It’s great to have friends. It’s even better when they do what you do. Writing is an isolated profession. No going into “the office” clocking in for your eight hours, going about your day, laughing and chatting with your colleagues while you work, sharing the load, seeking their advice etc. etc.
For an author the office is wherever your computer is at and there’s just you and it. Oh, and a blinking cursor goading you, making you feel inadequate. Day in, day out, sitting at the computer with characters and words and no-one to bounce things off, to give you a squeeze on the shoulder and say, hey, how are you going? Are you stuck with something? Would you like a hand? How can I help? Would you like a cup of tea? Go and have a lunch break, I’ll finish up here (I wish!)
Our staffroom is the internet and many of us connect through cyberspace because we crave that contact with like-minded souls. But it’s really not the same as face-to-face. There’s no immediacy. No pats on the back for a sentence well written, no shoulder to cry on when all you’ve written all day is that one brilliant sentence.
That’s why the annual conference is so great, because you get to catch up with people you’ve only talked to online for the past year.
Luckily in my corner of the world, there is a strong author base and we do try to get together every once in a while. Last week I drove to beautiful beachside Mooloolaba and met up with a few gal pals who also happen to be terrific authors.
Robyn Grady who writes for Presents and Desire. Rachel Bailey who writes for Desire. Amanda Ashby who writes YA for Puffin. Sarah Hantz who writes teen fiction for Flux.
We laughed and ate and drank to the sound of pounding surf. Several hours of chat about books and movies and television and the industry and agents and whose taking what and our latest crazy plot ideas and my well was filled and my muse was invigorated. As it should be when ladies lunch.
So what about you guys out there? Do you have a group of friends who meet regularly? Who are they? What do you talk about?
I’ve included a pic of our lunch date – a signed book to the first of you who can tell me who is who.