The research on the new book is coming along nicely now. I’ve spent the past week reading a great book called ‘Death from the Skies! The Science Behind the End of the World’ by Philip Plait. It is a great read and packed with information about how the universe can kill us – I loved it! In some weird way that I didn’t expect, it put my life and petty worries into perspective.
My news for this week is that I have a writing buddy. She’s a friend who I met on a weekend, novel-writing course about 18 months ago. She has had her first novel – a killer action story – completely outlined for a while now but has been frustrated with trying to get the writing of it underway. A few weeks ago, we were out for a catch up, both of us bemoaning over wine and tapas that busy lives were getting in the way of writing. Then my friend suggested a plan – why not get together for one or two nights a week to write, taking turns to host each other?
I couldn’t see any downside so, with a clink of glasses, we decided to give it a go. To date, we have had two successful writing evenings, getting together with our laptops and just writing. No sharing of work, no critiquing, not even much talking. We just work.
The benefits to having a writing buddy are many. The obvious one is that it forces me to block out time that can only be used for writing. As a busy mum, a whole host of time-sucking activities seem to bulldoze their way into my calendar, pushing my writing time off into the land of perpetual tomorrows. And that’s assuming I got as far as scheduling it in my calendar in the first place! Now that someone else is involved, I have to schedule in writing like I would a dental appointment.
The second thing I love about having a writing buddy is the companionship. Writing can be very isolating, and there is something comforting about having someone to share the experience with, even though we are tapping away quietly on our respective laptops and not communicating.
Of course, some communication does happen over the course of the evening, and having the opportunity to hang out with another writer is also an opportunity to give and receive support. That support and encouragement is important to me, it’s a large part of why this blog exists, and why so many of us writers join together in online communities.