Hello, everyone! As many of you know, Camp Nanowrimo is in full swing. For those of you who don’t know what CampNano is, allow me to explain.
Formal Definition: Camp Nanowrimo is a an online competition where you try to complete a writing goal that you set for yourself.
What it’s actually like: FIRE AND CHAOS. WE WRITE SO FAST THERE IS SMOKE ON OUR KEYBOARDS. WE EDIT. WE SCREAM INTO THE ABYSS. Wait, isn’t editing just a scream into the abyss to begin with?
But anyway, one of my favorite parts of Camp Nano is how you’re sorted into cabins. This basically means that you get an awesome group of online writer friends so that the writing suffering is communal.
It got me thinking of how important writer friends are. We think of writing as a solitary activity, but having other people who are interested in, support, and critique your work are vital to the writing experience, whether you’re a novelist, poet, or memoir writer.
So, here are 5 reasons why writer friends are the best, and 5 tips on how to find them. (Because writers have a tendency to be reclusive. Don’t worry if you are too. Even Emily Dickinson had writer friends.)
1. They Keep You From Going Insane
My friends and I are all writing novels. Here’s the thing about writing a book: It’s a whole entire world. With different characters going about their different lives. You’ve made up romantic relationships, tragic deaths, languages, locations, species, governments, and families.
That’s a lot to carry around in your head.
Even if you’re sharing this world with your word processor, I think you have to let others into your world, even if it’s just the heel of their shoe that goes through the portal. I was very private about my novel project, but I ultimately overcame my reservations and let my friends know what I was working on. When others can acknowledge that your world exists, it seems less overwhelming to work on.
2. They Understand What You’re Going Through
My writing friends never get tired of me complaining, because chances are, they’re annoyed by the same plot bunnies and character development issues that I am. Writer friends give you a shoulder to cry on when you’re really down, and a boost of inspiration when you’ve cried for long enough.
Plus, for some reason a lot of writers are also bakers so whenever I get together to talk about writing with my friends they bring food?? Writers are full of surprises. The good (and baked with milk chocolate) kind.
3. They Make Your Writing Better
Although criticism can be difficult to hear, getting feedback from a group of people who genuinely want the best for you and have educated literary opinions is the best way to do it. Often, I’ll have a scene where I’m not quite sure what’s off, but I know that something isn’t working. My writer friends are often able to put their finger on it, and then I can edit, making my work better.
Also, as discussed in #2, there is often food, and I think you’ll find that criticism is never easy, but it doesn’t seem as intimidating when there is friends, intimacy, and cake involved.
4. You Find Opportunities Through Each Other
You can share opportunities about internships, contests, agents, readings, and more with each other! They say that the publishing world is all connections, so by being friends with other writers, you’ll meet more people.
If you help a writer out on one platform, say blogging, they may be able to help you out on another platform, such as social media. You can also attend super cool literary events together, and spread the news to all your writer friends so that your local poetry readings are all filled up with eager writers.
My friends and I even have a group chat where we send each other clips of poetry. (10/10 would recommend, by the way.)
5. They’re Your Reading Friends Too
In order to be a writer, you have to read a lot. This comes in handy when you have writer friends. Not only do I get to talk about the book I’m writing, I get to talk about the books I’m reading, too!
It’s like a food club, book club, and Dead Poets Society all rolled into one. They’re my go-to to get book recommendations, and I’m always excited when we’re reading the same book, because then we can share our immense joy about it.
(Or rip it to shreds, depending what book it is. Looking at you, Catcher in the Rye.)
1. Look Around You
My first group of writing friends came from my school. I met a couple of girls who said that they were working on books, and we ended up creating a writer’s club. If you’re in high school or college, try asking around to see if you can meet other writers, or if there’s a pre-existing writer’s club. If you’re out of school, try meeting people at your library or bookstore.
2. Go to Readings and Local Writing Workshops
Pro tip: Try seeking out a local college. Colleges often have poetry readings and writing workshops where you can have a literary adventure and meet new friends. You can also check your local library and seek out writing nonprofits near you.
3. Attend Writer Conferences
THE ULTIMATE BEEHIVE OF WRITERS. Nowhere else will you find so many literary-enthusiasts. If you can afford to go to writer’s conference, I’d say it’s harder to leave without a writer friend than to leave with one. Just ask them what their favorite book is, and you’ll be BFFs in no time.
4. In the Blogging Hemisphere
I’ve met so many lovely bloggers who are writers. While it’s true that you should be wary of meeting your internet friends in the real world (Got to remember those elementary school internet safety lessons 😉 ) there’s no reason you can’t chat and support each other through your blogs. Also, you could meet up at a blogger convention. (A safe gathering spot where you can be absolutely sure that your blogger friend is indeed a normal human and not a six-eyed alien who wants to abduct you to teach their planet how Twitter works.)
5. Online Writing Events
There are plenty of fun online writing events. Take Camp Nanowrimo, for example. You can add buddies, message them, and talk about your projects in forums. (You can find me on Camp Nano here! Feel free to send me a message.) When you’re all trying to complete a semi-crazy writing goal, you bond quickly. (It’s like in Harry Potter, where Ron, Hermoine, and Harry became friends because they defeated a mountain troll with a club and boogers together.)
Before you go, I have some blog updates.
First of all, I now have over 700 followers! Thank you all so much for following my blog. I hope you enjoy reading it, and I couldn’t have done it without all of your support. This is my seventh month of serious blogging, though my blog has been up on the web for ten months now. I’m so excited about how much fun blogging has been, and thank you all for following.
I want to start blogging more frequently, and I thought that a weekly ‘feature’ might be fun. I would give a weekly update of what I was writing, mini reviews of the books I read (I try to read one book a week), and/or a life update, with photos of literary outfits and DIYS. This would be in addition to my big writing advice, big literary DIYS, and complete fashion outfit posts. What do you all think? Would you be interested in reading it? I would love to let you know what’s going on in my writing life (Remember that thing I said about how talking about writing keeps you from going crazy?) and I always wanted to try book reviews!
Let me know in the comments about what you think of my new blogging plans, how you find writer friends, or if you want to become writer friends! Until next time, you can find me on Pinterest or Instagram.