Wednesday, February 11, 2015

I get by with a little help from my friends.

There are things about a writing life that are undeniably true.

1. You sit a lot (see my post from a few weeks about about attempting to prevent my ass from expanding.)

I mean, I don't think we all sit like THIS. But you get the idea.

2. You can get easily distracted from work when your office is your kitchen counter/coffee table/top of the washer while you fold clothes on the dryer.

(This is what came up when I googled "distracted." This guy makes good choices.)

3. You are often alone.


So, it's this third one I want to focus on because, frankly, I have no solution for the first two. I don't have a treadmill desk (YET) so I still sit while I write and I don't have servants (YET) so I still do chores - lots and lots of chores - when my intention was to write all day.

But the last one?


See, here's the thing. People think that working from home sounds ah-mazing for some pretty obvious reasons.

A. You don't have to shower.

B. You don't have to get dressed.

C. You don't have to deal with other humans unless you chose to live with them and/or birthed them. 

(Unless you're housing drifters, in which case, good luck with that.)

But the truth is that working from home can be really isolating if you do it wrong. And there is a wrong way to do it.

For me, the absolute best advice:

Writer Friends. Make some. Appreciate yours. Talk to them. 

If you are looking for some good friends, I'd vouch for these guys.

And it's okay if they're virtual! DO NOT FOR ONE SECOND THINK THAT A "VIRTUAL" FRIEND ISN'T A "REAL" FRIEND! Some of my absolute closest writer friends are people I've never met in person.

Here's the thing - we live a life that's really hard to understand. Imagine saying this to a lawyer, a doctor, a psychologist, a police officer, etc.

"There are people living in my head. I just need to get them down on paper so they'll shut up."

"What? I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you over my characters."

"I can't go out tonight. I'm plotting."

"Guess what!!! I just figured out the sequencing in the shower!"

You see what I mean? We sound bat-shit crazy to the average person.

But to another writer -- not only do they understand, but they can relate. They can share their own trials and trumphs. In a word, it's a reciprocal relationship.

And we all need those.

There are dozens of virtual communities out there, but here are some I think are worth their weight in Gringotts Gold.

1. Absolute Write Forums

2. Binders of Women Writers and it's offshoots*

(*you need to have lady parts to be in this one)

3. Your "class of" group if you've got a book debuting (i.e. The Apocolypses, Lucky 13s, Class of 2k14, etc.)

And if you're looking for something more "in person"? Check out SCBWI or RWA or SFWA or any of the dozens of other reputable writing associations that are out there. They all have local or local-ish offshoots that you can be a part of.

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Go make friends! Offer them gum - that's a good convo starter.

*All Images from Google Images*


  1. Excellent advice! I don't know what I'd do without my band of pen-sisters and other writer friends. I mean, family tries to be supportive, but they don't understand the voices in my head that wake me up at 3am, tug me out of bed to my computer where I have to jot down their latest adventure or intelligent (or not) words. Many days I'm a zombie because I've been up all night plotting. Hmm, sounds like me right now.

    Love Absolute Write. Soo much information and lots of folks to talk to. I'm also a member of a gals' group through Scribophile. I'd be lost without them. Truly.

    Thank you so much for the post. I'm so happy to know I'm not alone in my aloneness. :-)

  2. My best friends are my writing friends! We met at conferences and workshops, many of us, but we live all over the country (and world) and we email and tweet and google-hangout each other all the time. They have become my bffs.

    Btw, you don't have to have lady parts to be a woman. Some of our female compatriots maybe aren't built like others, but that doesn't matter; they're still one of us :)