A few weeks back I joined the Space Coast Writer's Guild. This is my first experience with a writer's organization, but so far I see lots of positives. Associations, such as SCWG, have annual conferences, writing contests, and provide a list of safe genre specific local writing groups. SCWG also has guest speakers and online writing articles. Most guilds or associations will invite you to attend a meeting or two before making the decision to join.
Even if I never read their articles, visited my writer's group, or entered a single contest, the discount I will receive for their annual convention is worth a year's dues. The convention boasts publishers, published authors, and a half dozen prominent literary agents. I'll be able to attend their guest lectures, dine with local authors, and if I choose, pay for one on one time with publishers and agents. Doesn't get better than that, in my humble opinion.
I will continue to blog about my experiences with SCWG. Take a moment and google writing associations in your vicinity, joining may help you to grow closer to writers in your community. But be sure to check their legitimacy, no point in shelling out dues to a guild or association that isn't worthwhile.