If I could change one thing about my writing career…

… it wouldn’t be about being published, nor about timing. It would be about sharing my writing with someone — a one-on-one writing partnership.

I just stumbled upon Something Rhymed, the website of Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney, who formed such a partnership. They now profile other pairs of female authors, in celebration of  friendship and mutual support.

Something Rhymed will be profiling a different pair of female writer pals each month.

This inspires me.

Like many people, I started writing alone but gradually made friends with other online writers (plus I had an old friend who started writing, and joined me on my journey for a while). Several of us kept appearing on the same shortlists, and our stories were published in the same anthologies.

In 2011, though, I had a baby and drifted into the little oxbow lake of early motherhood, while my writing pals sailed on down the river without me. Of course this was one of the best decisions ever, and I celebrated my motherhood and my writing friends’ successes, but it meant that the writers and I were no longer on the same page (either figuratively or literally).

Now my babies are edging into school and I’m writing again — alone. The people who used to enter competitions with me are editing their second or third books, while many of the litzines who published my stories have closed down or moved on. Things — thankfully, I’ll grant — have evolved and I’m happy to catch up, but I miss the company.

This time, I might start looking for a writing buddy in real life as well as online, because much as I adore the writing friends I have scattered across the globe, I’d like to gossip about writing over a coffee where the two drinkers are in the same room. Not all the time (shrieks my inner hermit), but just sometimes. To have and enjoy that simple, wonderful thing: a friendship where smiles are seen and hugs are felt.

I want to read good prose, and help to make it better. I want to write good prose, and have someone tell me that it’s missing a comma (or has eight too many).

I’d like to attend someone’s book launch, help with the drinks, and know that in time, that person will come and help with mine. I want to squeal in tandem at our successes, and mark our failures with a series of ever-improving cakes.

I’d also like them to move down to Penzance, to be prepared to chat (about writing) on the granite clifftops, to not mind that I have a stinky, embarrassing dog, and to understand when I have to dash off for school pick-up, and-

OK, first things first…

I’d like a writing buddy, too.

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7 comments

  1. Marcus Speh says:

    I’ve never had a writing buddy. But it sounds nice. I wonder if this is more prevalent among women writers. We’re more influenced, I guess, by the Hemingway archetype: fight alone, drink alone, shoot [yourself] alone…

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    • tupchurch says:

      Hi, Marcus. And, yes — when I started, I wrote alone and loved it (and still do) — I’d hate to workshop every damn thing, but I do miss the litzine/Fictionaut buzz of my earlier writing days and I do now know a few writers who enjoy idea-bouncing with friends… it might just be that I need to get myself back into the land of the published, gather some momentum. Get back into the fray.

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    • tupchurch says:

      Hi Emms, loved your site — it makes so much sense to write with supportive friends/colleagues, the editorial input and moral support is bound to help as well as being more fun. I’ve already been in contact with some of my old writing friends, but not yet found anyone local. Mind you, chatting online is also a great way of connecting. Those friendships are still very real.

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