In February, I went to LTUE, which is a writer’s conference for science fiction and fantasy writers. It’s an amazing conference, but the best part is the human interaction.
For some reason, a lot of people think that writing needs to be a lonely thing. Sure, I have to sit and write the words on my own, but that doesn’t mean I don’t interact with others.
Last year, when I went to LTUE, my writing partner and I were planning on going together, and we had someone ask if she could go with us. We ended up bonding through the experience, and now all three of us get together to write as often as we can.
This year, we had two of our friends from our writing group going, and they had a mutual friend who asked if she could join us. The best part about being with other writers at a conference is that you can be yourself. You can talk about the stuff that makes other peoples’ eyes gloss over. Plot and story structure? There’s actual classes on that. You can analyze your own with your friends and work out the kinks in your own story.
Writing is a private thing, and you always put a little bit of yourself in your writing, no matter what it is. When you share your writing with someone, you’re sharing a part of yourself. The other great thing is that they’re a natural support group. They know what you’re going through. Writing queries? Pitching to an agent? They know how nerve-wrecking that is. Finally figuring out your villain’s motivation? They know what kind of a breakthrough that can be.
I love my writing friends, the ones I’ve had for years, and the ones I’ve made recently. And I know that each one of them has influenced the kind of writer I am now.