What Sort of Club Would You Join? Would It Help You with Your Dream of Living The Writer's Life?


Will Newman

I had a gratifying visit from my "non-familial grandson" last Friday.

Daniel is now a senior in high school, all set to graduate in five weeks. He has birth grandparents, but when Linda and I got to know him as a sixth-grader, he needed some extra emotional support. So, we became like grandparents to him.

He's moved from our community to a large town an hour south. We miss him, but the move gave him the opportunity to join his high school golf team. He loves participating in this sport he’d never played before two months ago.

Well anyway, our conversation centered around his most recent golf tournament and how well he did for being such a newcomer. He talked at great lengths about the country club where the tournament was held. A simple, rural kid without a lot of experience, the club impressed him greatly.

He asked me if I’d want to belong to a club like that.

Confession time. I don't like golf. I admit to never having played it. I have no desire to start. And I have no desire ever to join a country club.

Yet, the conversation got me thinking about what clubs I might want to join even though I’ve mentioned I’m a self-identified “non-joiner".

That question brought me to a website listing several "Private Clubs We Actually Want to Join." I chuckled when I read the copy on it because, with two exceptions, I wouldn’t want to join these clubs.

The first one I did like was the Magic Castle. Sleight-of-hand has always fascinated me to the point that in my late 20s, I taught myself magic tricks, even buying magic props to learn how to do them.

I didn't do this out of any desire to become a magician, amateur or otherwise. I wanted to learn how it was done. While I'm not sure I would want to join the Magic Castle, the idea intrigued me.

The other club that caught my attention was the Lombard Swim Club.

I love to swim. I’m very reluctant (read scared) to ride roller coasters I know are perfectly safe. But the first time I was taken white-water river rafting, I gladly rode an inflatable kayak even knowing it was far more dangerous than a roller coaster.

After seeing the website, I asked myself what types of special clubs I might consider joining.

Of course, they would have to relate my special interests.

I’d investigate a club whose members were interested in science for the nonscientist. Science — in all its forms — fascinates me. I want to know more. I want to understand at a deeper level. Yes, this is a club I’d consider joining.

I could also imagine myself belonging to a club of people with similar interests in language. A club where we might talk about the origin of words, how words and syntax and pronunciation have changed over the years.

I’d want this club to have a broad membership including linguists, dictionary writers, language experts, as well as nonprofessionals like me interested in the huge, fascinating subject of language. (Sounds a bit like my favorite podcast, A Way with Words.)

And I’d certainly join a “club” like AWAI … a club of members with a passion for writing … and a passion for turning that writing into the writer's life.

All this brings up a question for you. What sort of club would you want to belong to? How would your membership relate to your quest for the writer's life?

I'd truly love to hear your thoughts. So please comment below and tell us about it.

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Published: May 1, 2017

14 Responses to “What Sort of Club Would You Join? Would It Help You with Your Dream of Living The Writer's Life?”

  1. I belong to several Toastmasters clubs. I joined my first club 17 years ago to improve my communication skills. I not only improved my communication skills but I dropped my ever so distracting ah's and um's, and along the way I gained leadership skills. I knew I had but didn't have the opportunity to use. I have made lifelong friends and learned from their speeches, their passions and knowledge. I will always be a Toastmaster. I hate writing but need to focus on it that. Look into Toastmasters and just join. You won't regret it. Shu

    Guest (Shu)May 1, 2017 at 1:34 pm

  2. Will, I was always a "club" joiner. Possibly because I was raised as an only child (my brother was 13 years older than me). I am a very social person, and clubs gave me identity! If there wasn't a club for me to join, I created one. I was a member of BlueBirds, then Girl Scouts. I created my own club in 3rd grade, it was named The Private Gypsy Ladies Club! I joined Future Homemakers of America club in junior high. My most recent social clubs were Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, The Commodores (a select ambassador group for the chamber), and now that you mention it - AWAI. I like to be involved in "community". I've read in the Blue Zones that being a part of community is essential to long life.

