A bit of a composite blog today - related to writing but not.
As an outing, and to develop camaraderie and foster the bonds of friendship, my Rural Fire Service unit have a social get-together every time there's a fifth Sunday in the month.
A couple of Sunday's ago we had our usual training session followed by a BBQ at my place. Partners and kids came too - they're often the silent ones when it comes to volunteering time to the unit. They give up their time with their family or help out with welfare (making food and delivering drinks when the RFS logistics stuff up).
The socialising is a chance to relax beyond the lines of the fire-front or outside the ranks of training. And I think we're a better unit for doing this. You get to know others through conversation, learning about their life experiences and skills you might never have known about, even mucking around and having fun with them. Nothing strengthens a group of people more than by training, working and having fun together.
While most of us have known each other ten years or more we have a couple of new members who're just starting out. One's an ex-student of mine (that makes me feel so old :-( ). He's going to benefit from the older members' experiences and with the socialising, he'll be able to relate to us as adult to adult now instead of adult to child, another layer to our bonding.
The same can be said of writing - new writers and established authors, within a structured setting such as a workshop as opposed to the cocktail party or morning tea at conference. Formal verses social, developing skills and building acquaintances or life-long friendships.
Are you developing a writing network? Writing or otherwise?
Care to share?