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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Why Writers Need Writer Friends

Writing is a solitary sport, one that often leaves us beating our heads against the wall in frustration.  This is why having a network of writer comrades can be so important.  This idea of an artistic community is not new.  Think back to the Abbey Theater in Dublin, the salons of Paris and the Algonquin Round Table in New York.  For as long as there have been artists and writers, they have found ways to come together and connect with each other.

Some of you may wonder why writers should waste precious writing time just chatting with other writers.  I say, it's because writing is so isolating that it's especially important for writers to connect with one another.  No, another writer can't write your book for you, but you can gain valuable advice and much-needed support on your writing journey if you take the time to connect with writer friends.

Why Writers Need Writer Friends 

1)  They will give you perspective.  When you write alone all day, it''s easy to lose perspective about the writing and publishing process.  Suddenly it can feel like everyone in the world has finished their novel or has gotten published except you.  Talking to other writers who are in the same boat as you can give you much-needed perspective. 

2)  They will give you encouragement.  By that same token, connecting with writers who have found success can also be very encouraging.  It can show you that good things can and do happen.  Seeing writer friends get agents and book deals can reaffirm that when it's your turn good things can happen for you too. 

3)  They will give you motivation.  Good writer friends will motivate you by encouraging you to send out work or finish your novel.  But motivation doesn't always have to come in the form of encouragement.  Even if all you do is sit together in a coffee shop and write side-by-side, having company can push you to be more efficient and more focused. 

4)  They will give you a shoulder to cry on.  When rejection rears it's ugly head, you'll be happy to have writer friends nearby to lend you support.  Rejection always stings--even if just a little--and it's nice to have writer friends to help you bounce back and carry on.

5)  They will be there to party with you when things go well.  True creative friends aren't just there to prop you up when you're down.  They're there for you when you succeed as well.  Julia Cameron of The Artist's Way calls these "before, during and after friends" because they're on your side before, during and after you find success.

What do you think?  Why are writer friends important?

9 comments:

Girl Friday said...

All the above, plus you can LEARN from them, whether by just chatting about writing, or books you've read, or critiquing each others work. It's a quick way to get better.

Donna Hosie said...

Awesome post. I would be lost without my writerly friends.

Bluestocking Mum said...

Everthing you've said, and just knowing that I'm not the only mad fool who is addicted to writing helps!

Ghenet Myrthil said...

I agree! Writers definitely needs friends and I'm so happy that you're one of mine. :D I love your #3 and look forward to more writing dates!

Catherine A. Winn said...

Oh, so true. Everything you wrote is what my writerly friends give me which keeps me going.

Gabriela Pereira said...

Ooh I love these comments! Definitely agree that learning from other writers is a huge benefit of writer friends. And I'm also glad someone mentioned the kindred spirits thing because I totally agree. It's nice to know there are other people out there as crazy as I am who love to write. :)

Eric Satchwill said...

The most important things I got out of NaNo were my writer friends. Having someone who not only understands when I get stuck with a stubborn character or scene, but points out a possible open window is priceless. Even if I do reciprocate by convincing them to kill off their favourite characters...

Lynette Benton said...

They will give you tips on where to submit your work—and even let you use their name to open doors.

I'm Just Sayin said...

Wonderful list, and I completely agree with them all. It really is nice to talk to people that GET you. It makes you feel less crazy.

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