With a Little Help from Our Writer Friends

   Whenever I’m at a conference or writers’ workshop, be it as an attendee or presenter, I always feel that I’m where I belong. Completely in my element. Last weekend, for instance, I was the writer-in-residence at the Word Lover’s Retreat at the beautiful Idlewyld Bed & Breakfast in Lakeside, Ohio. As we all got acquainted that first night, I was reminded how lucky I am to be able to meet, on a continual basis, people who share my passion for the written word. Many of whom ultimately become my personal friends.

    How cool is that?

 Unlike some professions, writers are extremely supportive of one another. And in most cases, writers are nice people. There is no competition, no unkind words, no jealousy. Sure, we feel a little inadequate when one of our colleagues gets an award or gets published in a major publication, or acquires an agent. Yet we’re still proud. Proud to know them. And genuinely happy for them. In fact, writers are often the first ones in line at an author’s book signings. Now that’s support!

    And why this camaraderie? Because we all dream the same dreams. And when it happens to someone we know personally, it gives us hope. But most importantly, it helps motivate us to work harder at our craft. When one of our colleagues gets that piece published, or that book written, or—miraculously—gets signed by an agent or large publishing house, we know that if we follow their example, we can do it, too, and we revel in their excitement.

    We’re all in this together, during good times, hopeful times, and times when all we write is crap.

    Still, we’re together.

    Ever notice that no one else much cares about our writing except other writers? No one else understands how we feel when we’ve completed that difficult chapter. Or finally figured out where our story is going. Or how wonderful that sentence works after rewriting it 37 friggin’ times.

But our writer friends know exactly where we’re coming from. We’ve all been there. We’ve all banged our heads against the keyboard. Searched feverishly for the perfect word. Jumped up out of bed at 3 in the morning to write out that scene playing in our heads before it disintegrates into the air like fairy dust.

    So, yes, this is what occurs to me whenever I’m with “my people.”

    And this is why, no matter what conference or workshop you attend (and thankfully, there are now hundreds to choose from!) it is imperative that you meet, talk and network with other writers. Our writer friends are as important as finding the right word.

    But why am I telling Pennwriters this? I guess because if you’re like me, sometimes you forget how lucky we are to have each other. And with a little help from our writer friends, we can get through even the worst of times. Because we can write about it.

    Although I didn’t know fellow Pennwriter James Buescher, I feel, after reading the emails about him, that the world has lost a truly talented, kind individual, who obviously had a lot of writer friends. 

    My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

Deanna R. Adams is a freelance writer, award-winning essayist, and  author of three books. She is an instructor at Lakeland Community College, and director of The Western Reserve Writers Conferences, and Women Writers’ Winter Retreat. Her website is www.deannaadams.com


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  1. […] With a Little Help from Our Writer Friends (pwarea7.wordpress.com) […]

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