I recently taught at a writer’s conference. I love the friendships I’ve developed over the years at conferences and other places. Other writers inspire me, understand the passion and lifestyle, and share similar goals. It’s important to develop friendships with other writers and industry professionals. I cherish a mug one writer friend gave me. It says, “Choose an Author as you would a friend” for I have many author friends.
Let’s consider several benefits of friendships with writers:
* Help us over rejection and inspire us that we can get published-that happens time and again. I love the success stories, the humble moments, and the continued drive to press on that I discover in listening to writer friends.
* They provide synergy. There’s nothing like brainstorming with write friends about ideas and even marketing tips. That’s why groups such as CAN are so important. You can always form one of your own!
* We share information on what’s happening in the industry. One editor friend at the conference wanted to see quite a few of my proposals this year. I wrote for her when she edited Sunday school take home papers and now she’s doing more in books. Over time friends have clued me in to opportunities for articles and who might be open to book proposals.
* One of the best aspects of the friendships are hugs and prayers. This year with my husband’s cancer battle (even one hospitalization) the prayers and love of friends is worth more than any contract.
* Iron sharpens iron and friends in a critique group can be honest and open to help a writer hone the craft and produce the best possible manuscripts. So much of my work became more polished because ofwriter friends.
* Friends share their stories and help us see the big picture of what God has been doing. It’s amazing to wacth writers grow, see how God has used their lives, and applaud friends as they move forward in their writing journeys.
* Writer friends can become partners. Last year I had a book released that I co-authored with my 91 year old friend I mety at a conference (102 Wiggly Bible Rhymes and Rhytms). That’s fun. This year I’ve joined with a few other tween writers to start a blog for tweens. That’ a great way to coop marketing. I’m also co-authoring with a CAN member who is the same age as one of my daughters and she is delightful!
But, we also have to check our emotions and attitudes. We can become jealous when another writer seems to do better-more sales, more contracts, more media or speaking opportunities. That’s when we need to pray and ask God to help us find contentment and refocus on doing what He calls us to do and trust his plans for us.
And, watching friends succeed can bring on depression if we start to compare our results with the success we observe. Again, we must take off the world’s filter and ask God to guide us and show us that we are exactly where he wants us to be.
So, check your emotions and attitudes, and then get together in person or online with writer friends. Thank the Lord for those friends!