Austin RWA has a tradition I really like. The chapter holds a new member tea where new members can meet each other and board members and published authors in a relaxed setting. We get to laugh together, introduce ourselves and new members can ask questions—about the chapter and/or about how the publishing world works.
Writing is a solitary occupation. And we writers often see the world a little differently than everyone else does. It helps to have a support group of fellow writers who understand about the moments our characters start arguing with us and the moments when we doubt our own skills as writers. It's great to have people who can look at our work and tell us what's good as well as what we can improve and who can celebrate our achievements with us.
We all long—writers or not—for that sense of connection with others. Austin RWA has found a great way to help us achieve that.