Friendship

To anyone else we might have looked like two old friends drinking coffee and catching up on the latest gossip. Our conversation was intense. We settled right into the purpose of our meeting, to talk about writing and publishing, and everything in between. We swapped stories, shared a few laughs, spoke of our personal triumphant and the many disappointments we’ve encountered along the way. The time flew by. We parted, promising we’d get together again.

I often imagine that I’d soon bore my non-writing friends to tears if I spent too much time talking about publishing and writing, and for good reason. For many of them they love the fact that I’ve been published, in fact they couldn’t be more supportive, but to them it’s a whole other world and a strange one at that. It’s probably difficult for those who don’t write to understand why writers put themselves through the long torturous wait times, the countless hours spent in solitude working at their craft, and the numerous rejections that come along the way. In what other area of our lives would be take such a beating, such outright rejection, and keep on going?

If I went off to work each day to be told repeatedly by my boss that I wasn’t doing my job quite right, or that I was actually doing everything right but it wasn’t going to make an ounce of difference at the end of the day, I would probably go off in search of another job. And yet we writers swallow it all and keep on going, the serious ones that is. Our need to be published, to feel some validation for our work, is a strong one. And it needs to be strong or else we’d fall at the wayside and turn our backs on our dreams. Not everyone who writes is seeking publication. Some people write for their own enjoyment and have no desire to have others read their words and this in no way demeans what they do. But for the rest of us hopefuls we wait and wait for those glorious letters of acceptance that sends our spirits soaring to the cosmos. Someone thinks our work is worthy of publication. Oh happy day!

Yesterday I spent the afternoon deep in conversation with a fellow author. It was great to share stories with someone who is taking the same journey. Were it not for the fact that we are both writers, I’m sure our paths might never have crossed. Our backgrounds are totally different in almost every way imaginable, our writing styles just as different.

I walked away with the knowing that it’s not necessary to have many things in common with someone to enjoy their company, and bonds can be formed between those who share the same passion no matter what that passion might be.

Most of my friendships have been formed through the years with people who do not share my passion for writing. Many of my friends are not even avid readers, and I’m totally fine with that. These friendships are equally important to me. Yes I am a writer but I am so much more. As we go though life we encounter many different people all with a wide variety of interests. Thankfully, we are multidimensional beings and we all help make the world an interesting place to be. We all bring to the planet our individual gifts that originate from the place where creativity and passion are born.

Today is a day for reflection as I take time to be thankful for the many different friendships in my life—- old and new, “real life” and online. You know who you are!

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16 Comments

  1. Lovely post, Laura. A few months ago, I had the joy of spending a few hours of writing talk with a friend I met online. I came away excited and inspired. But whether I can meet physically or not with my writer friends, I am thrilled to know them and have this camaraderie.

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    • Thanks, Linda. I agree with you about the importance of having writer friends even if we never get to meet. 🙂 As writers, we all know the challenges that are out there, Who better to share our victories and disappointments with than others who know what we’re going through?

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  2. I enjoyed your post, Laura and could fully relate with the highs and lows of the writing life. Only our writing friends fully understand what we go through.

    It’s good to connect with others no matter what our interests and I feel blessed to have many friends online and off from the casual “Hi, how are you?” kind to the ones who are there for you when the going gets tough.

    I do find I have a special connection with writers in particular and am grateful for the Internet that allows me to meet writers like Laura whom I wouldn’t have met otherwise.

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    • Thanks for dropping by my “bog”, Cathy..:) And thanks for leaving a comment.

      The internet is a truly wonderful thing that allows so many of us to get to know one another.I agree it’s been a nice way to meet do many writers.

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  3. “If I went off to work each day to be told repeatedly by my boss that I wasn’t doing my job quite right….”

    I would tell him to see if he could find someone that could do it better.

    Maybe it’s because I get no respite during the day – Once away from the “crowd” I typically avoid people – conversation & events. The topic of writing is absolutely taboo in any environment beyond blogs. (No one would believe I write for kids anyway.) All of that said – it’s not that I’m impolite or unfriendly – just quiet, guarded & often exhausted.

