I’m still alive, still here. Still buzzing. We’ll see how long that lasts.
Today I want to talk about BWFFs.
What do you mean you don’t know what that is?
Best Writing Friends Forever! Come on, you knew that, right?
I got past the idea of a BFF when I was about 18. I felt that it wasn’t fair to discount all the wonderful friends I had by giving one of them the title ‘best friend.’
These days I have a small cluster of extremely close friends, a larger circle of friends, and then a massive network of acquaintances.
That’s how I like it. It means that the give and take in that small, inner cluster is strong and productive and works for everyone, because nobody is spread too thin.
How does this apply to writing?
Well, really, I’m talking about writing buddies.
Those people you regularly meet up with to chat shop about your writing. Be that swapping work for critiques or just sitting next to someone who knows the value of silence/no interruptions while you work.
I don’t have a writing buddy exactly, but I know plenty of people who do. They swear by the relationship they have with this one other person and gush about how much they’ve learned and improved as a result. I think that’s wonderful.
And the beauty of this digital age is that this person can live hundreds, if not thousands of miles away from you. You can do all your meeting by email or Google+, Twitter or Facebook… there are dozens upon dozens of ways to communicate, meaning that you are no longer restricted to someone living just around the corner from you. Particularly useful since not everybody is lucky enough to have a writer living close by.In years past, I had the equivalent of a writing buddy.
She may not realise that I placed such importance on our relationship, but one particular writer in the RPG group I used to run, always set the bar with her excellent posts. I measured myself against her constantly.
I would eagerly await her sections of the game we were playing and measure her characters, pacing, plotting and prose against mine. And if I found myself lacking, I would step it up. I owe a lot of my current ability and skill to those early days with Cheryl. Heh, I should tell her, actually; I’m not sure that I ever have!
These days I have my writing group with puts me in regular contact with 17 other wonderful people of such talent and skill that I’m forced to step it up, just to stay semi-level with them.
But a single person with whom there is regular back and forth? No, ‘fraid not.
Do I want that sort of relationship?
…actually, yes. I think that would be nice.
I’m quite good at setting myself goals and keeping moving. However since I tend to focused on the ‘project of the moment’ I often forget to check myself by asking, ‘have I improved since the last project, or am I just plodding along at the same old pace?’ Because I can’t read everything I write at the critique group.
I think having a regular dialogue with another writer in which we bounce ideas off each other, critique each other, help each other, encourage and support each other, is the last thing I’m missing in terms of my ‘writer’s tool kit.’
Hmm. Guess that means I’d better start searching. 😉