Thursday, March 21, 2013

Awaken the Sleeping Giant: Writing Buddies

Writing Buddy Workshop on Merritt Island
My long-time friend and fellow inspirational writer, Ruth, had a dream the other night. An odd dream. 

In her dream, Ruth and her husband were in bed, sleeping soundly. Suddenly, in the darkness of midnight, she was awakened by a presence in the room. 

Startled and discombobulated, and not sure whether the intruder was friend or foe, she glanced about the room wildly until her eyes settled on a figure in the doorway.

Whoa. What a frightening sight. It was me! Her good ole' writing pal Debbie standing there grinning in my jammies. And in the dream, I bounded over to her bedside, proclaiming, "I just had a great story idea; scooch over and I'll tell you all about it!"

So poor befuddled Ruth quickly scooched over toward her husband, nearly knocking the sleeping man off the bed in the process, and I climbed in bed beside her, nestling happily down into the warm covers. There we lay, the three of us, as if this were the most normal thing in the world.

Writing buddies. All writers - aspiring or advanced - need them.

Maybe not to crawl into bed with us in the middle of the night, no. But certainly to bounce our ideas off, critique our work honestly, and to provide us with accountability when we can't seem to keep our butt on the computer chair. And more important than anything else, to truly understand and sympathize with the crazy frustrations we go through in slogging through the mud on the path to publication.  

No matter where you are in the process, you need a writer buddy. I need a writer buddy. All God's chil'ren need writer buddies.

You never know where relationships with writer buddies will lead. I co-wrote a book with one of mine. I co-founded an annual writers retreat with another. Yet another wrote a piece about her writer buddy relationship with me that was published in a national trade journal.

So don't go it alone. Ditch the isolation blues. Grab a chi tea latte and a table at Starbucks to hash over that problem spot in your manuscript with your writer bud.

Just, for heaven's sake, stay out of her bed.