When I first started freelancing, I was giddy. I loved the idea of working from home, working for myself, and having my career go anywhere I decided to take it. Then the reality set in: The life of a freelance writer is sort of an isolating one. Over the years, I’ve depended on writer pals for encouragement, support, humor, advice, you name it. And at the top of all the advice I give new writers, I always encourage them to plug in with other writer friends regularly. This biz can be very lonely sometimes, and when an editor disparages your work or asks for an insane amount of revisions on a story you already put in a bazillion hours on? Yes, you need to vent. And it helps to vent to someone who has been there, done that.
For a long time, I got together regularly with a group of three other writers and we swapped stories about writing, shared ideas and editor contacts, and generally cheered each other on. Things got busy though. Two of us had babies (I was one), another started his own business, and another moved to India. I miss them.
(Speaking of friends, that’s my 3 year old, Carson, and our 9-year-old golden retriever, Paisley. The two are best friends. Paisley is insanely patient with my kids. She deserves the Family Dog Medal of Honor.)
Which brings me to now: I have a book coming out next summer–my first novel–and another in process (which I’m really excited about and hope to share more with you soon). While I’m still writing for magazines just as much, if not more, than ever these days (so fun: I’m doing some new work for Marie Claire Australia!), I now crave a different type of writer’s group–a fiction group. I often find myself wishing I had a circle of writerly pals to meet on Wednesday nights for coffee to vent about our manuscripts, or run new ideas by, etc. And in some ways, this is why I was so jazzed about joining The Debutante Ball. Not that this is “writer’s group,” per se, but it’s a community for writers and those who love them, and though it’s only been a few weeks into this season of the Ball, I already feel a great sense of friendship and connectedness to this awesome group of scribes. Elise, Eleanor, Kim and Tawna–it’s so lovely to be in this community with you. Thank you for being friends.