Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

We’re not related, but we’re Sisters

17 Comments

It’s that time of year again! Yep, it’s the end of July, my daughter just turned 18, and OMG, where did the summer go? I mean, it’ll be August in … eek. Wasn’t it just Memorial Day?

I’ve talked about my Writing Sisters before. We even had a panel at the Writers’ Institute this year. This coming week we’ll be meeting for our annual reunion/writing retreat. We added an extra day this year because we always seem to run out of time, especially if we want to do some writing on our own.

Our reunions are as much about catching up with each other’s lives as they are about writing. I’ve said it before: how often do six–now seven–women start out strangers and end up sticking together like we have?

Pretty sure it’s not very often.

We are a writers’ support system, studying writing and practicing the craft together, with a healthy dose of critiquing, brainstorming, and encouragement thrown in.

That’s not all. We learn about each other’s lives and struggles. We offer shoulders to lean on (yes, you can hum “Lean on Me” now πŸ˜€ ). We know the names of each other’s children, grandchildren, pets. We offer condolences and get well wishes when someone suffers a loss or illness in her family. We send birthday wishes and holiday greetings.

Hmm. Isn’t that what families do? We aren’t related, but we have become a family of sorts. Writing Sisters.

Writing is a solitary pursuit in many respects, but we all know we need at least one other person to help us see the things we cannot because we are too close to the story. We need at least one critique partner to help us revise. We hang with one or more other writers, either in real life or online, in the interest of improving our craft through constructive feedback and sharing of knowledge, a writing group that works for us in our pursuit of whatever writing goal we have, whether a memoir, a poetry collection, or a new series about a vampire version of Sherlock Holmes (yes, I went there πŸ˜‰ ).

Where was I going with this? Hmm. Oh, yeah. If you don’t have a writing partner, see if you can find one, online or in real life. There are a number of FB groups, as well as other online groups like FanStory, WritersCafe, NaNoWriMo, and Scribophile, to name a few. In real life, check out independent bookstores, a local chapter of a national authors’ organization like Sisters in Crime or Romance Writers of America, or the local college English department.

If you find the right group or partner, you have an opportunity to connect with other writers who can help you improve your craft, and may become like family along the way.

Have a great weekend, and hey, get some writing done!

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Author: Julie Holmes, author

A fiction writer since elementary school (many years ago), and NaNoWriMo annual participant for a decade, I have been published in small press magazines such as "Fighting Chance" and "The Galactic Citizen". I write adult mystery with a touch of romance, mystery with extrasensory elements, contemporary fantasy, and epic fantasy, and I'm represented by the fabulous Cynthia Zigmund of Second City Publishing Services. My debut novel, "Murder in Plane Sight", has been released by Camel Press (an imprint of Coffeetown Press/Epicenter Press). In real life, I am a technical writer and empty-nester with a wonderful hubby, one cat (what writer doesn't have cats??), two dogs, seven chickens, and more chipmunks, squirrels, and rabbits than any garden should have to deal with. My garden, our hobby farm, and Nature's annual seasons are some of my muses.

17 thoughts on “We’re not related, but we’re Sisters

  1. I’m very glad you have a support system of other writers. I think it’s really helpful to be able to lean on others when you need to, and it’s helpful to reach out when you’re the one offering support. Writing is not a zero-sum game.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Absolutely, Margot! And it’s especially useful when a story is stalled; brainstorming by many minds is more fruitful than one. The other thing we nurture with other writers is trust. We trust them to give honest feedback, and we offer the same. That decision six years ago to go to a week-long writing retreat is one of the best I’ve ever made for my writing journey.

      Enjoy your weekend!

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Happy birthday to your daughter. I know how hard it is when they become “adults” (and yes, I used the quotes on purpose). My daughter just turned 19. I think she dealt with going away to college better than I did. I’m already sad that she’ll be leaving soon for year two.

    I have one of those writing support systems. I couple, actually. No, wait. Technically three. I get something different from each of them, but they’re all invaluable w/rt keeping me sane. Glad you have the same system to rely on.

    Happy weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As I’ve said before, it sounds GREAT! Enjoy your reunion! I hope there’s a cat somewhere. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My support system is online but it’s a great one. I have two critique partners that I have a fab relationship with and can only hope to meet one day. My last CP, who I worked with for 12 years before she passed away was like a sister. I never met her in person but we shared gifts on birthdays and holidays, had long chats unrelated to writing and always had each other’s backs when it came down to sharing our work.

    Enjoy your time away. it’s extra special when you can actually connect with the people who make your writing world so dynamic, I envy you your retreat Happy writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh have fun, Julie. I don’t know what I would do without the help of my writing buddies… sisters and brothers… who have encouraged, taught, and supported me through the years. It’s truly wonderful. Enjoy your sisters and write up a storm. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • So true about writing buddies! I’m looking forward to the trip. I’m glad we’re taking an extra day this year to do some writing as well as the usual roundtable stuff (brainstorming, critiquing, etc) We’re going on a lake tour as well this year–should be fun!

      Have a wonderful week, Diana!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s great you’ve found that important support system! I agree a writer does need someone to bounce their work off who can be honest with them! They do become your writing family! Have a great meeting and reunion and happy birthday to your daughter!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Happy Birthday to your daughter and it sounds like she has a good head on her shoulders, growing up so fast πŸ™‚ Agree with you writing is a solitary pursuit. But it is so important to have a writing group or partner to help you along to revise as you said, and it also helps you to keep accountable to the writing and actually writing the words. This blog world here in WP is one way of inspiring me to write. It is such a positive, encouraging community πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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