Being a writer is hard.
We have to deal with a lot of things. Deadlines, discouragement, rejections. Blog posts need to be written, drafts edited, and emails sent. Add all that to school, work, family, and other activities, and you’ll realize how much effort it takes to keep up with the demands.
Sadly, a lot of people think that their struggles aren’t for other people to bear, so they bottle them up and try to carry them alone. “i need to do this alone,” they think. “real authors work alone and i can too!!!”
News flash: everyone needs supporting friends, especially writers. We’ve got a lot on our minds that we just can’t balance by ourselves. That’s why we’re discussing 4 reasons why friends are absolutely necessary in your writing life!
friends will be there to chat
Writers really like their internet friends.
Maybe it’s because we’re not very social people, or maybe we just find it easier to talk to people who we know share our interests. Either way, we really like to have connection through a computer. And, sometimes, we simply go to our bestie Google with all our questions!*
Honestly, though. How many times have we actually talked to a friend about writing struggles?? Face-to-face, not screen-to-screen.
Every few weeks, I have to call my best friend and just rant about writing for a few hours. I ask for advice on this plot point, critique idea XYZ, and squeal over a ship. Some of my best ideas have stemmed from these conversations. Not articles. Not Google searches. People.
Don’t get me wrong. Internet friends are awesome. But there’s something different about talking to a human being face-to-face. Ideas flow faster, struggles are resolved easier.
*a secret: 84.329% of the time, we end up on either a) pinterest, b) youtube, or c) the wikipedia page for disney channel original movies.
friends will encourage you in what you love
I don’t want to admit how many times I stare at a WIP and whisper to myself, “I can’t do this.”
Writers get discouraged. Creatives get discouraged! We start with the goal in mind, but not in sight. Midway through, we get discouraged, wondering how much further we have to go. That’s why we often begin projects that we never finish. For all we know, the end could be close, but we’re too discouraged to keep walking the path.
What we need are friends who will help us stay on track. We need cheerleaders who will encourage us to keep dreaming and find that end. Not only do we need to be encouraged when we’re down, though! Friends should be able to celebrate our victories, too! Besides, it’s much more fun to see the small victories through with friends.
friends will push you to improve
While friends will always be there to encourage you, they’ll also be there to push you. They’re your cheerleaders, but also your coaches. You know, the stereotypical coach everyone hates who screams at you to finish your mile faster, run farther, jump higher.*
There are going to be times you don’t want a push. You want to go at your own pace, and your pride is damaged by their attempt at driving you forward. “oh my gosh, he’s asking about my writing progress AGAIN. he’s not the expert, but he’s telling me to keep writing! i’ve done enough today anyway” This will probably happen!! Even I feel like that sometimes!
But you and I both have to remember, when it feels like our friends are trying to force us to better standards, they really do mean the best. They love you. They want to see you improve and be even more passionate about your writing!
*i am currently envisioning a screeching coach hedge from heroes of olympus — “PUT SOME CLOTHES ON!!”
other awesome posts about friends/writing:
- Why You Need A Writing Community (And How To Find One!)
- How To Be The Best Alpha/Beta Reader Ever™ And Give Priceless Feedback
- 8 Writer & Bookworm Stereotypes (That May Or May Not Be True I’m Not Sure??)
friends will help you up when you fall
Does anybody here get discouraged? *raises hand*
Anyone have bad days? *raises other hand*
Anybody want to throw that stinkin’ draft into the shredder because you can’t find a good middle???? *jumps up and down, waving hands wildly*
Look, we all have awful writing days, every one of us. Nobody’s perfect, and nobody ever has been. There’s no shame in not completing a goal, failing a test, or getting a rejection because everybody misses the mark.
It gets bad when you begin to bottle up hate for yourself in your writing as a consequence of your ‘failed’ goals or rejections. It is not good — I repeat, NOT GOOD — to beat yourself up over nothing!!
At least in my experience, confessing that I didn’t finish something to one of my friends is much, much better than feeling angry at myself or giving up. Friends aren’t going to look down on you. They’re going to encourage you!!
Now you know 4 ways how friends can support your writing. But… how on earth do you even approach someone with your writing? What do you say? What if you have social anxiety?? And what if they don’t support you??? Next week, we’re talking about just that!
That being said, tell me about your writing friends! Do you have writerly friends, or friends who support your writing endeavors? What about family? Who’s the person who you’re most comfortable sharing writing with?