Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Meeting Writer Friends in Person

I had the opportunity to meet a writing friend over the weekend and it was so fun. Sarah Skilton was in town and we got to have dinner together and chat about writing, reading, and the road to publication.

I live in a place where there are not a lot of writers (or at least not any writers I know). I'm so jealous of some of you with great local writing communities. It must be amazing to get together and talk about writing on a regular basis.

Don't get me wrong, I have GREAT writing friends. They just all happen to live on the other side of the country, so we basically only communicate through email.

I think there's something to be said for being able to meet and talk to other writers face to face. In an hour Sarah and I were able to cover every topic from recent reads to submission experiences. It was wonderful to chat with someone who is doing the same things I'm doing. I came away feeling energized and excited about writing.

This is the main reason I think every writer should consider going to a conference. I don't know about you, but I tend to get lost in my little bubble. I get busy with the kids, cleaning, running errands, blogging and writing and I lose sight of the big picture. I forget that behind those blogs there are REAL people--people who love writing and books as much as I do. Meeting other writers in person brings it all home. We are not alone in this. We may type away on our computers all by ourselves everyday, but there are thousands of other people who know what it's like. They "get" us in ways our friends and family probably don't.

Have any of you met writer friends in person? What have you gained from those experiences?

28 comments:

Caroline Starr Rose said...

How great you to got to meet, esp. as agent-mates. I'm sure Sarah is as lovely in person as she is on her blog.

Vonna said...

Until just over two years ago, I wrote alone, unaware of the vibrant writing community just outside my door. One day I read a blog that mentioned SCBWI. I looked into it, and fell through the rabbit hole: critique partners, conferences, workshops, book launches. What an amazing world!

Aubrie said...

I haven't met my writer friends in person but I want to!

Heather Sunseri said...

I'm super excited about attending a conference this year. I hope to put many real-live faces with writer friends I chat online with and even meet more.

Shelley Sly said...

With the exception of one of my blog friends, who happens to be one of my BFFs "in real life" and then joined me in the blog world, I haven't met anyone in person. Yet. I look forward to meeting any of my fabulous followers. Writers really do need each other to connect and encourage each other.

Tracy said...

That's great that you could meet up. I live too far away from anywhere they even hold writing conferences to consider going. One day, though, perhaps I'll get to meet up with some blogging friends!

Kathryn Packer Roberts said...

Good thought. I have found the same thing in a way. The more I learn about the literary world, the more involved I get in my book and trying to get it published, the less my friends (who don't write) and family seem to have in common with me. The advice they give are things I used to say when I didn't know diddly. It's nice to talk to people who are knowledgable about this area of my life.

Jemi Fraser said...

I'm jealous! I don't have any 'real world' writer friends - I've only met these buddies through the Internet. Thank goodness for the online community :)

laurel said...

I'm so thankful for my IRL writing groups--two of them. There is nothing quite like the face-to-face dynamic and having a roomful of people arguing about your work. I usually go home buzzing with ideas. City living has its drawbacks, but real-life crit partners is for sure a huge perk.

Vonna mentioning SCBWI is a good way to meet other writers. So is attending workshops at local book fairs or library events.

Jen said...

I'm jealous! That's amazing you get to meet a fellow writer, that should be so much fun! I expect a full report :)

I haven't gotten to, however I do know a couple of girls that are fairly close to me, maybe one day we will get together! Have fun!

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

I met with the local group of NaNoWriMo participants in Athens, GA. It was interesting. Other than that, I haven't. I want to go to a conference so bad. There's one in Savannah and another in South Carolina, but I checked into the cost and yikes! No sure I can swing it this year. It's definitely on my wish list though!

Jessie Oliveros said...

I haven't met any online writing friends in person, although sometimes I feel like I already have. I'm attending an SCBWI workshop next week. Maybe I'll make real-life friends in writing then.

Sandy Shin said...

I haven't met any writer friends in person, but I would really love to! I'm so glad you had a fabulous time with Sarah!

Lisa and Laura said...

Oh we want to go to a conference so badly! We haven't had the chance to meet many writer friends in person yet, but those who we have met were AMAZING. Someday...

Adam Heine said...

You're lucky. My writer friends all live on the other side of the world.

Patti said...

There isn't a very big writing community where I live, or at least I haven't found one. I have one writing friend nearby, but she's so busy on her manuscript we never get together. I'll have to wait until our boys play basketball together again.

Laura Marcella said...

I'm with you on this! My writer friends and I don't live near each other. So I sure am enjoying this wonderful writing community on the blogosphere! I feel very lucky to be a part of it.

Tabitha Bird said...

Oh gosh. I would love to be able to meet up with my writing buddies :) Lucky you!

Jennifer Shirk said...

I'm the same way, I get lost in my bubble, so it is nice to meet with writing buddies in person. I usually meet with them once a year at my chapter's conference.

TerryLynnJohnson said...

that would be wonderful to meet an agent-buddy in person. Good for you!
I also am lonely with no writers around. I'm hopeful to meet some online buddies at the Michigan SCBWI conference May 1! I've never met an online writing friend in person.

Courtney Barr - The Southern Princess said...

How fun!

I have not yet met any of my writing friends...I hope to at a conference in the future...we will wait and see ;o)

Visit My Kingdom Anytime

Voidwalker said...

I haven't had the chance yet to meet any of my fellow writer/bloggers. I'm hoping to some day soon, hopefully, but will have to leave it up to chance. I'm like you, I have my bubble and it's hard to get out of it sometimes.

I love the social interaction though, so I'm going to try to make a point to hit up a conference sometime and let you guys know.

paulgreci said...

I'm glad you had such a great meeting. I have met one online friend in person. I also met my agent in person. I loved both meetings. I'm in a remote corner too and look foward to that next conference whenever and wherever it may be.

Roxane B. Salonen said...

I have, Natalie, and you're right. It's a wonderful experience! We are fortunate in these online connections, but making the real-life connections really firms up the relationship. Glad you had that special time together with your now IRL friend. :)

DL Hammons said...

I too live in Small Town USA and limited to on-line interaction with my writing friends. I've planned and budgeted to attend a writers conference later this year...now I just got to find the right one. Hmmmmmmmmmm.

Terri Tiffany said...

I've met quite a few writer friends from online and love it! If anyone comes to Orlando, look me up:)) ANd I'm attending a conference in WA in two weeks and plan to meet another friend from there too.

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

I can think of five I've met in person and I adore them all. :)
I wish I could attend one conference a month. That would be ideal.

Janna Qualman said...

So far I've met four or five, and would like to add to the list! I just love when you can sit with another writer who just gets it.

Glad you had such a good time!