To be a writer is not that common of a trade. It’s one that involves producing material, such as books, in a day and age when fewer people are reading in the age of developing technology. It involves a lot of solo time, crafting words, worlds and characters, all the while revising them as well. That’s why when forming friendships with other writers, it can be one of the most beautiful and potentially hazardous occurrences to happen.
For one writer to befriend another is one that, more often than not, is born out of kindred spirits colliding. Your lives may be vastly different and the stories you tell may be even more so, but the possibility of being drawn to each other out of the same trade is strong. It’s more than just being a fan of the other’s work. In these instances, a special kind of kinship is born. You can talk more than just the subjects brought up by the typical admirer, by also conversing with them on both the daily life and ideas, without having to explain anything in the form of a run-on dictionary definition.
But of course, that’s not to say that every writer is going to befriend every single one they bump into, for each one is as unique of a human as the ones who aren’t wordsmiths. Some may have big-ass egos that are worth staying aware from, others have attitudes that you just can’t shrug off no matter how hard you try, others may have vastly different points of views on different subjects than you, and so on.
In addition, the reason why I say that the friendships that are created may be hazardous is due to the very thing that like drew you two together in the first place; your profession. There’s no harm in discussing storytelling techniques and ideas, just as long as you’re prepared for the possibility that budding heads may be involved. Plus, if you’re in one of those friendships where the other writer is serving as a beta-reader for a work of yours, consider the possibility of a likely heavier depth of critiques than usual, for remember, this particular beta-reader is on the same journey as you.
Of course, don’t let these hazards get in the way of putting yourself out there and forming the best kind of friendship. Apart from finding kinship through the same profession, what is above all nice about being friends with other writers is something that I recently learned from a podcast; that the individual journey becomes more of a community experience. You have each other’s backs as you each go through writing processes, editing sessions, and of course, publications. Having one of your writer friends as a beta-reader might be the best thing that has ever happened, exchanging writing tips and advice is key, and of course, reading each other’s final products and attending each other’s presentations tends to be one of the best feelings.
I’ve gotten to know a few writers over the years, and earlier this week was quite significant when I met one of them in person for the first time, at a presentation he made about his recently released novel. It was fascinating to hear about the amount of research he did to make the novel what it is now and it was nice to receive a hardcopy of his novel at the end of the presentation. It’s a step forward with this particular friendship that I hope to take with some of the other writers I know one day.
That’s also why whenever I read a book now that I particularly like and the author is just as well admire-worthy, I consider whether or not to connect with them, by idealizing what shared conversations we’d have if we can ever reach the level of friendship. Will I one day be able to talk Asian American representation in literary works with Celeste Ng and portraying the mixed race experience with Heidi Durrow? Will I be able to discuss infinite possibilities and favorite books with John Green? Will I ever get around to talking about the interconnection of the human race and how the word “soul” is a verb with David Mitchell? Will I be able to find common ground as a writer with Chris Colfer, despite our very different writing styles and possibly different tastes for books? In those instances, these are seeds of potential friendships that need a little water to grow.
But as I made clear, through thick and thin, when a writer befriends another, beautiful things have the potential to happen.
A Moment’s Worth is now available through the following venues: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, iTunes. Please leave a review if you can, for my goal is to get a total of at least 20 reviews on all venues (so far, I’ve gotten 12 reviews so I’m already just past the halfway point to my goal). Check out its Goodreads page, which includes two trivia quizzes for all who’ve completed reading it already.