Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Little Help From my Friends


I've always been a bit of a social butterfly. Ever since high school, being with friends has been a priority in my life. These days my time is pulled in many directions and I find I have distinct groups of friendships that sometimes overlap, a little like Venn diagrams!

Some of my closest and longest standing relationships stem from people I met through my kids many years ago, moms whose children went to school with mine. Others are from college and a few (including my husband) I met at a business I bought shortly after college.

The biggest group, by far, is the people I've met through my writing endeavors. Some of the ladies in my RWA chapter, my critique partner, even other writers I've met online have become great, supportive friends. The community of writers as a whole is an awesome asset to any writer. (And I include some editors and agents in this category.)

And although you'd think there would be lots of competition and jealousy, there's really very little. Maybe that's because no two authors create the exact same product. No two voices are identical, no two stories indistinguishable.

I remember one of my first discussions about writing when I'd barely finished my very first chapter. I was speaking to a published author who had graciously offered to read my work. The writing was awful, I knew nothing. Instead of giving me the litany of everything I'd done wrong, she gave me one important tip - she explained what point of view was. Then she complimented my descriptions. That was really sweet of her. She was my very first writing friend and she even introduced me to RWA.

What about you? Whatever you do for a living, was there any act of friendship that made a big difference in your career or your life?


16 comments:

Belle Sloane said...

I agree 100%. Writers (women writer especially) in my experience have been hugely supportive, encouraging, and giving in their efforts to help others along. Wonderful post, Wynter. :-)

Belle
@}--{-------

Wynter Daniels said...

Thanks, Belle. I agree about women but I will add that I sat next to Barry Eisler at the RT book signing two years ago and when he wasn't having his picture taken with swooning fans, he was really helpful in giving me tips to further my career.

MaureenAMiller said...

Oh my goodness. I remember when I first started writing and everyone would say to me, "Watch out for the POV. Watch out for the POV."

I had no idea what a POV was!!!! Were they telling me that by becoming a writer I was going into POVerty? :)

But yes, I have found my peers to be the best people to lean on. They know the battles I go through every day, because they're going through them as well.

Wynter Daniels said...

LOL! Isn't that the truth about POVerty? Clever girl!

J.K. Coi said...

The writing community is very supportive and I've never met a group of people so willing to give of their time and experience to others!

Wynter Daniels said...

What great company we keep!

Chudney Thomas said...

When I first walked into my local meeting I knew I was at home. Of course I walked into the librarian and bookseller tea, but you didn't throw me out. I was extremely grateful. :)

Wynter Daniels said...

Maybe we thought you were a librarian or bookseller;-) JK! I'm so glad you did walk in.

Terry Odell said...

POV was my first writing lesson as well. And maybe it's because of my first mentor explaining the conventions to me that I'm so sensitive to it. But too many POV characters, shaky POV, and head hopping will pull me right out of a story.

Terry
Terry's Place
Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

Wynter Daniels said...

I definitely notice a lot of writer rules now that I never would have had I not become a writer.

KC Burn said...

I gotta say it was the writers group here in Florida that made the biggest difference in my writing career! Super supportive, and it's always great to be able to talk to someone who understands the need to write! :)

Wynter Daniels said...

For me too, KC. I credit the chapter as the reason I was first published.

Candace Colt said...

I'm thrilled to be part of RWA and CFRWA especially. I've danced around the writing scene for...umm....a long time, okay!? I didn't have the focus that I have now & it's because of the "tribe" I now have. Rocky St. Claire and Gayle Wilson motivated me to consider romance at a writers' conference over 2 years ago. They were so encouraging, smart, full of useful info, oh and successful. They kept talking about this RWA thing. Finally, it clicked. PS, Fantastic blog site.

Wynter Daniels said...

It's a great community. I'm so glad you decided to become a part of it!

Katie Reus said...

I totally agree! A handful of the writers I've met and become friends with in the last couple years have made such a huge difference in my life (and sanity) when other people just don't get the struggles we go through. I'm convinced (romance) writers are some of the nicest people in the world.

Wynter Daniels said...

Well said, Katie.

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