Writing is often a solitary endeavor. After all, writers don't have team projects, or focus groups or staff meetings. Unless you anthropomorhize your computer like Wilson the Volleyball in Castaway, a writer works alone 99.9% of the time. There are blogs galore in which to participate, but face to face contact is all but non-existant. Which is why joining a local writer's group can be so important.
My local chapter of Romance Writers of America meets once a month. This weekend was our holiday party, so we even mingled with spouses. Kind of nice to have men in the room! It was so wonderful to connect for several hours with loads of cookies and good cheer. Monthly meetings are great, but much of the time is occupied with a wonderful speaker, leaving little time to socialize. It is beyond amazing how supportive we all are - no jealousy, just rejoicing in each other's triumphs, and hugs for the hurdles. Being able to talk to someone over spinach dip about your latest chapter, or round of queries, is the water cooler talk other occupations take for granted. For us, it is a rare joy.
Yes, the opportunity arises once a year at the RWA National conference, but I highly encourage you to seek out a local group. The validation and sharing is invaluable. If you don't have a group in your area - start one! You don't need to limit it to romance - you can have an all genre writers group. Attended a cookie exchange yesterday where the table of romance writers integrated with a table of sci fi/fantasy writers. Lo and behold, we had much in common! Grab any opportunity you can to mix and mingle with fellow writers. Because, nine times out of ten, it will still just be you and a blinking cursor, waiting for the next solitary twitch of your fingers on the keyboard.