Let me begin by saying we should all have friends outside of our writing group. It’s healthy to have people from different walks of life and people who know nothing about the struggle you went through when deciding what to call your main character.
But it helps – dear Lord it helps – to have someone on your side who knows precisely what it takes to sit your butt in that chair for hours on end, screaming with joy or rage (sometimes both) at the computer screen, loving and despairing of your work in progress. That the times you are not writing, you’re still working. You’re still thinking about what scene goes where, the progression of your characters, and whether you should put a comma there after all.
Fellow writers are invaluable. They can come to you as Critique Partners, Beta Readers, writing conventions or even just chance meetings across the world wide web. The important thing isn’t how you meet, but that you met in the first place and continue to support each other though your writing escapades.
Another important aspect of having writer friends for me is that I see myself in them. Wherever they are on the authorship road, the knowledge we share is invaluable. We also share similar dreams. Whether it’s completing the middle part of the book or something big like finally getting out work on a shelf, we understand the struggle and pain – and occasional joy, it has to be said, to get there.
We are each other’s cheerleaders, the people we go to outside of our loved ones to complain and cry when something in our writer-life goes wrong. Rejection stings much softer when you have someone to pick you up in the background.
I’m proud (honoured, thrilled, relieved) to say I’ve met some incredible writers through Twitter and its competitions. Whether it’s through pitch parties, CP match ups or the awesome community giant of Pitch Wars, if you make a writer friend you make sure you hold on to them and show them you value them as much as you can. Not only will they appreciate it, they’ll repay you in bucket loads, and together we will be UNSTOPPABLE!