I met my writing buddy, Lisa, for coffee this morning at our favorite spot, Cranky Al’s in Wauwatosa (an older Milwaukee suburb). Both of us are busy working moms, struggling to balance all of the other demands on our time with our work as writers.
We try to meet once a month to read each other’s work and offer feedback and encouragement. Sometimes one of us will have had a more productive month in terms of pages, while the other will have read a great book or gone to a conference and can share insights from those experiences. It’s the moral support of a kindred spirit that keeps me finding ways to fit the work into the nooks and crannies of my day.
Often when I’m writing, I think about Lisa as my reader. Will she like this word choice or the logical way I’ve structured this sequence of thought?
Or I think of the women in my writing group: Jo, Karen, Donna, Kathleen, and more recently Jessica and Anne. I’ve known the first four women for over 20 years now. We’ve been together through numerous novels, plays, poetry, articles, and even a screenplay, not to mention births and deaths and cancer and just about anything else life can throw at you.
How fortunate I am to have met all these women! Not only are they friends in real life; they’ve also been most cherished companions in the life of my imagination.
Writers need other writers in their lives, just as artists need other artists and musicians need other musicians, if only to validate our own idiosyncratic ways of “being” in the world.
The title of today’s post? That’s our new motto, courtesy of Cranky Al’s, where the pizza is delicious, too.