Writing is generally a lonely business, as I've said before. But today's post is about more than just getting away from the keyboard, it's about having writing buddies. People with whom you can talk shop. Because let's face it, a lot of the people in your life have absolutely no idea what is it you do.
I'm not even talking about critique groups, although critique groups are awesome if you can get into a good one. You average critique group, however, is probably too large for intimate venting, too focused, or too busy.
The nice thing about a writing buddy is you can bounce ideas off each other in a more relaxed atmosphere. Yes, editing and critiquing may occur, but then again, they may not. The important thing is you have someone to talk to who knows exactly what you're dealing with, because they're dealing with it too.
In my case, my writing buddy is the wonderful E. Victoria Wilson, founder of the group Mother Writer! at Shewrites.com, and author of the blogs Mama's Experience Initiative and Penny Jar: A heads up on being at the tail end.
Victoria and I tend to write very different things. I mostly write fiction, she mostly writes memoir and essay, although I have written non-fiction before and her occasional fiction pieces are, in my opinion, awesome. (Still love the plant one.)
She's a stay-at-home mom, and I'm a full-time working DINK, and we both have troubles finding enough time to write. I've got more publishing credits, but she's kicking my butt in the social networking department, and while that sounds kind of competitive, it's actually really nice because we can help each other out. (For example, she's just about talked me into setting up a Twitter account. Sigh.) And of course, since we're both learning about the industry we can send each other useful articles or posts that we come across also.
But I think the best part is just being able to whine about having no idea what I'm going to do for one project, or the fact I'm going insane waiting to hear back on other projects, or whatever, and she actually gets it. And I get to try and help when she has issues or problems. Because anyone can help you celebrate. It's the folks that help you stay sane long enough to have something to celebrate that you need to hang on to.