Friday, July 6, 2012

The Writer Will Take Your Questions Now (#188) -- Writers and Relationships

How important to you are your relationships with other writers?

Writing is a solitary life. You become best friends with your computer (or typewriter for you old-school purists) more than with any person you know, or so it seems to me. And far too often, it's those human relationships that intrude rather than add to your writing life, pulling your focus and attention away from the work you're trying to finish.

However, that said, my relationships with other writers are very important to me. They've become some of my strongest friendships and working relationships. But, if you'll allow me a caveat, what I look for and get out of a relationship with a fellow writer is a little different and more special than what I look for and get out of my "regular" relationships.

How so? Well, what I get out of a good relationship with a writer is:

1. Friendship (nothing new here, but it needs to be stated that we're friends first and all the rest of this stuff is only a secondary layer).

2. Networking (by knowing someone well, you also know his or her friends).

3. Editorial sharing (friends don't let friends write crap).

4. A kick in the pants (my friends won't let me wallow in being unproductive for long).

Bear in mind, of course, that this relationship is a two-way street, based on give and take, freely offered and not expected as some sort of "friendship contract." In the best relationships, all this occurs organically and in time and is never forced.