Earlier in the week, I wasn’t sure what I was going to talk about for the Whatcha ____ Wednesday blog. And actually, as I opened up a new post to start writing, I intended to chat about what book I’m reading and loving right now (side note: Tessa Bailey’s Boiling Point). But then I remembered what I did last weekend and thought it might be better to touch on something else that I’m loving right now: writer friendships.
I’ve said before a thousand times that this career is lonely at the best of times, isolating at the worst. This, of course, may be different depending on your personality type, but for me? As an ENFJ(-A), I gain energy from being around people and find this job to be extremely taxing in that aspect. I like to joke with my CP that all that energy she’s drained of at conferences, I suck it all up. Because of that, it’s important for me to find outlets and ways to connect with others, whether that be through dinners out, meetings, workshops, social media, or just plain old texting.
Last weekend, a group of seven of us headed to beautiful Galena, IL for a writer’s retreat. The plan was tentative and loose—show up on Friday, leave on Sunday, and do whatever we wanted in the time between. And we managed to cram a lot in. Between workshops, plotting chats, discussing our processes, working, and, of course, drinking, our weekend filled up before we even knew it. We had a nice mix of people who attended, writing in different genres and categories, and at different stages in their writing careers. Because of that, conversation never waned, and each of us had something different to offer the others in the group. We had such a great time, we’re planning to make it a yearly event.
As I’m sitting here this week, on the downhill slide from my high of the retreat and also #NotAtRT and feeling pretty bummed about it, I’ve been chatting with my CP and good friend Jeanette Grey about other ways I can get that fuel when it’s just not possible to attend a retreat or conference. Because let’s face it—that shit gets expensive. The thing she keeps telling me (and, to be fair, the thing she’s told me at least seventeen times a year for the past four years) is to go to my local chapter already, god. (So she didn’t say it like that because she’s much nicer to me than I am, but still the gist was the same.)
I’ve been a member of my local-ish chapter for a while, but timing hasn’t ever worked in my favor. I say local-ish, because I actually have three chapters close to me, but by close, I mean they’re all about an hour away. That’s made it challenging to find the time in the schedule to go, but I think it’s about time I figure out a way to make it work. Because in this isolating career where my brain and my spirit run on connections, it’s time I made some more.