    KandiJMay 1, 2017 at 2:47 pm

  3. I would like to join in a photography club.. I'm new in photography.. just 1 month in an online photography class.. Being a mixed media artist, I believe that I could relate my stories with my own photos as a photographer.

    AMAROSAMay 1, 2017 at 3:28 pm

  4. I am thinking about joining the AWAI. My English professor, after reading my assignments,told me I needed to write. Due to my life history she told me I could help a lot of people if I put pen to paper and told my story of survival. I know there are a lot of "stories" about life survival but she said mine is different. It is all the others rolled into one.

    Guest (Lynn Phillips)May 1, 2017 at 4:17 pm

  5. I do belong to a club. And like you I never really wanted to do so. I belong to a local Lions club and eventually built a website for them and became their web editor. I am not a very social person and quite happy in my own solitude world. But joining this club has been wonderful, with giving back to the community and acquiring many new friends. A win-win for everyone,you can never have too many friends.

    Mary StephensonMay 1, 2017 at 7:43 pm

  6. I've always wanted to join a foreign language club. To lean another language but I think when visiting a foreign country if I could speak just a little, then, trip would be worth it.

    Guest (Howard)May 2, 2017 at 4:34 am

  7. I am also a non-joiner, in a sense. I am a dues paying member of several organizations but never attend any meetings or functions. So why join? Good question. Perhaps just to provide support.

    I would be very interested in a Writing Group which just might provide me with the motivation that I need.

    [FROM WILL: Thank you for your comments, Joseph. As AWAI member Kathleen says below, AWAI has become her "club." If you approach the membership actively by taking advantage of the forums, it has become a writing group for many members.]

    Guest (Joseph )May 2, 2017 at 6:48 pm

  8. Will, like you, I'm not really a club joiner. And like you, I was a special ed teacher. Once our principal asked the teachers to start a club for students, after school. I chose creative writing. Now that I'm a member of AWAI, I would definitely teach kids some of the basics of copywriting. That's something that they could really use in life! And as for myself, I'd like to join a travel club of like-minded senior citizens, and go off and see the world with them. I'm working my way towards that now. I even have a new blog website, but haven't gotten it off the ground quite yet. Copywriting and traveling are two "clubs" I'd love to join, and I have them both in AWAI!

    Guest (Kathleen)May 2, 2017 at 11:29 pm

  9. Hi Will, I'm in a poker club, I Play well. I like AWAI, being a member it's great.

    DarrickMay 3, 2017 at 2:32 am

  10. Dear Mr. Newman, Will, I, too, love languages. I extensively studied Spanish. I love French, and I know a few words in German.
    I am currently creating my own language. It popped into my head about three months ago. I am working on the dictionary now. It will be a catagorical dictionary.
    Keep up the good work.
    God Bless. Patricia.

    [FROM WILL: Interesting idea, Patricia. Good luck with this endeavor. After inventing the language, your next challenge is to teach it to others.]

    PatriciaPjrsMay 4, 2017 at 5:14 pm

  11. I have always been on the look out for the ideal club.As a child, I desired nothing more than to be be part of something great. A club that speaks out "this is who I am" and could touch the hearts of many with out having to move. A club who's members experience growth and success through teamwork and commitment. Today, I continue on my search to find where I fit into place. Where Talent,Vision,Passion, and Determination come together,Greatness is formed and success is no longer to far to reach

    Guest (Dawn Castro)May 5, 2017 at 8:18 pm

  12. I, too, have been a member of Toastmasters . . . club president, and also participated on sports teams, including the Houston Energy Women's Professional Football Team . . . Both memberships will definitely contribute to my newly resurrected and reconfigured professional writing career. Speech writing is a great niche for a budding copywriter, and playing defensive tackle for the 2002 Houston Energy Superbowl Champions will provide many interesting story ideas for future copywriting projects.

    June FrostMay 7, 2017 at 8:18 pm


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