How to Write Full Time & Stay Sane: Make Writer Friends

How to Write Full Time and Stay Sane is a series that offers advice to full-time writers about how to stay productive and in good spirits.

I have been feeling very *this* lately:

And I *know* I’ve put that video clip in a post or two before, but it’s so appropriate for the life of a writer (when frustrated) that I can’t promise I won’t link to it again.  (It’s pretty much genius—so get over it.)

Basically, it all stemmed from a very complicated situation I was facing that was driving me insane.  Writing wise.  That’s all I’m going to say about it—sorry to be so vague, but I’ve been thinking and talking about it so much over the last few weeks, I want to put it all behind me.

This poster still hangs in my bedroom at my parents' house. Hahaha.

But, I had been trying to figure out how to move forward for a while, and just when I thought I had a decent plan in place, I realized it wasn’t going to work. *oh noes!*

And then I got sick at the start of last week was unable to do . . . well, anything that required more effort than watching back episodes of Tosh.0 or Melissa and Joey or Desperate Housewives or . . . you get the picture.

With all the plans I’ve made and ideas I have, being unable to work or figure out how to proceed made me feel not only guilty/stressed/freaked . . . but also down. 

Like Alice in Chains “Down in a Hole” down. And if you don’t know how depressing that is, here:

So I talked to my husband—and he just happens to be awesome and actually know what I’m talking about when I talk about writing and the industry and blah blah blah.  Talking about it (ad nauseum) with him did help, but I still didn’t have the answer I needed.

I just wished someone would say, “This is the answer,” but I knew my problem didn’t really *have* a definitive answer and that was why I was going so nuts.

So I talked to my writing BFF earlier today. She listened, sympathized, empathized, and—guess what?  She gave me *the answer*! (I know I just said my problem didn’t *have* a definitive answer, but her solution was just the kind of thing I needed.)

Aww--kitty friends. 🙂

This, my friends, is why I can’t stress enough the importance of having writer friends. Even though you might have fantawesome family members who will listen and offer advice, they aren’t always going to be able to figure out what to do.

It’s not that they don’t want to. It’s just: They aren’t as nuts as you are.

So, there you have it.  Make writer friends. Seriously.  Like right now.

Comment here and leave a link to your blog or Web site so *we* can be writer friends—and do it at other blogs you read.  Start conversations with other writers on Twitter and LinkedIn.  Go to conferences and workshops.  Take writing classes.  Check out writers’ groups that meet regularly.  Join online communities like mine, The Write-Brained Network, that are dedicated to the intermingling of writerly peeps.

Yes, it takes work to cultivate and maintain these relationships; no, not every person you meet is going to mesh with you as well as your be-fri—but get out there.  Somehow.  It’s from these friendships that come so many wonderful things—like stretches of sanity, even for writers.

And if nothing else, you'll have found another drinking buddy. 😉

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10 thoughts on “How to Write Full Time & Stay Sane: Make Writer Friends

  1. Well said, Ricki! There’s nothing like having someone to bounce ideas off. Someone who’ll read your WIP and tell you what works and what doesn’t. Someone who understands about rejections and acceptances and writer’s block — and will sit and commiserate when you need them to. Someone who gets just as excited as you when you post that you knocked out 1500 words, or 500, or even 50 that day, and doesn’t get annoyed when you clog up your Facebook wall or Twitter feed with word-count or edited-page-count updates.

    Yeah, I love my writer friends! 🙂

  2. Stretches of sanity – good term – a period of divorce from the angst of waiting, writing, plot fractures, word count stalls etc. etc. But writing full time is a blessing. It just takes writer friends to point it out from time to time.

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