Monday, January 14, 2013

Finding Writing Friends

When I first started out writing, it was a primarily solitary pursuit.  I mean, I had just moved to a tiny town on the eastern edge of Colorado.  There aren't writers' groups here.  Heck, I'm surprised when I find out some of these people like to read.  The biggest topic of conversation is the weather and how much moisture we have or haven't gotten.

About four months into being here, I started to use my internet access for something more than just playing online poker.  I joined an online writer group.  Boy was that ever a flop.  Of course, I had no idea what I was doing.  I did not choose wisely.  Those people seemed nice at first, but after a while their true colors showed.  They were just spiders waiting for unsuspecting newbies to fall into their web.  Bleh.

So I gave up and crawled back into my writing cave.  I didn't need those people.  Like I - and many others - have said 'writing is a solitary pursuit'.  Fine.  I could deal with that.

Except I was kinda lonely.  I love my family and they're very supportive, but they just don't get this whole writing thing.

So I tried again.

This time I did research.  I found a widely popular forum site where the majority of the people seemed sane.  I lurked around until I could see who the major players were and who to stay away from.  Then I dipped my toe in the pond.  For the most part, the people were nice.  And they were helpful.  Then something happened that pissed me off and I walked away.

At this point, I knew there were still good people out there.  Finding them was the issue.  That's when I started my first blog.  I had hoped some of the friends from that forum would follow me.  They didn't.  In the end, though, that was okay, because I found new friends.  They visited my blog and I visited theirs.  I'd finally found a neighborhood where I could be comfortable.

Eventually, my blog led to a different blog that was more ME, and another blog just for my writing.  I branched out and did some things that weren't just for myself - but also for other writers like me.  I found friends - following some people I met on other blogs and some people finding me the same way.

I still don't have a ton of writing friends - and none that I've actually met in person - but the ones I do have are golden.  And despite doing things a slightly different way than other writers, I have a network of support amongst writers all over the continent.

How have you found friends online?  Do you have any writing friends in real life or are you like me and stick strictly to the electronic?


Jennifer Colgan and Bernadette Gardner said...

Finding writing friends is not easy. I've never been a club joiner so writing has been very isolating for me. When I first started writing for publication, I joined a small online forum and found a couple of great people - I was lucky - but never met any of them in person. I joined Romance Divas where I met lots of great people...and I've met maybe two of them in person. My closest writing friend is JB and we met at a convention.

Janet said...

I had a great group of writer friends back on The Prairies (I joined when I started really thinking about publishing). They were fabulous - and I'm still in touch (now online) with many of them since moving. I have, yet, to find a similar group, so I miss them terribly.

But I have found some awesome friends online - and through blogging (like you, B.E.). Hopefully, one day, I'll be able to meet them in person!

B.E. Sanderson said...

Yeah, Jennifer, I've never been much of a joiner either. Maybe that's why blogging appeals to me more. It's just me talking to myself, and finding friends is an added benefit. =o) JB is one of my closest writing friends, too. Janet ^ is another. I've never met them or any other writer in person, though.

I've heard you talk about your Prairie friends, Janet. They sound like a great bunch. I hope in some way your online friends are filling the gap. Here's hoping someday we find a way to meet in real life. =o)

JB Lynn said...

This is a great post. Really got me thinking.

I've been a part of in-person writer's groups and they can be just as destructive as the one you described. :-(

Like Jennifer said, we met at a convention. (We should go again, roomie!!)

I've met a couple of writers at conventions over the year. It might be worth checking one out, B.E. -- you never know who you'll meet.

And I've made a point of meeting a couple of writers face-to-face I'd originally met online, but that's because I live close enough to NYC to make it work.

Marsha Sigman said...

I found quite a few great writing friends online through my blog and their's. It's a great way to connect.

My two closest writing friends I haven't met yet because I live in Texas and they live in Canada and Colorado. I like to think we make a triangle of awesome...or maybe doom. Whatever.

B.E. Sanderson said...

I do dream of going to a writing conference someday, JB. Maybe we can meet at one - you know, when life settles down and stuff. If I lived close to anything it would probably be easier, though. ;o)

LOL about your triangle of Awesome, Marsha. (And sometimes it's the doom that makes it awesome, if that makes any sense.) I hope you do get to meet your friends someday - regardless. =o)

Silver James said...

I'm slow getting around to all my "water cooler" stops this morning. That's what I consider the blogs I follow to be--a chance to gather around the virtual water cooler to visit with friends and talk about life, books, writing--you know, the important stuff!

Even though I've met a few on-line friends face-to-face, I still feel very close to the ones I haven't and know if/when we meet in person things will

Janet's Prairie folks were/are awesome. I miss the Prairie Chicks and their blog. I met some great friends there.

I love when networking with friends leads to new friends... *tips baseball cap to JB*

Nancy Thompson said...

Oh Yes, all my best friends now are writers I met online. Jenny Hillier is one. I followed her blog, entered to win CREEP, then discovered we lived near each other. We became fast friends. Still are even though she moved from Seattle back to Toronto. And she's only one of many. My two best friends are thriller writer chicks, and now we're all published! It's been a great journey to share with my writer friends!

B.E. Sanderson said...

Heh, that's okay, Silver. I'm a little slow getting back around to reply to comments. ;o) I love when networking leads to new friends, too.

I think it's great you got to meet and know Jennifer personally, Nancy. She's an awesome person. Congratulations to you and all your friends on getting published! =o)

Natalie Murphy said...

I have a few good writer friends. I have lots of acquaintances, but only a few that I share personal information with. I even sent some Christmas cards ;)

Aisyah Putri Setiawan said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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