Finding one is easy. Finding the right one is hard. If you’re successful in the mission, and discover what you seek, hold onto the treasure like your life depends on it.
Anyone who has never found the ‘right’ writer buddy for them possibly won’t understand the true value of one. Critique sites are great (or review sites, depending on how you roll). You get all that awesome feedback from a variety of writers/readers. They give you a wider audience with differing opinions, and you end up with every aspect dissected because one will always find what the others miss.
So, why the heck do I need a writer buddy, then?
Because, if you find The One, a real Preciousssss (said in a Golem accent), they just may be the only person on the face of the planet who 100% gets you (apart from your other half).
They get you as a person. They get you as a writer. In order for it to reach the point where this person is a true writer buddy, you will have poured your heart and soul out to them, and they are so in tune with what makes you tick, it borders on being a love affair.
My writer buddy knows me. She knows my writing. Even when I change my ‘voice’ for a new character, she knows my style. Damn, she even knows my characters to the point she could probably win a round on Mastermind answering questions on them.
Nothing I write is ever too ‘off-the-wall’ to her. Nothing is ever crap. Nothing is ever unsalvageable.
But she’s also not afraid to tell me what she thinks. If I’ve written something boring (it has happened), she tells me. If my writing drags (um … and that), she tells me. If I end a chapter in the wrong place (yeah, that’s happened, too), she tells me. Inconsistencies, bad descriptions, wonkiness, stepping out of character, horrid or unnatural dialogue, she tells me of them all.
She sees my writing at first draft. She edits/critiques my writing at first draft. She yells at me about my first drafts.
Amongst all of her rants, complaints, pointing out of errors, she also remembers to tell me what I’m doing right.
She tells me to quit moaning that I can’t write today and suck it up. She shouts at me to get on with the next chapter because don’t I know she’s waiting to read it, dammit! Some days, when I’m low, when the battles of writing (ones only a true writer can sympathise with and understand) … some days, she’s the reason I keep going.
I raise a glass to you, my writer buddy. I thank whatever fate nudged you to cross my path. As for a direct show of appreciation, I’m just not sure there are words powerful enough to portray it (and that says a lot, coming from a writer). But I’m pretty sure she’ll read this. Whether or not she’ll out herself is another matter (I’m too scared to out her, in case I end up having to share—ha!). But if she reads this … I’m hoping she ‘gets’ it.
So … who else out there has been fortunate to grab themselves the grand prize of a writer buddy? And not just a writer buddy, but a True Writer Buddy?