BWFFs #AtoZChallenge #AprilA2Z ‘B’


B

Day two!
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?

Best FriendsI 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.

a pen and a pencil

Credit: Anonymous at Openclipart.com

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. 😉
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About Ileandra Young

I'm a thirty-*mumbles* year old (purple loving, cheese worshipping) author of fantasy, juggling a pair of beautiful twin boys with my burning desire to make up stories and write them all down. When I get the chance, I play games, listen to music, and in days long past I even ran a radio show. Though I occasionally write non-fiction, my heart lives in fantasy and my debut novel, Silk Over Razor Blades is now available through Amazon along with part two of the trilogy, Walking The Razor's Edge.
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9 Responses to BWFFs #AtoZChallenge #AprilA2Z ‘B’

  1. shailajav says:

    I love that term and your post! BWWF indeed:) Would love to contest for the spot, if it’s still open 😉
    This is why I adore blogging challenges. What amazing people we meet online 🙂

    Like

    • Glad you liked the post. 🙂
      Already, two days in, I’ve seen so many amazing blogs and connected with so many fantastic and talented people. It is great fun isn’t it?

      Are you a blogger too? Can’t seem to get a link up.

      Like

  2. Um, so browser crash ate my long-winded comment. *cries*

    The short version then, is that I’ve learned a lot from Tess Mackenzie in terms of coming up with new dialogue, which came in handy when I was filling in new material during the edit. Not copying her style at all, but realising the dialogue my characters could or should be having. 400 years in the future? Star Trek: TNG style, basically.

    Having a BWFF is great because you an both play to your advantages and learn how to overcome the stages of the process that scare you or you feel less confident about. 🙂

    Like

    • Heh, that happens to me all the time. I write my longer comments in notepad now and then copy them over. Especially when Blogger persists in rejecting my OpenID. -_-

      Reading does do a lot to help put together your own style and voice. I really do need to look up Tess MacKenzie as that’s a name I keep hearing now.

      As to the BWFF… if I can’t have one of those, I’m lucky enough to have my writing group. Maybe I should pin down one of them to be my BWFF. Heh, I wonder how that would go.

      Like

  3. Kirsten says:

    I have a few writing friends, but I don’t know if I would want to limit myself to just one. I think each writer has strengths that I can learn from, and I hope that I can offer my own strengths in return.
    Great post! It has given me something to think about in terms of who I connect with in my writing. 🙂

    Like

    • That’s a good point. Certainly different people and different viewpoints can only add strength to writing and that’s what I strive for. It’s why I’m so glad to have the critique group in general terms.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Like

  4. Cheryl says:

    Have never had a writing buddy. of course I have only sporadically kept up with my writing. I think that would be a great way to stay accountable.

    Like

    • That’s certainly one of the benefits. Having someone ‘checking up’ on you or to compete against can certainly keep the words flowing.

      My subs group does that for me. I make sure to submit some writing somewhere every single month as a result of that group. ^_^

      Like

  5. Pingback: April A2Z 2014 Roundup (& I Haz Planz – wc 01/05) | Writing: A Conversation Without Interruptions

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