I get by with a little help from my friends...
No one tells you, going in, what a solitary business writing is. For the most part, I am alone in front of my laptop, tapping out my stories, playing with the imaginary people in my head, and I love it. But, I have to admit, I am a social person by nature. I need regular human interaction. I am lucky that I have great friends who help me step outside myself on a regular basis. I have my writer friends, and my non-writer friends. Both serve the purpose of keeping me sane, and I adore all of them.
My writer friends, these are the people I trust with my precious words. I belong to the QC Writers Meet-Up, a group I started about five years ago. We have a great core group of writers of all genres and all levels of experience. We meet twice a month and it's something I always look forward to. I feel like they are my tribe, so to speak. I always come away feeling inspired and the ideas and encouragement I receive from the group keeps me motivated. I am very lucky that of this group I've developed some very close friendships, including my critique partners, Leslie, Chris and Dave.
I think it happens very rarely, that you meet people and right away, know you are going to be friends forever. Leslie and Chris are those people. I have developed a habit of meeting for coffee once a week with Leslie (sadly Chris is working during the week), where we hash out our writing woes, and with each others help, try to fix them. On Fridays the four of us meet and do breakfast and lunch. This is when we indulge in a good session of Girlfriend Therapy-Dave, of course is allowed into the inner sanctum, 'cuz he's cool. We can bitch and moan, and laugh about our lives and share all that angst that goes with it. Once we get that out of the way we pull out our WIP, and get to work, critiqueing each other's work. I credit these people with helping me immensely with my writing. I don't know where I'd be without them.
Then there are my non-writing friends. Every friday night my husband and I attend our Boardgame Group. There are about 40 regulars who meet at a college cafeteria after hours and play games together. We've been doing this for years. I feel like most of them are family. The majority of this group of friends are men. These guys are funny and geeky and smart and LOUD. Most of them wouldn't know a Romance Novel if it hit them in the head. That is key in our relationship. I can get out of my writer head and enjoy myself and use my brain for something other than plotting and living out the whims of my characters. There are some great ladies among this group too, not many, but a notable few who love boardgames as much as I do. I think over the years we've formed sort of a sisterhood of girl gamers.
I can't talk about friends without talking about my BFF, who happens to be my husband. Not to brag, but my hubby Doug, is the best friend anyone could every have. There are many days where he is the only person I ever see, and that is just fine. He makes me laugh. He challenges me, he accepts my craziness and loves me unconditionally. I feel like no one else understands me the way he does. As long as I have him, all is well.