Be A Writer With Friends

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As a writer, it's easy to get sucked into the mundane world of dirty sweatpants, stale coffee and cold pizza. I mean, who really needs to see us while we're writing, right?

While that may work for a time, pretty soon we become hermits, hoarding our words, shunning the light and developing a Smeagol-like complexion. Gross.

photo credit: JD Hancock via photopin cc

photo credit: JD Hancock via photopin cc

You're Not Alone

It easy to lose ourselves in writing. I did. It was so easy. I had my daily routine and the only people I saw outside of my imaginary characters were my wife and kids. Lame-O.

Doing that only works for the short-term. As humans we need human interaction. We crave it even thought we might not know it.

Do you feel alone, like the world's caving in? Maybe it's time to step out and make a new friend.

Be A Writer Who Makes Writer Friends

You may live a busy life juggling a full-time job and your part-time writing.

You may be a full-time Writer-Dad like me.

You may not be the most outgoing person of your generation.

It's okay. You know why? There are others who share your passion, who get it when you say that you've lost your muse or can't remember whether to use a comma or semi-colon.

And who would those people be?

Writers.

Be A Writer Who Peeks Out And Says Hi

There are plenty of writers open to new friendships. It just takes making a little effort to reach out and say hello.

Luckily we've got technology on our side. The vast majority of even the most reclusive writers have email, social media accounts and websites.

Find like-minded writers who you admire and send them an email or submit a message through their Contact Me page. They won't all respond, but that's cool. Don't take it personally.

Need help with your opening? Here's a few you could use:

– Thank you for the badass novel.

– Wow! Your work is amazing.

– You are awesome. How did you do it?

– Hello.

It's Fun. I Promise.

I've had the good fortune to interact with all kinds of amazing writers, mostly via the intrawebs. The handful who come to mind includes Joe Bunting, Jeff Goins, Steven Konkoly and Sean Platt.

In fact, later this month I'm meeting Robert J. Crane for a beer or three, and it all started because I REALLY like what's he's doing with indie publishing and decided to say thanks for a killer blog post he wrote for fellow indie writers.

My friends have helped me with everything from revamping my platform to becoming a contributor on The Write Practice. I would not be where I am now as a writer had I not stepped out of my cave.

Finally, what do all these relationships have in common? Me, and the fact that they're all nice dudes who want the best for fellow writers.

Yes, nice writers do exist 🙂

So make it your goal this month to reach out to at least one writer you admire and say hi, or thanks or Yo. You never know where it might lead.

How would your world change if you had more writer friends?

 

PRACTICE

For the next fifteen minutes, write about why you think other writers make the best of friends.

Post your practice in the comments section below and please provide positive feedback for your peers.

Carlos is author of the Corps Justice novels. Get the box set of Books 1-3 for FREE HERE.

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44 Comments

  1. Shababa

    Hi! Wattpad is the best place for this! 🙂

    Reply
    • Carlos Cooper

      S-
      I really like Wattpad but have only dabbled with it. Would love to know how you’re using it to connect with other writers!

      CGC

      Reply
      • Shababa

        If I read any good book there, I message the author how her (mostly all girls there) book is amazing or ask where she got the inspiration from. This way I’ve gained SO many awesome writer friends! Plus I’m a teen and there are MANY teen writers there. It’s a great help too if you have writer’s block 🙂

        Reply
  2. eva rose

    Thanks for the reminder, Carlos! Recently I met a fellow writer, Tom Poland, author of many fine books and short stories (check his web site!). I loved his efforts and told him so. Last month he totally surprised me by recommending a short story I wrote in a book called “A Sense of the Midlands”. His recommendation was published in a digital magazine I now subscribe to. So, Tom, here’s a recommendation for you to all those who love the South: check out “Reflections of South Carolina, Volume II” a new book by Tom Poland and Robert Clark with terrific photos and text describing one of my favorite states.

    Reply
    • Carlos Cooper

      Eva,
      That is really cool. You never know what can happen until you start giving without the slightest selfish thought of what you might get back other than making a friend.

      Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
    • Dana

      That’s a great example of pay it forward. You never know when someone you made friends with might promote your work. Or, after you’ve made it big, what new writer you might choose to promote.

