Saturday, November 13, 2010

Deperately Seeking Writing Friends

Hello.

My name is Che and I'm a writer published in the field of graphic novels and comic books but nothing past a e-zine prose wise. I am looking for other writers to be friends with! This sounds easy right?

Well, not so much. I live in a small town you've never heard of and the nearest big city is again, probably one you've never heard of... There is one local author I'm friends with but we write different genres and she has no interest in mine.

So, like any other lonely person I turned to the Internet. LJ and forums and most recently Absolute Write, where I thought- At last! I will make friends!

But to be honest, it's not going so well. Everyone knows each other, especially in the YA Old People Writing for Teens thread where I hang out, look at everyone get agented and published and addressing each other by real world first names, and I slink away. The Children's Writing thread is friendly enough *waves*. But I still haven't made any lasting friends- yet.

So how do you do it? I hear stories of people making best friends on the interweb, meeting authors, getting mentors. Etc. And all of that seems to completely elude me.

I need someone to talk about writing with as of right now I have NO ONE. No sounding board, no one to shoot the bull with, no one to talk plot, and "I'm stuck right now" with.

I could go complain on the forums I guess, and I see people making the 'I'm stuck' posts once in awhile but what I want is not random strangers but focused help.

The lengths I have considered going to to get author/writer friends- I want to go to Clarion San Diego because maybe I could make friends there. But let's break this down- Clarion SD cots some $5000. All to make friends?! OR I was just looking at the Vermont College of Fine Arts Writing for Children and Young Adults MFA. What. The. Fuck. I don't have a degree in anything -art school drop out (not for the reasons your thinking either!) but seriously? Who the fuck GOES TO COLLEGE AS AN OLD PERSON JUST TO MAKE FRIENDS??

Ok. Complaints over.

Maybe someday right.

5 comments:

  1. This turned into a very 'agony aunt' reply so feel free to skip to the last paragraph.

    I have a handful of good writerly inclined friends but only 2 I'd talk plot with. I met them all in AW's newbie pub and we got talking because I needed to talk to someone about some non-writing stuff that was happening in my life.
    I did a Uni course in creative writing and was completely shunned by the rest of the class. I met some cool people this year doing NaNo but we don't event talk much on the forums there.

    One of the issues with making friends at writing classes, or AW is that there are so many people there and so many pre-established groups that breaking in and finding one or two to be friends with can be hard. Go through your AW posts, watch who responds most, send them a rep thanking them for replying. Start a conversation with them away from the public forum, about anything. If you still get on okay try sending a short private message asking for help with a plot point. Take it slow and eventually you'll find someone who'll take the time to get to know you and help you.

    Alternatively, from tomorrow I'll be spending more time around AW and I'm always looking for new friends so feel free to drop me a PM (I'm AbsentNormality)

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  2. Awww, Che. Patience girl. It takes time to find people you connect with and persistence. I remember when I first introed myself at OPWFT and then I didn't go back for the reasons you said. I felt out of place with all these people who have been there for obviously a long while and have established "friendships". Some are real and some I suspect are just internet friendships w/potential at one day become real life, or maybe not. Who knows. I know I have made a few friends on AW, but it took about a year to establish that. Two of them were my BETA readers and the third is a girl who's writing I just really loved and whenever she posted work in SYW, I read it and commented and she was very appreciative of it. She would constantly Rep me and it made me feel she really appreciated what I had to say. She also had very sweet and positive comments to offer me on my posted piece. Then she PM'd me and asked if I would BETA read and I was happy to do it because I liked her story and admittedly was dying to know more. Well, she also became BETA reader #3 for me and we have become closer. I would like to think that we will always be in touch for the rest of our lives because I have to care about her through her work and I am very close to my other BETA readers. I have never spoken to any of them on the phone but we email like crazy and not just about writing. Somewhere along the line, these relationships turn into friendships as we share more personal stuff about our lives, but it happened slowly. The trust had to develop first.

    So, be patient. Keep at it. Join other online groups and sites and get involved where ever you can. It will happen. Like writing and hopes of getting published, you just need to be persistent and never give up!

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  3. Oh, and as for OPWFT, I went back recently (the past month or so) and gave it another shot. Sometimes I will post something and it gets "ignored" or not realized because people are so into the conversation they are having with someone else. I try not to take it personal, but I have "met" a few people because of that forum and joining their blogs and them joining mine has partly attributed to that. And not just joining...COMMENTING makes a difference. I think it just takes time like anywhere else to develop a connection to someone on the net. Some people there I connect with and some I don't and that's totally okay. It's just like real life. But, I try to be supportive of everyone there no matter what as I feel they do to me.

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  4. Cool! Thank you all! I'm still getting the hang of the rep thing on AW. I don't want to abuse it and I have a hard time even finding mine- I do have a few.

    I do try to comment but I have to figure the rep thing out too. I am trying to get active on it and I go through the blogs I follow and comment on a few each week- whatever catchs my eye.

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