Like a lot of writers, I tend to avoid talking about my own writing to non-writers. It’s not that I try to hide it–that would be impossible, especially since it’s become such an important part of who I am–but I just don’t usually feel like talking about a hobby to people that don’t share the same passion. (Note: I hate it when people refer to their hobbies as “passions.” I have no idea why I just did. Actually I could say the same thing about calling writing a “hobby.”)
With that said, there is a huge benefit to talking about writing with other writers, or even interested readers. It’s great to have a group of writer-friends to confide in, bounce ideas off of, or just share rejection gripes with. I really believe that creativity is contagious and the more time you spend with other creative people, the more creative you’ll become. And really, the same can be said about inspiration. I know I get totally inspired to write more, and write better, when I simply have a casual conversation about writing fiction with other writers. And after a writing conference that high can last for days 🙂
So, yeah, it’s important to find a group of writer-friends.
And the best part about finding a group of friends to talk writing with is that it isn’t that difficult. Writers are literally everywhere. Chances are that in your immediate group of friends, there’s either already another writer or a person who has always wanted to write, but just hasn’t taken that leap yet. Get talking and see what you can find out.
But if you don’t happen to know any other writers at the moment, you’ve got plenty of other options. Stop by a local library or coffee shop and see if there are any writer’s group postings on their bulletin board. Keep an eye out for any sci-fi conventions or writing conferences in the area. They are a great way to meet other new and aspiring writers. If all else fails, join some writing message boards, online critique groups, or start leaving comments on your favorite writing blogs. And there there’s always Twitter. I’m really surprised to see how many other writers I interact with over there.
So even if you’re shy about your writing, it’s good to hang out with other writers. It will keep you motivated and maybe even help you improve you own craft and hit whatever goals you may have set for yourself as a writer.