      Reply
  3. Shari

    Wow, did I need this today, Carlos, as I sit here really needing a shower and not venturing out into public since Tuesday. I can not believe how much my online writer friends encourage and inspire me. Just know that they will take time to read my writing is what makes me keep writing. Knowing they are going through the same issues I have make me feel so not alone. Thank you for the reminder in appreciating these friends.

    Reply
    • Carlos Cooper

      It’s easy to forget 🙂
      Glad it helped, Shari.
      Happy Writing!

      Reply
  4. Joy

    Ever since I’ve gotten serious about writing, it seems like I meet fellow writers all the time. It’s so cool. (There are like a zillion of us nowadays.) Plus, I discovered a writers’ group at my local library. That’s been an excellent way to connect with other writers, get advice, get inspired, and also get over some of my fear of reading my writing in front of others. (Some of the fear–not all of it yet.)

    I particularly like it when writers are down-to-earth and admit that they struggle sometimes too. It’s encouraging, and it’s just plain honest. Three cheers for nice writers!

    Reply
    • Carlos Cooper

      To nice writers!
      Thanks for sharing, Joy. Congrats!

      Reply
  5. Anthony Metivier

    It’s great when the writers you know are also professional photographers …

    But the people I like to chat with the most are my readers. I’ve made some very good friends with some of them.

    Reply
    • Carlos Cooper

      There wouldn’t be writers without readers 🙂
      Thanks for sharing, Anthony.

      Reply
  6. 709writer

    Here’s my practice:

    A soft breeze touched Julia’s hair. She climbed to the top of a crashed car and surveyed the city.
    Lampposts lay across the width of the street, their lights blown out by explosions. Buildings looked half-eaten. Windows were empty. The glass was sprinkled on the ground, mingling with the dead soldiers’ blood.
    Tears filled her eyes. The soldier’s bodies were gone. They hadn’t even received a proper burial. She guessed the black monsters had eaten them. Just the thought made her go clammy.
    A sound behind her made her start. She spun around.
    She breathed a sigh when she saw it was only a piece of brick tumbling down from a broken building. A thought sprang into her mind. Maybe there was someone over there, trapped in the rubble and needing her help.
    As she moved across the deserted road, she called out, “Is someone there?” Her voice echoed for a moment before it was swallowed in silence.
    She heard movement. Something scraping over the ground behind a towering wall of bricks, the only thing that remained of the apartment building.
    She stopped a few yards from the wall. “Hello?”
    Still no answer.
    Sweat beaded her forehead. Her gut told her this wasn’t a good idea. But someone could really be in trouble.
    Hands shaking, she moved closer and crept around the edge of the wall.

    What lay on the other side made her stomach drop.

    I would love critique on this!

    Reply
    • eva rose

      Good tension building in a setting many of us only read about in the news. Curious about the “black monsters”? Your story could go in many directions. Good luck and maybe you’ll post again with the ending?

      Reply
      • 709writer

        Thank you and yeah I’ll try to post the next part of it. : )

        Reply
    • Writer75

      I loved this and was completely absorbed up until “the soldier’s bodies were gone” because the mention of the dead soldiers’ blood made me think their bodies were there. Before “the soldier’s bodies were gone” paragraph the prose is beautiful and painted a vivid picture in my mind. During that paragraph, however, descriptions suddenly become vague- I’d love to know more about these black monsters, and have more descriptive terms like the beginning of your practice.
      I think you have great descriptive ability. I’d recommend working on sentence flow, and if you can, make everything more like those first two outstanding paragraphs. Just my opinion. Good job!

      Reply
      • 709writer

        Aww, thank you! I appreciate your critique.

        Reply
    • TheCody

      I like this. You give a great sense of tension and conflict in just a few short paragraphs. That’s hard to do, and essential for a good scene! You also have some really nice descriptions (the buildings being half-eaten tells so much with so few words…awesome). Here are a couple constructive criticisms (take them with a grain of salt, LOL):

      1. The phrases “made her go clammy” and “made her start” feel passive. They could be much more active. This is bad, but a quick example: “A dull crash thudded behind her. She screamed and spun around, clutching at her chest. A chunk of brick toppled off a broken building. She heaved in relief, but kept hold of her filthy shirt as she scanned the rubble.”

