Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Isn't a grog some sort of pirate libation?

So a little over a year ago my (still fairly new) friend Sophie says to me,

"Hey, want to be on a grog?"

Not being up on my pirate drinks, I say: "'t grog sort of like mead, or honey wine? Couldn't we just have scotch?"

"No, it's a group blog. Want to join us?"

" thanks." Says I. "I'm unclear on the whole concept. I mean, I have nothing to say. And why would anyone care what I think about anything, anyway?"

"Super," says Sophie. "We've got a planning meeting set for Saturday. Bring margarita mix."

And before I knew what hit me I was traipsing around in a graveyard, where the Pens Fatales were posing for rock album cover-style photos (with the talented and eternally patient Gigi handling all technical aspects, luckily) and all the Pens were so cool and snarky and accomplished I couldn't say no.

And now a year later, I'm not sure what I would have done without them. Because, among other things, if it weren't for them I would have no friends.

Not because they're my only friends, but because they've helped me avoid alienating even the most devout buddies. Take it from me: if you want to write, long term, you need writing pals.

Imagine, if you will, how quickly the eyes of friends and family glaze over when I wax on about the unfairness of bookstore shelving placement and why copy-editors hate semi-colons. And how normal people (with commutes and day jobs they abhor) start seething when I whine about having to be creative every single day. And is there a non-writing person alive who could understand why I fantasize about those cardboard stands near the bookstore registers? (*oh*, how I want me a cardboard stand full of my books!)

My son's idea of the ideal T-shirt to wear around his mom

And this effect is only intensified by our typically solo work situation.

Here's the moral of my story: a writer without writer-friends is soon a writer without any friends at all.

Other writers have your back. Series discontinued? A long treatise on the idiocy and lack of foresight of the publishing industry. Bad review? Snarky comments about how the worst reviews are written by wannabe writers who don't have a shot at publication. Can't remember how to write? Hilarious plot development over chicken and waffles at the Merritt Bakery. Can't remember why you ever wanted--in fact, chased after-- the unending Sturm und Drang of this underpaid, overstressed profession? Gossip over single-malt scotch in an illegally smokey Oakland dive bar.

So spare your non-writing friends and family. If you want to be a writer, and someone offers you a grog, just say yes. The alcoholic kind is surprisingly good, and the group blog kind...well...if my experience counts for anything, it's priceless.



Sophie Littlefield said...

ha! I'm still proud of snagging you for our little group - that was quite a coup. We needed at least one person who knew what she was doing. yeah, I'll admit it, at first we only wanted you for your start quality and your connections and all...but who would have guessed how perfectly it all worked out?? PS Thank GOD for people to listen to me babble in smoky bars!!!

Gigi Pandian said...

I vote we make pirate grog our official drink! (Um, but can we make it with vodka instead of rum?)

Kaye George said...

I'm on two grogs and I didn't even know it until I read this! Thanks for informing me. :)

Rachael Herron said...

LOVE THIS. Yes. And I want grog. xo

Juliet Blackwell said...

Yes, let's have grog at every occasion!
And Kaye -- congrats on your grog status!

camille minichino said...

And let's not forget frantic phone calls at any hour. "I've got this guy in a corner and I need him to cross the room and kill the other guy ..."

Thanks for this topic to remind me to thank all my writer-brainstorming friends!

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