Monday, 21 December 2009

Who are your writing buddies?

"What are you writing at the moment Eileen?"

Question was thrown at me by a business acquaintance recently. Before I could open my mouth and talk about the down to earth practical intro to web copy I was working on, he answered his own question.

"It'll be another book then I guess."

Mouth open again even more like a fish gasping for air as he rushed on and talked about the difficulties he had in writing.

And waving his hands at me he finished with,"Lovely to hear all about your work." and was off to the next poor soul to be lavished with his attention.

We all suffer from people like that don't we? And if you are a writer who might like to bounce ideas off on a possible reader, then they are the worst type of person to have around you.

Because what you want are people who are:
  1. Interested in what you do.
  2. Interested enough to listen to you talking what you do.
  3. Interested enough to listen and, ask interesting questions that stimulate further thought in you

Rare as hens' teeth in my opinion such people. And writers sometimes are no better at this for other writers than any other category of people.

So if you are looking for writing buddies choose very carefully. My criteria for buddies are the following:

  1. They consider the context of the writing.
  2. They won't say it's good because they worry about hurting my feelings.
  3. They won't say it's bad because they can't judge it, they're jealous or they're about to steal the ideas.

I'm fortunate in having a couple of people I know who are impartial enough and honest enough to give me critical but considered feedback. Stephen King has about 12 he uses for each book.

Find yours. Treasure them and reward them at regular intervals. They're worthy of your regard and respect.

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