      2. Instead of saying “A thought sprang into her mind,” you could just put the thought itself in italics. Then you wouldn’t need this line. So it could be, “…a piece of brick tumbling down from a broken building. (italics)Shit shit shit, is someone trapped in there?(italics)” Please excuse the cursing, LOL.

      Reply
      • 709writer

        Hey, thanks for your critique!

        Reply
  7. 709writer

    That part about “becoming a hermit” really describes me when I write. A lot of times I go into my room, shut the door, and will stay in there and write for a long time. Not only do I love writing and expressing myself, but I can escape when I write. If I’ve had a trying day, writing helps me focus on something else, if only for a little while.

    But, chances are, if I hermitize myself too much, I won’t grow, because we do need human interaction. Thank goodness for my family and friends!

    Reply
  8. Writer75

    Here’s my practice! Please share your critiques. 🙂

    Why do other writers make the best of friends for writers themselves?

    It’s simple. We’re fighting the same battle to find inspiration and stay motivated to express ourselves, our thoughts and our muses, and conquer the voices that say “You’re wasting time” and “You’re not good enough”.

    Conquer? Maybe I should say “hold at bay for just one moment more”, while we crank out another sentence of rebellion. The voices never stop whispering. Oh, for a moment, yes- but they always return. Every sentence we write is a triumph against the voices in our head and occasionally outside our head that whisper and sometimes roar, “Stop.” We are warriors. The enemy is within us more than it is without. So many writers give in to the pressure. So many of us lose hope.

    A writer is simply one who writes. What can a writer do to maintain his title, to uplift and empower himself to continue the fight against the easy path of inaction? Well, what does anyone do who wants to see a battle won, a tide turned? Think about this a moment.

    You join forces.

    Find others who feel the way you do, who will fight alongside you, stand by you, uplift you. Perhaps when the roles reverse and you find yourself uplifting another writer, one step removed from the process, you will gain perspective that helps you view your own writing in a positive light. I personally have a vague sense that I am too tough on my own writing, focusing on the bad but not the good, as I am emotionally unremoved from the work. But bring in your writer friends for a fresh perspective and you’ll have a much more accurate view of your brainchild.

    If you are a writer, you are a warrior, and warriors cannot fight alone. Not for long at least. You can try writing alone if you wish- I concede that the act of writing itself is indeed a solitary process- but the time will come when you need others to support you and help you bring your seed of thought to fruition. Non-writer friends can surely be great help, but there’s nothing like a writer friend, a compatriot who understands your struggles like no one else, standing by your side to share your woes and joys, and for you to share theirs. Make writer friends.

    Reply
    • Carlos Cooper

      Awesome. Too many quotes to list so I’ll say this is my favorite: “We are warriors. The enemy is within us more than it is without. So many
      writers give in to the pressure. So many of us lose hope.”

      True. True. True.

      One more: “If you are a writer, you are a warrior, and warriors cannot fight alone.”

      Dang right!

      Thank you so much for sharing. Now turn that into your own blog post 🙂

      Reply
      • Writer75

        Wow, thank you. I’ll have to start a blog!

        Reply
    • Joy

      Wow!!! This is your practice? It sounds more like an incredible blog post! Keep fighting! 🙂

      Reply
      • Writer75

        Thanks so much! 🙂

        Reply
    • Dana

      Beautifully stated. I agree that we struggle for every word, and sometimes the monsters in our head are more ferocious than the ones at our door.

      Reply
  9. George McNeese

    Thank you for reminding us that we are not alone. I think having other writer friends is good because we all can relate. Even though we have different writing processes and write for different audiences, we have the same struggles. Having a writer friend can be encouraging. Writer friends can spur each other to keep going when others might discourage us.

    Reply
    • Dana

      I agree. There are problems writers face that others won’t be able to understand. Instead of keeping it all bottled up so that you don’t have to try and explain the unexplainable, it is best to find someone who’s like minded to share it with.

      Reply
      • George McNeese

        Agreed. Writing can be a lonely endeavor, and there are issues where even your closest friends will not be able to understand. Having friends who are writers will ease the pain and can be a source of encouragement.

