Those two cutie pies at the top are my baby girl Bindi (black/tan/white) and her best friend, Molly. They’ve known each other since they were puppies. They can go ages without seeing each other, but when they do, it’s like long lost family. And they have each other’s backs: when Bindi got a huge fright the other day from another dog, she went off and hid. Molly went over, lay down with her, then nuzzled her until she was okay to get back out to play with the group.
And that got me thinking about friends in general. People always say that writing is a solitary task. And, I guess it is to a huge extent. But I know a lot of writers, including myself, that could not keep going if not for the support of friends.
First, there are the family and friends that are around you on a day-to-day basis. They may not get what you do, but most, if not all of them, will share your joy with successes – and try to understand your disappointments along the way. But they know you. And they make sure that you take care of yourself and your health, including some down time when needed.
Then there are the friends that you meet as a writer. Some will be from your local writing group that you have joined, where you meet up with them regularly for writing workshops, coffee and general ‘let’s support each other through this minefield.’ I must admit, I don’t have those. I haven’t really come across anything that really works for me at this stage – but you never know in the future.
What I do have, however, is a very strong online group of writing friends – quite a few that I now classify as friends, not specifically just writing friends. And they are from all over the world: America, England, here in Australia – and even Ukraine! I have a group of wonderful people that I know will understand the frustration, the excitement and the whirlwind that is the writing world. And they are also interested in what is happening in my life – good, bad and ugly. Many a time one (or more) of these friends have been a sounding board for writing issues, as well as having the normal conversations that friends who live around the corner – only we type rather than talk.
As an administrator for Authors’ Tale, I have even had Google meetings, where we can all see each other and we have a coffee (or sometimes something a little stronger) while we discuss administrative stuff – as well as kids and animals and the weather – you get the drift.
So, while you may, like me, prefer to write in solitude, I strongly suggest that you develop a network of writer friends to add to your family and non-writing friends – they all have something different to add to your life. And a rich life is important.