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    • So, you’re saying that many of your acquaintances have no idea that you’re a writer, Dave? It sounds suspiciously as though you are still in the closet on that one.

      For a very long time I too was “guarded,” but since the book came out many of the people who didn’t know I was a writer all these years found out pretty quick. News travels fast in small communities.

      Since you don’t talk about writing in the real world, you must find that having a blog and connecting with other writers in that way helps you get it out of your system to some degree. I think down deep we all want to share on some level. Don’t you?

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      • For starters – I deal with a rough crowd day after day – Construction Workers & Railroaders. Nice mix. They like to see who is the toughest, meanest & most deserving of a ride to a maximum security prison. Now lemme ask ya – do ya think these clowns would respond to my bark if they knew I wrote books for kids? (My behavior & language doesn’t mirror theirs BTW.)

        It would be cool to have someone to bounce things off of once in awhile – in the YA genre, but my stuff is so geared toward boys that it’s tough to really ‘write’ about the process. (I’m also not a great rules guy.) See – I can’t even ‘splain it now! Stories that appeal to boys – minus the garbage – seem to be a rarity. I like heroic characters. Me? As usual – the square peg. Which is okay – I’ll earn my living dealing with the future inmates.

        Dave,I can see where you might not want to share your writing world with these folks. I’m not the kind of writer who worries about what’s popular either. I just write what feels natural for me to write. There are many types of readers out there and they all have different tastes. You like heroic characters, and I’m sure your readers do as well. I think it’s so wonderful that you write for boys. I believe we need more writers like you!

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  4. Jo Ann Yhard

     /  June 6, 2010

    Hi Laura,
    What a lovely post. I agree, as a writer, to needing that validation as well. While others are supportive, as you say, it is your fellow writers, those in the trenches with you, that understand. I need that time with writers, too. We are multi-faceted, but it’s essential for me to have that time dedicated when you are nothing but a writer…to feed that part of you.
    Glad you got your fix!
    Jo

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    • Thanks, JoAnn! It was very nice swapping publication stories. Every one of us has a different experience. I love hearing other writer’s stories.

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  5. As supportive as family and friends usually are, nobody quite understands what motivates us to write. I find it difficult to constantly explain what I’m doing, why I’m doing it, and where the process currently stands, so I don’t talk much about it with them. That’s why I enjoy my writing group and online associations so much. (That’s also one of the joys of attending conferences — immersing myself in a crowd of 500 like-minded people is exhilarating.) I also have a special writing friend and mentor, and a daughter who writes, so I feel very blessed.

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    • I think you’re right, Carol. Nobody quite understands what motivates a writer.

      Like you, I also have a daughter who writes and it’s nice to be able to share what I’m doing with her.

      Wow! a crowd of 500..Sounds pretty awesome.

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  6. Melanie

     /  June 7, 2010

    Where did you guys get together? Gosh I’m nosy.

    Glad you had a good time. 🙂

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  7. Judi Hiltz

     /  June 7, 2010

    I guess that I am the odd woman out. I don’t write, not even letters. I hardly ever read, unless it’s a craft book, or a new way to make something, like a new technique for a quilt. But in a way I think I can “sort of” relate to you guys because of the thrill of when you complete something and are proud of it and people tell you how well you did. It’s like we both have people who we can relate too, but other people who don’t do what we do, but they are still very supportive of us. I hope that makes sense…..Love you, Laura…..

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    • Melanie

       /  June 7, 2010

      I think it makes sense, Judi! Writing is a kind of craft, just like quilting, painting, music etc. You use blocks of fabric instead of words. You have more in common with all these writers than you might think!

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    • I guess that was the point I was making, Judi. I’m a writer and it’s wonderful to be able to talk with other writers but I have other interests as well ( and many other non-writing friends.) I wanted to use card making as an example but I knew you’d roll off your chair laughing. Just having a friend like you who knows how to make me laugh, someone who is there to help cheer me on and support my writing is all I could ask for.. Are ya feeling the love?

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