Saturday, May 17, 2014

Writing Buddies

Solitary Confinement—Must End! 

This biz can make one a hermit hiding behind a computer screen or reared back in the recliner holding a laptop—so it’s really important, in my opinion, to form some writer friendships. I’ve surely been blessed that way. I have a gaggle of buddies.

It started with an organization called American Christian Fiction Writers where I met my first bud: Kim Vogel This lady is an extraordinary author, so prolific. (She’s probably written a chapter while you were reading to here….) Kim sold her first book in 2003 and had several more contracts within three months. Our online friendship morphed into a once a year retreat at her home in Kansas.

And that’s where we meet with our crit buddies: Connie Stevens, the brainstorm queen; Margie Vawter, punctuation expert; Jalana Franklin, all things pink and Southern; Darlene Wells, a California breath of fresh air; Kristian Libel, amazing mom and writer.

Our collective group has become more than a critique group. We’ve developed such bonds over the last ten years and walked through many life experiences together. Blessed we are that our online friendship has budded into something much much deeper than reading each other’s pages. We call upon each other for prayer and support daily

Do you have author friends who “get it?” Who know the voices in your head are characters yearning to be on a page? Most times our immediate family think we’re a bit off and aren’t always interested in when Susie Q swooned and said “I love you” to Awesome Hunk. Or did Joe really shoot Ted? Why? What were their motivations? 

All these questions which swarm in our gray matter can be buffered about when talking with another writer. If you don’t have someone like that in your life: RUN to the nearest writers’ chapter in your area or get online and find one. 

An Author Friend is a necessity in a writer’s life. IMHO

Eileen Key retired after teaching school for thirty years. She is a freelance writer and editor/proofreader. Mother of three, grandmother of four, Eileen resides in San Antonio, Texas, where she is an active member of the local American Christian Fiction Writers Chapter and Redemption Hill Church.


  1. I have solid writing support from an online group of writers and readers that's been together since the late 1990s, my local Romance Writers of America Chapter, Capital Region (Albany, NY) Romance Writers, and most of all my critique group. We're an eclectic group, each writing different romance subgenres, three published, one soon-to-be published (she and her agent are deciding which of two offers to take), and one romance reader.

    1. And I forgot to add that I also belong to ACFW and am looking forward to meeting some of the Northeast contingent at a lunch get together planned for early June.

  2. Eileen, I so agree that writing friends are necessary. I'm lucky enough to have both on-line friends and face-to-face friends who help me through the rough writing spots and share in the good times. I can't imagine what I would do without them.

  3. Oh, yeah. I belong to several writing groups where I can find understanding, encouragement, and laughs when necessary. Only other writers "get" statements like, "My characters refuse to go where I want them to." And Jean--I'm your guest speaker next month! Woot!

  4. Great post, Eileen. I have a great critique group, formed in April 1992. Hard to believe.

  5. I love your picture! It looks like so much fun! I rarely meet writer's friends, but when I do, it's always so inspiring and encouraging. A brainstorming in Italy was one of the top experiences for me!

  6. Eileen, I too love being part of writer groups. As you said, because of our solitary career we need people who understand what we do. We can't talk to our non-writer friends about our concerns, but I can go on writer loops (like our old Avaloners) or call my friend Cara (who is one of the Seekers) on the phone and I feel so much better about my writer problems. Thanks for reminding us how lucky we are to have them.

  7. Who loves you, lady? I DO!!! So glad God blessed me with YOU.