While today’s topic is not as much about the actual creative process of being a writer, it’s been on my mind a fair bit lately. Should writers network? Should we make a blatant attempt to seek out writer friends? What is it that other writers really do for our writing lives?
To answer the first question, I think that writers should absolutely network! Writing, as all of us know from experience, is a lonely activity and getting connected to the community is a wonderful way to add a bit of solidarity to your days. A network of excellent writers offers a multitude of benefits, which are not available in their absence. In my long years of writing and rewriting my first novel, I found my writing buddies to be immeasurably valuable.
Without them one would not have:
Someone to commiserate with when your writing is not going according to plan: Writing is hard; that is the absolute truth. No matter how hard we try, and regardless of much we write, there will still be days in which our words don’t flow and our ideas are leaden with dullness. What we need in such instsances is a friendly voice to commiserate with. Someone who has been there many, many times. And despite the fact that your mother tells you that everything will be okay, a writing buddy can give you solid proof of real life instances when their writing went smoothly after being derailed.
Someone to read your work: One makes mistakes in writing. Perhaps your main character is an ass. Perhaps your plot is a bit threadbare. Perhaps your style needs a bit of oomph. The only person who can offer you this kind of critique, and still remain your friend, is another writer. A writer friend’s feedback is priceless. But please return the favor sometime! Offer to read their work if they are ready, and give helpful and encouraging critiques.
Someone to help you traverse the world: The writer’s world is full of deadlines. Some set by your editor, some by the courses that you are attending, and some set by yourself. A writing buddy will help you make sense of this world – help you apply to a writer’s conference, or to an MFA program. And you want to know about that cool gig that your favorite magazine is hiring for, yes? The only people who know are other writers.
Someone to go drinking with: Everyone knows that writers drink – all artists do, it’s just a part of the creative process! But it’s no fun drinking alone, is it? For a really good time, you need a gang of writerly buddies!
If you have made some valuable writer friends on HubPages, please let us know! We love hearing your stories.
[Image courtesy Big Mind Zen Center on Flickr]
3 replies on “The Benefits of a Writer Friend”
Too true (especially the drinking part!)
As far as reading my work though, I prefer avid readers to other writers. They are more objective – not thinking how they would do it.
I have four personal friends (from real life) on HubPages and it has enhanced our previous friendships. I count about 100 other writers as friends now because of HP alone – and I am grateful for this amazing addition to my life as a writer and as a person.
My first response to this is, “You’re seriously joking!” Apart from my late father, I never met another writer until I was 51 years old, and I’ve been writing since I was 8 or 9. My work managed to get published and paid for just fine without being read by other writers, as with my late father.
Also, artists don’t all drink. I’ve never been drunk in my life or taken any sort of recreational drug. My imagination works just fine on its own. And I never saw my father touch a glass of alcohol in his life.
I seek out people for many reasons, but writing is not one of them!
I’ve done a number of writing workshops over the years, and I’ve had a couple of writing buddies in the past. I like the idea of having someone personally to share the writing life with, and also the process. Great ideas. Writing friends who will last and stand the test of time, now that I wonder….