Today I was thinking about how lucky I am to have friends who are also writers. Darned good ones too - far better than I am! I love being able to send a friend a cover design and get some honest feedback - 'Honey, not in a million years, the woman on the cover looks like a slapper.' 'Babe that lettering has so much character it could practically walk off the page.' 'Don't let them murder your book like that - demand a rethink.' Oh, yes, writerly friends can be brutal - but refreshingly so.
And they'll also tell you the truth about your work - if you are very lucky. 'Not your best to be honest, but put it behind you and move on. The next one sounds like a real gong winner.' 'Amazing stuff. My favourite by far. You go for it, girl.' Sometimes you need to hear the truth, other times you just need a writerly hug.
Writers understand, really understand what it means to write, the nail biting horror of publication day (sorry, maybe that's just me!), the sheer drudgery of it some days, the unimaginable joy of it other days. Trying to edit while cooking fishfingers for the kids yet again, trying to glam up for photographers who are coming at 10am on a Saturday morning, the crushing review or even worse, no reviews at all. Knowing they understand and truly care, that means everything to me.
Writing is a lonely old game - tapping away at a keyboard, day after day after day. It's nice to have someone on the other end of a phone, or email, or Facebook who can say 'Cheer up, chuck, only another 50,000 words to go. Nearly there!' And actually mean it.
So here's to all my writer friends - and I do hope you all find some good writer friends of your own. And if you do, hang on to them and never let go.
Do not protect yourself by a fence, rather by your friends - old Czech proverb. Hear, hear!
Yours in writing, SarahX