5 Ways Being Part of a Group Grows Your Passion — No Matter What Your Passion Is

If you’re passionate about an activity such as tennis, then you intuitively understand the benefits of joining a club: Even if you’re exceptionally gifted, after all, you can’t play both sides of the net at the same time. You need an opponent, or a partner — and perhaps both — to challenge you, to support you, to fire you up.

If you’re passionate about an activity such as painting, however, you may not see the need for the group. All you need is your easel, your brush and your paints.

And maybe you’re right: Maybe you don’t need anyone. But maybe your passion does.

We reached out to members of GroupWorks-affiliated crafts and arts clubs, and asked them to talk about why their supposedly solitary activities are enhanced by groups and in group settings. Here’s what they told us.

1. You get inspired.

“Obviously, being part of a beading club, rather than beading on your own, you get inspiration from other people’s projects,” says Peggy Bowie of the Don’t Worry, Bead Happy club based at Sun City Festival, a planned community in Arizona for active adults aged 55 and older. “You get to see what patterns, beads and colors they use.”

2. You get schooled.

When clubs host classes, techniques are honed, ideas are shared — and connections are made.

“With painting, people tend to stay home and work on their own projects,” says Leigh Emrick of the Festival Fine Arts Club, also based at Sun City Festival. “But we offer classes and other events that gets people connected.”

3. You get motivated.

To say Bowie was a beading novice when she attended her first club event — a class — is understatement: “I never actually did beading ’til i joined the club,” she says with a laugh. A club announcement changed everything.

“We got an email from [Sun City Festival] saying a beading club was holding a beginner’s class, and to come see what beading is about,” Bowie says, “and I did, and, of course, enjoyed it. The people were wonderful, and friendly, and I went to a few more of the classes.”

Less than a year and a half after joining the club, she was running it as its president.

4. You get to be with people who “get” you.

Ramona Baird, a sewing enthusiast turned expert, who hosts the sewing channel for GroupWorks, joined her local Tucson, Arizona, chapter of the American Sewing Guild because she wanted to meet people who, as she puts it, “spoke the same language.”

Emrick, who’s president of the Festival Fine Arts Club, was moved to join a club for similar reasons. “I wanted to meet other people who were like-minded, who were doing something creative,” she says.

5. You get to grow your passion.

“I meet all these people who have interests other than mine,” Emrick says. “I’m in watercolor, but I have expanded my horizons to see how other people use these mediums.”

Expanding horizons and broadening interests: That’s how you deepen the passion for your passion. And in the end, that’s what it’s all about.