One of the cool things about being a writer is that there are a plethora of other like-minded writers to support you in your weirdness. You just have to find them.

Say you’re talking about some poor fellow you know, and lamenting all his struggles for like, half an hour, and everybody’s feeling bad for the guy and getting ready to call some hotline, and then you suddenly go, “Oh, wait. He’s just my character. I forgot.”

Normal people, it seems, find this intensely irritating. Sheesh, people. Picky, picky.

But when this same scenario happens amongst a group of writers, we all just nod sympathetically. Maybe buy a card for the poor guy, even if he isn’t real.

So you can see the importance of connecting with other folks in our world of blurred realities.

An excellent place to find such people is at writers conferences. Just hanging around is like a vacation at the creative pool, but frequently you make connections on an even deeper level.

One conversation can start a friendship that lasts a lifetime of books, or a critique partnership that boosts your writing to the next level. Or an editorial or mentor relationship, even. It’s all good. We’re on the same team, working for the same goal—better writing.

Another place to find writing buddies is—get this—writers groups. Who’da thunk it?

Honestly, when I first started writing, I had no idea these organizations existed. I just happened to notice a listing for writers groups in a writers market guide. I gathered my courage and emailed a total stranger who was the contact person in the guide. I mean, for all I know, it could’ve been some nutcase who couldn’t find a date in the want ads. But since he sounded nice in his reply and the meeting was held in a public place, I gave it a shot.

And there they were. A whole group of weirdo writers just like me.

I haven’t been the same since.

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