitalized by interacting with your peers. You can brainstorm, learn, and grow as a professional and writers can really benefit from teaming up with each other, " says author and platform guru Cristina Katz in her book Get Known Before the Book Deal.
And not only will you get the help and support you need throughout your writing career, but you can take advantage of writing classes and will start to accrue credentials. Being a part of an official writing organization such as Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, and others, gives you the ability to learn more about your specific genre and leads that agent or editor you've been working so hard for to take you a bit more seriously.
Organizations like these count as experience!
I'm not saying go out and join these two groups because I say so. You have your own genre to write. Whether its romance, mystery, suspense, paranormal, fantasy/sci-fi, or steampunk - any organization you join and stick to a meeting schedule with will help you with those pesky novel elements (plotting, GMC, etc) and keep you updated on what the market is looking for.
It seems this industry is changing faster than any of us can keep up with, but honing your craft and showing an agent you have a bit more experience than the other 1,000 submissions she gets every month is going to give you that chance to make it out of the slushpile.
What organizations do you belong to in order to hone your craft and grab that credential? If you aren't part of a writers group, would you ever be interested in joining?