Because I'm both lazy and shy, I've never been one to join organizations unless I had to. When I started writing fiction seriously, I joined Chicago Writers Association (http://www.chicagowrites.org/) so I could participate in a critique group (ie, writers critiquing each others' work).
Later, I joined the Off-Campus Writers Workshop (https://ocwwinfo7333.wildapricot.org/) in Winnetka, IL, to attend lectures on writing and to have my work critiqued by third parties. I met my agent through OCWW and the members of my current critique group.
These were very positive experiences and I'm still active in both groups.
When Oceanview Publishing took on my new book, A Kind of Justice, editor Pat Gussin advised me to get active in three more groups in the mystery/thriller/suspense field: Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and Sisters in Crime.
I did and each group has enriched my writing and my life experience. I'm now convinced that if there is an afterlife, heaven will be a lot like a meeting of fiction writers. People will show a lot of interest in the people around them. There will be a lot of knowledge shared. There will be a lot of appreciation for each others' work. It will be an inclusive, welcoming group. And the intellect and talent of the individuals will be exceeded only by their modesty.
My thanks to the many wonderful people I've met, especially in the Chicago chapters of Sisters In Crime and Mystery Writers of America.