Going to Guild meetings grants a lot of information and even a little understanding of people. People are what books are about. People are who write books and being involved with them is what lets you get better.
It grants you understanding of several writing markets, like the way you break down the important facets of children’s picture books.
It validates your hard-won knowledge of novel writing. Your ability to create a conversation on a street corner in South Dakota and make it interesting.
The people you listen to make it real.
Jan’s depictions of good and evil.
Wayne taking a few moments after a meeting to buck up someone who needs it.
Amy’s deep understanding of looking at words in small groups and seeing how they affect the whole piece and what could be done to make them better.
The other Jim’s depictions of American Western migration and how it depicts all that is good and right with America. That there is no need to look deeply at things, they are what they are. Anything else is a waste of time.
Margie’s struggling to overcome her view of the world in the work of better writing to market.