Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Before I was tapped to be part of this group (o fortuitous unearned tap), I thought I had all the friends I needed. I'd reached saturation. I couldn't give the friends I already had the time and energy they deserved, and I already had fabulous friends in many of the arts. Why would I want more?

Back then, I wrote in a vacuum. I wrote alone and didn't talk to anyone about what I was working on. I read writing blogs voraciously, and I thought that I could get everything I needed from them.

And yes, from the internet I learned how to write an effective query letter. I learned how to find an agent. I learned that I needed to write every day to make reliable forward progress (something I hadn't even learned in grad school).

But from the Pens, I learned how to live as a writer. From them, I learned that I wasn't alone in my blatant eavesdropping habits. I wasn't the only person who jotted notes on the clothing of people on BART. I wasn't alone in being unable to sleep when in the first throes of a fresh, perfect, sparkling idea. It was okay to be obsessed, over-the-top in love with your new crush, your work.

I learned that true writer friends will help you figure out where and how to bury the body. They'll tell you when you have toothpaste on your shirt and when your character motivation is unrealistic. And most importantly, I learned that writer friends laugh and laugh and laugh and then laugh some more. The internet is good at transmitting information, but lousy at hugging. Hugs are plentiful with writer friends. Love is real, and strong.

Thank you, ladies. I am so lucky.


Juliet Blackwell said...

Oh! *Hugs*!!! I love this, because I love this feeling. It really is extraordinary to have a group of writer friends, when one is a writer...simply extraordinary.
Thank you for being my writer friend!!!

Sophie Littlefield said...

yes yes ! i cannot imagine writing in a vacuum. so glad to share your sunshine

Jeri Hoag said...

I'm hoping to acquire writer friends. I would love to discuss this journery I'm having. I actually had two agents inquiry about my book. Even though I didn't get selected it was nice to be nominated like the Oscars. You gave me hope. Can't wait for the next Cypress Hollow too!
Jeri Hoag

Rachael Herron said...

@Jeri, best of luck to you! That's so exciting! I met my writers at my local RWA meeting, best thing I ever went to. I'd highly recommend it....

Gigi Pandian said...

When I was tapped (my own unearned tap), at the time I had only one local writer friend who I considered a good friend. I didn't realize was I was missing. Everything clicked so perfectly.

And Jeri, even if it feels out of your comfort zone, try out different events where writers will be -- and I'm talking about either online or offline groups. You won't click with everyone, but you'll find the amazing ones you never knew how you lived without.

L.G.C. Smith said...

Rachael, you give the best hugs EVER. But I love you for a lot more than that. And all the other Pens, as well. That said, the hugs are pretty wonderful.

Jeri, congrats!!! Depending on where you live, you'll find writer friends in different organizations. If it's at all possible, I recommend attending an RWA national conference. People are so open and if you make the effort to talk to a few of them, you'll find life-long friends. Know who was the first person I made a real connection with at my local RWA chapter meeting? Barbara Freethy. We were both very, very young (teenagers, I swear) and had recently sold our first books, and we didn't know anyone at all. We're still friends.

Goutam Kumar said...
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