The Value of a Good Friend

Something we need greatly as writer is a handful of good friends.  It’s an odd sort of conundrum, but without the ability to reach out and touch someone we actually know, how can we actually reach an audience we aren’t acquainted with.

I know it’s odd to start with a picture of some paper in a printer tray, but that’s not what I see.  I see a hard copy of Vitamin F, printed off so I can send it to my good friend Emily to look over.  I thought I’d found all the errors, but Emily corrected me on that particular point.

Then I have the wonderful people who read chapters of Tesseract for me whenever I send them out.  I don’t ask them for edits, only for their reactions to what they read.  Some, like the wonderful Shen and Hannah, are totally enthused by the text.  Mike takes in the text when he gets a chance, enjoying what words he can in the middle of his own busy schedule.  And while I don’t get a lot back from Samantha and Robert, I know they enjoy what they read when they read it.

My weekly meetings with Dan and Mike over Skype are more than just a note of accountability, it’s a way to get a feedback discussion going on what I’ve done, no matter if I’ve done good work or something that needs more attention.  It’s a good way for me to find out if I’m going in the right direction, using a consistent path, and not screwing up on grammar all that much.

I would be a fool not to mention my good friend, Rocky, who has managed to drag me along to Dragon*Con for the past few years.  I wouldn’t be published if I hadn’t gone, nor would I have met some of the finest and most interesting people I’ve ever met.

My point is this, writer friends: You might write in a vacuum, but when you want to do anything with that writing, you’re going to call on your friends to help you out.  Take a minute and thank them when you get a chance.

Or write a blog post about them.  Or leave a comment about the friends who have helped you on your writing journey.


4 thoughts on “The Value of a Good Friend

  1. Thanks for letting me into your writing world, Len. I really do enjoy the times we talk about our work over Skype. If it weren’t for you guys I’d probably be even more dilettantish than I already am 🙂 All continued success!

  2. This may be an odd question, but do you pick and choose which friends to share your work with? Right now, only my sister and mom read my work. Should writers get feedback on their work from people with different literary tastes?

    1. That’s not an odd question; that’s a tough question.

      Part of who I share things with goes to their interest in a project. If someone doesn’t like stories about telepaths, I’m not going to offer them MIND & MACHINE. By the same token, if someone is just a fan of what I’m doing, I’ll let them take a look because they want to be invested in what I’m doing.

      However, if you’re looking for detailed criticism and feedback, I’d suggest expanding who you show your work to. I intentionally avoid showing my work to my family because of their relationship with me, but also because I know they won’t be able to give me much feedback. Something tells me your sister and mom are probably good at giving you feedback.

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