One thing writers ask me a lot is how to make writer friends. I think there’s this notion that it’s hard to make friends as an adult and that it’s a lot more work than it was when you were young. I’m going to dispel that myth.
Original photo by Rizky Subagja on Unsplash
Yes, as a kid, I had a ton of “friends.” Our friendship was based on coincidences. Because we rode the same bus or had the same teacher, or maybe even because we had the same sneakers and we saw each other on the playground. That was how you started friendships when you were a kid.
I would argue that’s not really friendship. Sure, some of the people I met when I was young are still in my life, but i think a lot of those friendships turn toxic. People put a lot of stock in old friendships, even if you aren’t on the same page as that person.
So, let me ask you this:
Are you just expecting to show up in a place and make friends as easily as you did when you were in elementary school? That’s not how it works.
Instead, you need to keep a couple of things in mind. Adult friendships should be based on mutual respect. You should be holding each other accountable. You should be making each other better.
And if that sounds like a lot of work, it’s because relationships are work. Full stop.
A friend isn’t someone that hangs out with you and just entertains you. Friends aren’t activity directors. So, if you’re looking for a writer friend who just shows up and spends time with you all the time, it’s not going to happen.
Adults have a lot to do. From work, side hustles, family, and the friends they already have — it’s asking a lot to have a new friend that spends unbridled time with you the way friends did when you were kids.
Instead, think of it this way.
A writer friend is one that can commiserate with you about deadlines and rejections. A writer friend can recommend a good book that’s similar to your WIP. A writer friend can help you figure out your daily schedule so you have more time for writing.
And it should be noted that in this day and age, a writer friend may not be near you. They may very well be just a Zoom call away.There are a lot of places where writers can make friends. Here's my favs. Click To Tweet
So, it’s with all that I’m going to share with you how to make writer friends. These are ways that I’ve made writing friends, and I think if you go in with the right attitude, you’re going to make a ton of friends.
How to Make Writer Friends
Back in the day, I was the conference queen. Kind of.
I’ve attended a lot in my day, and I have always come away with friends.
I know a lot of writers pride themselves on being introverts, but I think it’s important to acknowledge where you have introvert tendencies and where you have social anxiety tendencies.
So, if you go to a conference and just sit by yourself in the back, you’re not going to make any friends. Instead, go up a table and ask if that seat is taken. It won’t be, because much like you, most writers are loners.
Then, you sit there and strike up a conversation.
I’m not saying all conversations lead to friendships. But it may lead to you finding someone to chat with or to go to lunch with during that conference. It may wind up that you meet your friendly soul mate. Who knows?
But it always has to start with you introducing yourself. So don’t accommodate that social anxiety too much. It’s a waste of your time and the conference entry fee.
And I think I should add that I’ve made friends this way at both writing and blogging conferences. So it definitely works across all venues.
(Never been to a writing conference? Check out this post on what to bring to a writing conference.)
So, Twitter is mostly a mess these days, but for whatever reason, writers, agents, and publishers still love that platform.
And so I encourage you to start a Twitter account (or open the app on your phone from when you started and abandoned your account years ago) and follow the “writing community” hashtag.
It’s imperfect, for sure, but it will be a way for you to connect with tons of writers that you may not have found otherwise. And there are a ton of writers out there just looking for some connection.
Sure, some people are just using it to get eyes on their blog posts and videos. But a lot of people are asking questions and giving advice. It’s a good place to look around and see who has a sense of humor that resonates with you.
And back in the day, the golden age of Twitter circa 2012, it wasn’t uncommon for folks who met on Twitter to meet up in real life. You can totally make that happen, if you feel safe and comfortable doing so.
003: Facebook Groups
It’s no secret that I hate Facebook and consider it a scourge upon this earth. I would’ve long deleted my presence there if not for Facebook groups.
I’m a member of a few writing groups there, and it’s always a great sense of community as well as a place to commiserate with others. You can find great people in those groups, and there are a ton of groups that host challenges, so you can get better in the process.
When it comes to picking a Facebook group, find one that resonates with you. Do you want to become a better writer? Or do you want to connect with other fantasy novelists? Whatever your goal, there’s a group out there for it.
And on that note, don’t spread yourself too thin. You don’t have to join every single group.
004: Writing Classes
Classes, you ask, incredulously. “But Marisa, I’m old and can’t afford college courses.”
Here’s the thing, though. Most writing classes aren’t actually in the university these days.
There are a ton online that you can take and connect with other writers in the discussion group. Or, you can find a class at your local library or adult education center.
There are even art galleries that offer classes, as well as small event centers that sometimes hold them.
Basically, what I’m saying, is there’s a writing class for everyone out there. There’s a writing class for every price point. So, I recommend that you do some research into the classes that are offered in your area, and find one that resonates with you.
You’re bound to find a comrade in arms there.
005: Library Groups
Fact: Writers write books. Also fact: Libraries hold books.
A lot of public libraries offer the opportunity for meetups. So, check the bulletin board or online calendar at your local library. This is a great way to see what’s already going on.
And from there, you select one of the meetup groups. Nearly all libraries will require these meetups to be free, so that’s the perfect price point.
Don’t see a writing meetup? I guess you gotta organize one.
Talk to a librarian and see how you can go about scheduling and advertising this event. If you want to use the library, the space is generally free, you just have to make it open to everyone who wants to attend.
So, figure out the style of your meetup, and get help from a librarian to put it on the schedule.How do you make writing friends? Click To Tweet
How Do You Make Writer Friends?
How did you meet your writing friends? Are you a fan of writing classes and conferences for meeting other writers? What are you looking for when it comes to friendly writers? Let me know in the comments!