Friends with Writing Benefits

How writer friends spend their time together (c) Robyn LaRue

How writer friends, Michelle and Amanda (and Chloe the Cat), spend their time together (c) Robyn LaRue

Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about the benefits of being pals with other writers.  Last week at the inaugural Sarcastic Muse summit, most of my time was spent lost in the realm of writing.  And I was able to spend this time with three of my favorite muses in person (well, sans Chris… We had his brain implanted into a droid body, so he wasn’t really there “in person”).  The day before my departure from the summit, I realized that I really enjoyed conversing about writing on a daily basis.

All of my friends have varied backgrounds and interests. I adore each individual person.  However, it was not until it was not until a few years ago that I began connecting with other writers.  When I did, I found that their influence took my craft to a whole new level.

One thing that I always say is that “the writing craft is not a solo craft”.  Yes, the act of writing itself is usually executed on a solidary basis.  But as a writer, you have to connect with the world outside of your act of writing.  As an introvert, this is something that I constantly struggle with and rely on all of my friends to drag me out from behind my computer.

Friends who are fellow writers (and fellow introverts) resonate with the whole “withdraw from the world” act.  They understand it too well.  And it is such a relief to not feel like I have to sheepishly apologize to them after I disappear for days on end.  They know-they’ve been there.

Last August, Michelle wrote a post listing six reasons to have writer friends.  Each point in her post rings true.  As a writer, it is really hard for anyone who is not a writer to relate to you on a “writing level”.  Non-writers find it so strange when mid-sentence you just stop talking and go inside your head because a thought popped up that related to a story.  The next few minutes are spent immersed at the writing desk in your brain while the companions around you are trying to figure out why you are staring so intently at the chip-and-dip tray.  They don’t understand and tend to tease you (in good jest) about your “mental escapes”.  However, when these episodes occur in front of your writing friends, they become quiet and busy themselves with something else until you emerge from your grey matter.  Then they immediately insist you tell-all as though you just kissed the boy/girl-of-your-dreams for the first time.

What a rush and inspiration it is to be able to share the eccentricities of being a writer with another person who can relate:  talking of grammar, syntax, character development, killing darlings, and dreaming of publishing futures.  From the experience that I had last week with Michelle, Robyn, and Chris, I have come up with a list of benefits from having writer friends:

  1. They understand the inner workings of your mind.
  2. They make for the best sounding boards when sorting out issues with plot, characters, scenes, etc.
  3. They are honest Beta Readers.
  4. They support you in everything you do (and help hide the bodies).
  5. They remind you to write.
  6. They threaten you to write.
  7. They let you know if your work is crap.
  8. They won’t laugh at you when you talk about your characters as if they were alive.
  9. They sympathize with your writing woes.
  10. They constantly inspire you.

Now, go out and give your writing buddy a big hug and tell them how much they mean to you!

Friend image

Original photo (c) veggiegretz, http://www.morguefile.com/archive/display/718918

 

6 Reasons Writers Need Writer Friends

6 Reasons Writers Need Writer FriendsIf you had asked me “Why do you need writer friends?” five years ago, I would have looked at you funny. I didn’t actually know any fiction writers, and therefore couldn’t even begin to tell you what I was missing. All that changed a year and a half ago when I met my current writer friends, and subsequently, after having produced a shadow of an online presence, I have gotten to know some other amazing people in the meantime. Now I can’t imagine not having writer friends.

So what are the reasons for befriending other writers?

 

1.) They’ll challenge you to improve.

Nothing’s better than friendly competition. Why, just the other day, Chris challenged me to a flash fiction write-off (winner undecided). I’m not very good about finishing my work, but I did it, simply because I couldn’t bear the idea of letting him win.

Besides, if their work is good, they’ll inspire you to work harder. At least, I know mine inspire me.

2.) Good drinking buddies.

As I’m writing this now, with drink in hand, talking to my writer friends via Skype, I can assure you that this was not a biased thought at all.

3.) They know what you’re going through.

Writer friends know that writing is not always fun or easy. They know how much blood you had to spill to write your latest draft. They know the way inspiration is fickle and the way words sometimes leave you feeling exhausted. It’s good to have someone who understands.

4.) Diversity is a good thing.

Not only do my writer friends write in different genres, they have different strengths, weaknesses, and styles of craft. There’s always something new for me to learn.

5.) Ass-kickery.

I don’t know about you guys, but my writer friends are always after me to keep writing. I can’t even begin to count how many times Robyn has threatened to glue me to my chair if I don’t buckle down and get words on the page. Good writer friends will kick your ass when you’re slacking.

6.) Weird inspirational conversations.

Spend one day in The Sarcastic Muse channel and you’ll find a range of topics—from Amanda’s suspicious jars to Jen’s not-so-secret men stashed away in the closet. It’s nice to know I’m not the only crazy one.

In conclusion, if you don’t have writer friends, you should kidnap find some as soon as possible. It’ll be the best decision you ever made.


Tell me about your writer friends. Have they made a difference in your writing life? Where did you meet yours?