When Writers Get Together.

Posted on 20th July, 2018

Last weekend, along with 200+ other writers, I was at the RNA (Romantic Novelists' Association) Conference in Leeds. Times were when writing was a completely solitary activity for me; and when I say 'times were,' what I mean is: for years; as in, decades. Before you start thinking this makes me extremely old, I hasten to add that I was a child writer, so these decades started when I was in primary school.


Why do some writers keep their writing to themselves? In my case, it was partly through being a private person by nature. It wasn't that I made a conscious decision not to talk about my writing - I just didn't do it. And when I finally did do it, I didn't shout it from the rooftops but chose carefully whom to tell. (Annette and Jacquie, are you reading this?)


Then, a few years ago, I signed up for a writing holiday in Cornwall, during which I discovered the delight of being in the company of other writers. We were all interested in one another's work and experiences and felt confident sharing what we had written, knowing it would be received in an atmosphere of support.


Since then I have been to various conferences, events and workshops and I love them. You never stop learning. You never stop improving your craft. Best of all, being with other writers is a joy. Even if you have lucky enough to have dozens of non-writing friends (and I wouldn't be without mine) who are concerned and interested and sympathetic, the fact is that they don't understand in the same way that other writers do.


Writers will always share what they know and provide encouragement and support. It is a wonderful profession in that respect. Meeting other writers both online and in the real world creates friendships and support networks and can lead to new opportunities.


I am happy to be on my own with my writing most of the time, but I enjoy getting together with writing friends and feel hugely lucky to have made new friends in recent years through my writing. With writer friends around you, success is more exciting and you are buoyed up in times of disappointment.


Best of all, being with fellow writers is fun!



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Comments (10)

Hi, Cass. lovely to hear from you. I'm glad you were able to come to the RNA Conference this year. It was great to see you and catch up.

As for sharing work aloud - I don't blame you for not wanting to. I was once in a writers' group where reading your stuff was not just expected but required and I didn't stay in that group for very long. Far too uncomfortable!
I've just realised a read this the other day and forgot to comment - sorry!

It was lovely to be with other writers at the conference in Leeds, and so lovely to catch up with you, Sue. I think the companionship, friendship, advice and shared experiences of other writers has been hugely important to my self confidence over the last year.

Having said that, I'm still a bit of a wuss when it comes to sharing my writing in its raw form. I was on a writing retreat last November and the thought of even reading a passage of my own aloud to the others was just too much for me!

Hi, Jen. It was lovely to be with you at the RNA Conference. Writing events are good for the soul, aren't they?
I was happy to share the 'joy' of the RNA conference with you, Susanna. Thank you for being such a support to me in writing and life. And thank you for such a happy and affirming blog post about the importance of writing communities too! xx
Thank you, Kirsten. You're right - having supportive writer friends around you (whether in the real world or online) makes the whole process a much better experience.
Hear, hear. I love my writing friends - the journey wouldn't be nearly as fun and exciting without them. Great post xxx
Lovely to hear from you, Christina, and I'm so glad that you agree. Writer friends make all the difference. They share the highs and the lows, making the lows bearable and the high even more wonderful.
Excellent blog post and oh so true! I'd have given up long ago without the support of my friends, especially my writer friends and the LLs in particular.
Great to hear from you, Maddie. Writers are indeed a supportive bunch. And, as you point out, you don't actually have to meet them in person. There is a lot of support available via online connections and friendships. Three cheers for the LLs!
Great blog and all so true. What would I have done without other writers? Some I have met, many I haven't but they are all encouraging, helpful and enthusiastic. when you have a failure they pick you up. when you have a success they cheer with you. Hurrah - especially for the LL's.