Hands up if you have done any of the following:
Narrated what you’re doing like you’re on Blue Peter.
Started getting dressed but then got bored, resulting in a jeans/pyjama top combo.
Eaten ¾ of a loaf of bread as a ‘snack’.
Spent seven of your working hours Googling ‘horses wearing hats’, panicked, then worked all night to hit your deadline.
Bought a pet of any kind and formed a co-dependent relationship with it.
Stared at everything you have written that day as fat tears roll silently down your cheeks and wondered what you are doing, what’s wrong with you and why you ever thought you were talented.
Uh-huh, uh-huh…no don’t worry, I’ve done them all too.
That last one is the worst (although the bread comes a close second). It’s oh-so-easy to enter that negative spiral in which you are the worst and most lonely writer in the world and no one else knows what it’s like.
This in itself is a prime reason for writers to reach out to one another. But this piece is called ‘6 reasons to meet other writers’, and I’m nothing if not dedicated, so…
1. Writers get it.
No one else understands the agony and the ecstasy and the horrifying calorie consumption like other writers. You don’t have to explain: it is already there, the unspoken sentiment between the lines, ripe for inference.
You think you’ve been a pathetic, carb-guzzling, cat-nuzzling, pyjama’ed mess? Come and hang with other writers and you’ll see you’re playing minor league compared to some of these cats.
2. Writers support each other.
No, stop laughing. Writers absolutely should be supportive, not combative. It’s not like Yellow Kite only give out one publishing deal a year.
If you are friends with a writer who is not your biggest cheerleader, ditch them now.
That said, it is natural to sometimes have pangs of envy or frustration when you meet writers who you think are doing ‘better’ than you. Those feelings are normal, but they are never going to go away. Learn to deal with them now and you will be a better writer for it, and a generally more pleasant human.
3. Writers inspire each other.
You will never find a more creative bunch than a Pencil Case of Writers (official collective noun).
Stuck for you next idea? Stuck for any ideas? Search out people who are thinking about different things, in different ways, and using different words to describe them.
You know your favourite book, the one that inspired you to start writing in the first place? Yeah, a writer wrote that. So come and meet some of them.
4. Writers go crazy if left alone.
Most writers are inherently ‘a bit up and down’, as my long-suffering brothers would say.
Isolation is a one-way ticket to Downsville, and you’re not just passing through, I mean you’re renting a flat there and taking out contents insurance.
We writers love our solitude and most of us need it to do the business. But, dude, seriously, brush your teeth and get out of the house.
5. It’s fun to meet other writers.
Writing can be tough, which means most writers are great at cutting loose.
Writers not only tend to be funny people, creative thinkers and great conversationalists, we love to have a drink.
Like, most writers really like to drink.
6. It can help your writing career.
Ah, now you’re on board, I see.
Of course meeting other writers can benefit your career. We have created The Riff Raff for precisely his reason: to give new writers a showcase for their work and to let them share their experience.
This is a place where you will pick up all sorts of insider tips and get answers to the questions you feel too silly to ask. This is a place where you might meet a writer and make a friend.
We want the experience of meeting new writers to be positive for everyone.
So if you’ve spent the day eating and petting and crying and narrating your life out loud, why not come and join us.