Kindred Spirits

One of my goals for this year–30, I mean, not 2010–was to make more writing friends.

Actually, on my list (I love lists!), I think there were two separate items: "go to conference" and "find critique partners." But they boiled down to one thing: meet more writers.

The thing is, like 75% of my brain is occupied with writing and reading and publishing dreams. I’m lucky to have supportive, creative friends and a writer husband. They are such good listeners. They are amazing. I brainstorm with my bestie all the time, she’s my #1 cheerleader, and she and Steve are my alpha readers, and my other friends always ask how things are going and volunteer to read my stuff.

But it’s different. When you’re waiting to hear back about what your agent thinks of your new ms and you spend the day staring at the inbox and you feel so neurotic and you’re chain-eating cookies and you’re kind of embarrassed at how much you want someone just to confirm that you don’t suck? It is nice to have writer friends who totally get that.

Right around my birthday, the stars aligned, and I met up with the awesome Kathleen Foucart, with whom I’d already exchanged work, and we have been emailing about character shenanigans and the minutiae of our stories ever since. Then I went to the ALA conference, where I met the fantastic Jackie Dolamore and we talked and talked and then later we exchanged work too. Now I have an awesome new critique partner who sends me awesome emails about astrology and fashion.

I just registered tonight for the SCBWI winter conference in New York at the end of January. I’m rooming with Kathleen and Tiffany Trent. I’m so excited! More writers to meet! More people to talk to about books and writing and publishing! A whole weekend devoted to just that!

I had dinner last month with Caroline Richmond and Robin Reed, two of Awesome Agent Jim’s other DC clients. They are awesome too! And we’re going to have dinner again next week, and they’re both thinking about going to SCBWI NY too.

Sometimes I feel stuck. There’s so much waiting involved in publishing, and I am not super-patient. I don’t have a deal yet. When my family asks whether I have news yet and I have to say "no, not yet" again, and then they ask how many times I have to revise, it can be frustrating.

But this stuff reminds me that I’m not stuck. I’m finding my tribe, my kindred spirits. That’s pretty awesome in itself.

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