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Friday, 12 August 2011

Why Writers Have to Stick Together by J.A. Bennett

You know what they say about birds of a feather...

Hello heya and howdy! Time for another one of those crazy blog hops for us LifeListClubbers, who really like to stick together as we are birds of one feather... or something like that. 

Today I have the pleasure of hosting J.A. Bennett, who is a good friend and fellow writer/lifelister, and as you can see from the image and title above... she'll be talking about sticking birds together with glue and... nah, just kidding! The only thing we'll be sticking together today will be writers. Read on. 


Hello faithful readers! I am so honored to be posting at Lyn's blog today! You've heard from me, Jennie @ A Book A Girl A Journey in various ways here because Lyn and I are pals, and apparently she thinks I'm someone you all know and love.

You can find Lyn at Emily Moir's blog, and you can check out her Life List by clicking on the fabulouso tab above ^.  Plus you can be one of our totally awesome members by following this blog, my blog, or any blog on the Life List club link you see to your right à. Go ahead and creature your own life list then sit back and be inspired while we hop around every-other Friday.

Of course, since I'm here with super friendly Lyn, I had to talk about friends.

The other night when I was at my critique group we got on the subject of maps. It was something I still needed to make for the YA fantasy book I'm writing and I really loved the way one of my critique partners put hers together.

As we were talking, it dawned on me how easy it was to talk to her (and the others in my group) about a mythical land with mythical powers and such. 

On the other hand, when I talk to someone who's not a writer I stumble over my words, embarrassed.

Because the truth is, we writers are a little crazy in the noggin. Adults are told to keep the real world and the pretend world separate - but if writers were to adhere to said rules, books would be boring.

That's why we need our writer friends, because to them it's not so crazy. Certainly, once you're published and everyone reads how masterfully you have put the fantastical words to paper, they will see that you are completely sane, and (dare I say) they may worship you for it.

But until that glorious day, it's good to hang with other crazies such as yourself.

So what does this have to with the #lifelistclub? Aren't we all about achieving goals? Why yes, we are.

The thing about crazy writers is that we often get down on ourselves. I know I have done it time and again. We have these big dreams, and we want to reach for the stars. So when we fall short we feel like we have nowhere to turn.

This is the point where we have to realize that hope is not lost, because there is this wonderful community of people who have 'been there'.

They will pick you up off your feet, give you a big hug, and sympathize with your plight. They'll say that this is a long road, and it takes hard work to achieve your dreams. And you know what? They'll be right.

This is when you dust yourself off, have a little chat with your muse, and put your characters into line.  And when another writer is suffering, you will do the same for them. Then the inspiration will go around in a huge happy circle.

That's what's so great about the life list club, we are all there for one another, cheering each other on.

What do you do when it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel?


Jennie Bennett is a stay-at-home mom of two kids and the author of the blog, A Book, A Girl, A Journey, which features posts about writing and musing on life.

Her current work in progress is a YA fantasy about a world in need of magic and a girl who can give it. Find her on twitter and Facebook


Jenny said...

First I read the post on Jennie's page, then this one. They are both so true. I had a hard time with telling people I write, but once I did people were supportive. But, I still got the deer in the headlights look when I talked about writing. That is why I started blogging, to become part of the writing community, and it's so great. Nice posts. Thanks!

Michael Offutt said...

What a beautiful post and so true. There are many times when I feel that my family or friends think I'm crazy. But somehow my writer friends all seem to "get" me. #writing is so interesting.

Anonymous said...

I have a little "crew" of writer friends whom I adore. They get my weirdness. Strike that, they like my weirdness. They make me feel good about myself (I am not good for me at times). When I need a boost, I shoot them an email.

Ava Jae said...

I love my writing friends.

You're exactly right, Jennie. Hanging around other crazies is not only fun (I mean let's be honest, life gets a little boring when you don't daydream with your buddies), but absolutely helpful.

Not only that, but it's hard for people who haven't experienced the journey of a writer to understand what you're going through. It's not their fault--they just don't know.

So especially when you're going through the rough patch of your journey, it's great to be able to talk to other writers about it. We definitely do need to stick together. The community makes everything easier.

Pam said...

Now that I actually have writer friends, I think back on all the years I went without them and wonder how I did it - and also know the lack of them was a big part of the reason I wasn't nearly as inspired and productive as I am today. Birds of a feather stick together, even us wonderfully loonybirds : ).

Sonia G Medeiros said...

Having a writing community to back me up has made such a huge difference. I get all mushy talking about how wonderful the folks are that I've met through blogging and twitter. It's true though. We keep eachother going.

Anonymous said...

I had to laugh when you talked about describing world building to people who aren't writers. I so understood that. Love what you had to say Jen. I'm really thrilled your a LLC member because this advice is so good. We do need a support group and people to bounce ideas off of. I'm really happy you get that at your critique group. Kudos!

Jenny Hansen said...

Love the post and HATE blogspot because I can't figure out how to hop around and comment on some of these amazing comments. (Curse you Blogspot!!!)

Anyway, I love the fact that we can discuss character, POV and setting with complete seriousness even if it involves a purple heroine in a spaceship piping chamber music in to the bridge. Or whatever...

Writers understand that we all have a movie that plays in our head. Our writing friends say, "Really? Cool. Who are the main characters and subcharacters in the movie?? Have you thought about adding a dog?"

Lyn Midnight said...

I hear you, fellow writers!

This is such a hot topic for everyone and I am glad Jennie shared her views on it. I just wanted to pop by and say thank you to all who dropped a line. :)

Also, Jen is having a lovey dovey anniversary with her hubby, so she'll probably answer when she's back.

J. A. Bennett said...

Thank you Lyn for having me, and thanks for all these lovely comments! I had a great time on my get away, but am extremely sore from all the hiking and train riding and whatnot.

@Jenny - deer in the headlights, that's exactly what my non-writer friends look like too, lol.

@Michael - Exactly! I love being
surrounded by those crazy nutters :)

@Ava - When I started blogging I had no idea I would embraced by this community the way I have, and I've feel as if I've improved leaps and bounds becasue of it!

@Pam - thank God for the internet!!

@Sonia - I get mushy too, yet another thing my non-writer friends don't get.

@Jess - imagine what JRR Toliken's non-writer friends said to him when talked about the shire, and Mordor, etc. That's kinda what keeps me going.

@Jenny - "A moving playing in our heads." So true, if we were able to show everyone that same way, they would understand.

You guys are the best! Thanks again :)

Emily Moir said...

Great post. The writing community is such an awesome thing. Today at church I found out one of the girls I go with is a writer. She was complaining that no one would critique her work because her family wasn't interested. It makes me thankful for the community I've shoved my way into :)

Lyn Midnight said...

@Emily Why would she want her family to critique it? Huh. And by the way, kudos on shoving your way. We have to fight and make our own writing beds so we can sleep in them with fellow... wait, that's not a good metaphor! :D

J. A. Bennett said...

@Emily - What Lyn said.

@Lyn - lol!

Emily Moir said...

@Lyn- Not sure why she wants her family to look at her work, I guess that's just where she usually goes for an opinion. BTW I love your metaphor. You keep me laughing.

Lyn Midnight said...

@Emily Well, if anything, I aim to amuse. :D