So I've dipped my toe in and I find I'm late to the party, as usual...(ooh, mixed metaphor!)
On Saturday my local SCBWI chapter sponsored a workshop. Chris Eboch, author of The Well of Sacrifice and the Haunted series, was there to do critiques and lead us through a workshop on description. She was amazing in a your-favorite-teacher kind of way -- easygoing, unassuming and yet so professional and full of good advice.
We also had peer critiques in the morning, and a session with Nancy Davis, an illustrator who lives here in Las Vegas now and has done some fantastic illustrations for picture books.
Best of all, I found a local critique group which meets on Saturdays. And I met a dozen or so people who are doing what I do and who couldn't have been more friendly.
As I said in a previous post, a year ago I couldn't have done this. The idea of reading to or letting strangers read my work would have been excruciating. But I got to this point partly because of blogging. The past year has drawn me out of being the one weird person who wrote and made things so much easier. I think the latest of my illusions to be shattered is the idea that you can do it alone.