Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Don't Underestimate the Importance of Non-writer Friends!

Non-writer friends are awesome, aren't they?  Sometimes their naivete is so darn cute we just want to pet them on their heads and squeeze their cheeks.  They amuse us with questions like, "When are you going to send that thing off to a publisher?" and "What are you going to do with all the money you're going to make?"  Since they are our friends, we then take the time to explain to them the long process of trying to get published.  They pretend to "get it", but then two weeks later, they're asking what the editor thought of your book.  You respond, "Umm, it's with an agent, not an editor."

Despite their lack of understanding of the publishing world, non-writer friends (I'll refer to as NRF's from here on out) are often our biggest supporters.  Why?  Because they're simply amazed by the fact that we WROTE A BOOK!  Who cares if it's more disjointed than your grandmother's hip, they're in awe that you took several months out of your life to type 50,000+ words! 

NWF's are also awesome, because they say the things our writer friends can't (for fear of being bludgeoned to death with stones by the writing community).  For example, "That agent doesn't know what the hell they're talking about!" and "How does that idiot stay in business?  Taking six months to get back with you . . . sheesh!"  Oh, and my personal favorite, "Your book is ten-times better than half the crap out there!" 

Most of all, non-writer friends keep us grounded.  They help remind us of who we are and everything we've accomplished.  They push us to keep going.  They might not fully understand what we're going through like other writers do, but they're unconditional belief in us and their praise of our work motivates us.

Whenever I start getting down on myself (and my ability to write), I think back to the first time I shared my manuscript with my closest and dearest friend.  She's an avid reader--especially of women's fiction--so I was terrified of how she would respond to it.  My fears were quickly laid to rest though when I received an email from her telling me she loved it.  She eagerly requested more pages, and not only that, she wanted to talk about it!  She didn't want to discuss sentence or dialog structure, she wanted to talk about the characters and the plot and how she could relate to my main character.  She loved my story!   I remember crying.  Hard.  This was the first time I felt like I might actually have a shot at this whole publishing thing. 

So while NWF's might ask annoying questions and maybe they couldn't maneuver the road to publication with a map, don't ever forget they were there for you before the book, and they'll be there after.  Win or lose, they'll always be cheering for you.


  1. What a wonderful post! And soooo true! Two of my most avid "fans" are NWF. In fact, one of them says I ruined her for all other books (LOL) and she's always waiting in the wings to read my next big masterpiece. HA. I love that. It is good for the ego, esp in a biz where we're so often getting kicked in the teeth. It's nice to have a reliable well of adulation we can draw from when our spirits are parched. ;)

    Oh, and BTW, I tagged you in a meme today. Laters, luvie!

  2. Oh my goodness, Ang--I love this post!

    I just experienced this entire blog post during a couple of long-weekend-barbecues. Friends asking, "So this you have to pay her?" And, "How long until the book's out on the shelf?" Oh, BLESS THEM!

    My NWF's are so supportive and impressed (suckers!) and most of them haven't even read the book. That's the beauty of interests I suppose...if we only hung out with fellow writers, we'd be in sad, sad shape. Calling each other goats and what not.

    Beautifully crafted post, my lovely.

  3. Lovely post, Ms. Angela! As of right now, my non-writer friends are clueless that I write. LOL! Well, some do but they're in the Philippines anyway, so they hardly ask me questions about publishing and book stuff. They do read my blog and are very encouraging, bless their hearts!

  4. @Anita- Yes! It's very nice to have someone(s) in your corner who loves what you write no matter what! When I asked my friend to tell me some things I needed to work on, she told she didn't know. She had been too involved with the story to pay attention to anything else. Love it!

    @Bethany- that's the best thing about NWF's--they're so easily impressed! lol! All you have to do is mention you wrote a book, and they're like "Wow! Really? That is so cool!" They don't even care what it's about ;o) Hell, some friends are just impressed that you're able to string a series of words together into a complete sentence ;o)

    @Cherie- My bff is the only person, other than my mom and hubby, who knows I write. She's always been very supportive of me and is always inquiring about my latest project or what "stage" I'm at. She's awesome :o)

  5. Bravo! Well said. I love it when people ask me, so when can I buy it? Um, right now, never.
    The funny thing is, since I started my blog, it turns out that a lot of my childhood friends are writers as well. I guess I picked good friends :)

  6. @Jen- Wow, that is so neat! I don't know anyone who writes (other than my cyber friends). I barely know anyone who reads (books, that is)! LOL! Seriously, no one in my family (parents, brother, sister, husband, etc.) reads; I'm the oddball :o) Whenever I talk about a good book I just read, I get blank stares like I'm talking in another language! lol!

  7. I loved this post, and am so thankful Anita pointed your blog out. :) I'm definitely looking forward to reading more!!!

  8. @Kerri- That is so sweet of you! I appreciate you stopping by and commenting :o) Yes, Anita is a doll--love her! :o)

  9. Anytime! Happy *almost* Friday! :)

  10. Very true! Non-writer friends may ask things like "Hey, I heard about this thing called self-publishing, why don't you do that?" but they are also a great source of purely reader-reaction crits, not sentence or pacing structure crits.

    And yes, they always, always, always love you anyway!