The Symbiosis of Friends and Readers

November 26, 2007 at 4:10 pm | Posted in friendship, Honorary Heartlette, Jessica, writing | 2 Comments
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This month’s free week on the blog comes at a pretty crazy time for me. I am preparing my GH entry and closing in on NaNo – both of which I need to wrap up this week . . . with miles to go before I sleep. Yikes! So when Bria suggested that a friend of mine take a turn on the blog to talk about what it’s like trying to manage a friendship with a writer every day, our November free week seemed like the perfect time to invite him into the Purple Hearts fold. So without further ado, here are some words from one of the few people in my world whom I trust to keep me on course (name withheld to protect the innocent!): 

Well first of all I would like to start this off by admitting I am not a writer. What I do is quite simple actually – I read….so I guess I play a vital role in the whole process but as far as the actual work that goes into getting thought to printed page I leave that to the experts; like the fine ladies who run this blog. So first and foremost I’d like to thank them for allowing me to ramble on their website as I am quite honored and humbled to have been asked to do so. So now comes the problem….what to write about?

I mean, let’s be honest – if I’m having trouble with coming up with a blog entry that will last only until a portion of this page, what happens to someone who does this for a living? Then it hit me, I have a friend who’s a writer and as stated before I like to read; a symbiotic relationship that seems to work well, so why not write what I see of the creative process as a friend on the outside of the next great novel looking in?  Sure, this effectively gets the focus off of me but this is a blog about writing so why not focus on an actual writer, even one I know personally.

First off I respect the creative process, from what I’ve seen it takes a lot from concept to realization of how to execute that concept. You can’t begin to put pen to paper or finger to keyboard and not at least have an idea where you are going with it; that’s a special talent that apparently I can get away with. However in the beginning you have to have an idea where the story you have in your head is going and who the characters are; these characters have to be fully realized and their actions logical. Of course this also invalidates the whole ‘friend support system’ of clichés I use like:

“The story will write itself, don’t worry….”

“Everyone has a story inside, you just have to find yours….”

Or my personal favorite…..

“What do you mean no one reads about vampire cats?”

Okay that last one was a little too personal and possibly a little disturbing if you don’t know me; or if you do for that matter.

So how do I get this masterpiece out of my writer friend? Well for starters I act as a sounding board. Sure I’m an audience that is a little biased, but then again I need something to satisfy my desire to read so why not help my writer friend speed along the process. Plus I have faith in my writer friend’s ability to deliver the goods even if they don’t at that moment. There is something exciting, however, hearing someone ‘sell’ their creative ideas and work through what to this point is an unfinished product. The passion involved as they are explaining what the concept is, who the characters are, and their initial motivation behind their actions is fun to watch; so fun in fact you forget your selfish intention of being the first one to read the manuscript because, after all, this process has one purpose – giving me something to read.

Now I have a decision to make and set aside whatever personal gain I might be able to get from my writer friend. At this point I am excited to read this story and will do anything to support it becoming a reality….what can I say I am now hooked in as a reader, just by seeing the joy on my friend’s face. However, just when things were moving smoothly we hit a snag. Yes I say WE because at this point I’m vested in this project as it makes my writer friend happy and takes me a step closer to the finished novel I sought out in the beginning. Apparently the story has taken on a life of its own and has strayed slightly from its intended course; a complication, sure, but nothing two minds can’t overcome – or more realistically nothing my writer friend can’t overcome and the faith I have in her ability to do so.

Eventually we get back on track, which is a good thing as I look forward to seeing this process to its completion. Sure, it started as me getting a book before everyone, but now it has evolved to so much more. I find myself in the role of anchor/confidant as I’ve been involved in the process in a way I never would have been involved before by just walking into a Barnes and Noble and purchasing a book. Hell, at this point I’m a cog in the machine that would help my writer friend become the success I know that she can become.

Okay, who am I kidding – seeing someone actively pursue their dream is inspiring, seeing creativity at work is motivating, and having a finished product in hand that I had a very small part in is humbling.

As I stated before I am not a writer, and by the couple of minutes you spent reading me ramble on could only confirm that. However, I am a friend of a writer; who is a very good one in my opinion, one whose work I look forward to reading. What I do as a friend is support this passion because, let’s face it, I get more out of it just witnessing the dream realized. As much as I enjoy the finished product, I, for one, am honored to be a part of the journey.

My friend writes and I read, it doesn’t get any more perfect than that.

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A special thank you to my friend for joining us today, and for standing beside me every day.  I hope you all have a great writing week!

-Jessica

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2 Comments »

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  1. Wow! Thanks for visiting us Anonymous Friend! We’ll have to have you check in again and let us know how Jessica’s book is going!

  2. What I will say about the new book – there’s definitely a vampire cat in it! LOL!


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