        Reply
  10. Jevon Knights

    I love meeting other writers, especially if they’re fantasy writers like me. Too bad I can’t find any around here. It would be great to meet up with a like-minded writer for a beer or 2 and share characters and worlds.

    Oh well, there’s always the internet.

    Reply
    • Carlos Cooper

      It’s been hard for me to find writers on the street level just because I don’t have the time. Using the internet lets me use my time wisely. Think of it almost like a dating site, pick and choose who you like and have the opportunity to reach out.

      Thanks for your thoughts, Jevon!

      Reply
  11. Hayley

    Thank you for this prompt! I often write my writing response but then keep it to myself. This has encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone of everyday mundane life and chat to other writers, as well as post my own writing!

    Reply
    • Carlos Cooper

      Just do it!
      Thanks for sharing, Hayley 🙂

      Reply
  12. Cara Enete

    There are more then a few benefits, I bet. I’m new to the writing scene – unless you could college gen ed lit requirements, which I certainly don’t – so I definitely know the feeling of being lost with no clue how to find support, let along start a career. Just having somebody you can talk to who understands the good and bad about the same lifestyle is incredible. On a professional level, of course, they can help guide you, but I imagine the friendship alone would be the most fun. I love friendly discussions, so talking about new books and critiquing writing would take up hours of time that I couldn’t get anywhere else.

    I love the goal this month to actively seek writers and talk to them; encouragement is great, but when it’s from somebody who really understands, it’s even better.

    I’m looking forward to delving deeper into this incredible world of writers. So far I think you all are awesome!

    Reply
    • Carlos Cooper

      We try 🙂
      Welcome to the family, Cara!

      Reply
  13. carolinemellor2014

    Cool post! Worth remembering in what can be an isolating profession.

    Reply
  14. Shawn Andrews

    My day job is being a chiropractor. (I just picked up blogging, and I love it!) This is a profession where we tend to isolate ourselves too. I am married to a chiropractor so we “talk shop” a lot. But I still need to reach out to other chiropractors. By reaching out to fellow colleagues we can lift each other up like somebody who doesn’t have the same calling simply can’t. Thanks for this great reminder.

    Reply
    • Carlos Cooper

      Glad you liked it, Shawn. Happy adjusting 🙂

      Reply
  15. Dana

    Why writers?

    For someone like me, who’s never been published, making
    friends with writers is the best way to go. It is the idea of if you’re the
    smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room. That’s how I feel about
    making friends with published writers.

    If I only hang out or socialize with people who are armatures
    like me, or who’ve never written a word, then I’ll never be pushed to grow. There’s
    also the fact that those who’ve been published have slain the beast. They know
    how sharp the claws, and which way the tail swishes. If you can make a friend
    of such a Knight, maybe you can learn too.

    That’s my hope at least. Now I have to get over my own
    shyness and worry over rejection to reach out and touch someone. I’ve taken the
    first step by reviving my Twitter (https://twitter.com/00Kit00)
    and following some of my favorite writers. I’m getting into the swing of
    creating tweets, now I need to sing a little song of greeting to one of the
    writers on my list.

    Wish me luck!

    Reply
  16. John Baker

    Along with my ten thousand words a week I’m also trying to meet new friends here at the marina! Yes, I agree it’s quite easy to just get sucked into my little shelter with my 5 pillows, and my slinky, and just write, and write, and write. Then I go outside to find that it’s such a beautiful day here in South Florida, and I know that I should go out more often!

    Reply
  17. Sara

    Here is my practice , please tell my your opinion

    When you feel lost and left in the outside looking in and slowly realize the person that was your one and only is no longer there for you , you sit alone in the dark and you want to roll over back to sleep sinking in your bed. Your brain says you will get over it, but your heart says that person is non-replaceable. it is not about getting over it , it is about losing a piece of yourself , a part of you will never get back . I am setting again a lone, struggling with my tears/thoughts. I remembered some moments where a little smile reaches my heart, the pain did not go away but suddenly I realized that the word is not necessarily a dark place and everyone deep in his soul knows that there is a light at the end of the

    Reply

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