How To Stay Positive When Writer Friends Quit Writing #writers #writerslife

Writer friends are special human beings. They understand your creative side, share your writing passion and know all about the emotional turmoil that goes hand in hand with writing a book. You share work, give each other feedback and talk writing. Bliss!

This shared understanding forges a deep bond between you both, especially if you have felt misunderstood by non-writers for years. Suddenly you have someone who gets the creative side of you! This is powerful friendship stuff.

So when your beloved writing friend decides that writing or blogging is not for them anymore it can be pretty painful for both of you.

Suddenly your creative sidekick is no longer there, as they are busy finding some other life path to follow. You are left clutching your notepad and pen feeling a little bit teary.

I experienced this last year when a friend of mine quit writing and it was a sad time.

If you are like me, here is what can happen next, after your writer friend announces that they are quitting:

  • It feels like dark clouds have covered up the sun in your writing world.
  • You find yourself doubting your own creative talents.
  • This is made hundred times worse when you come to the conclusion that your writer friend is the better writer out of the two of you. If they are giving up writing or blogging – shouldn’t you? If they can’t make it in the writing world – how can you do any better?
  • You find yourself viewing your writing journey through their eyes. They might be angry or hurt with the writing world, beaten down by rejections etc. So after hours of heart to heart conversations with them on this you soon find yourself adopting the same negative attitude.
  • You consider quitting too.
  • You worry that you won’t make new writer friends and if you do they won’t give you the same sort of feedback your writer friend gave you.

 

Here are some tips on how to stay positive and focused on your own writing journey, during this emotional time:

  • Accept that your writer friend is in a different place to you. Writers can tire of the creative struggle and look for other sources of happiness. It happens. Being a writer is, at times, torturous and sometimes the easiest thing to do is walk away. You have to accept that you are in a different place to your  writing friend.
  • Remind yourself of your own writing journey and your own creative goals. Don’t lose sight of them. You are still a writer.
  • Remind yourself of the last time you felt good about your writing.
  • Watch out for those negative thoughts creeping in. Try to stop comparing yourself to your writer friend. No two writers are the same!
  • If your friend is a true writer they will be back. It may take weeks, months or years but as my good friend Candice Coates says ‘true writers cannot turn that light off!’
  • Strengthen your writer network by reaching out and making new writer and blogging friends. Social media is great for this. Start joining some writer conversations on Twitter or Facebook.
  • New writer friends bring a fresh perspective, which can be scary, but on the flip side think how useful this could be when getting feedback?
  • Accept that you will face writing struggles during your literary journey and you will deal with these in your own way – when they present themselves.
  • Be happy for your friend. They might have been troubled for a while about writing and this decision to quit could have lifted a huge weight from their shoulders.

Wish them well on their new journey and keep writing!

Take it easy writers!

photo credit: Stocksnap

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I am a blonde writer of romantic comedy fiction.

38 thoughts on “How To Stay Positive When Writer Friends Quit Writing #writers #writerslife

  1. Ive never had a friend who reads much let a lone writes, so it must have been nice to have a sidekick, but writing is a solo thing anyway, but im sure youll find someone or some place to help inspire you again. WordPress isnt bad 🙂

  2. I’m sorry your friend quit writing. I can see why this would’ve felt sad and unsettling. As for him/her being a “more talented writer,” I firmly believe that SOME talent and a LOT of perseverance are what it takes to make it in this profession. Keep going, keep being your amazing writer self, keep writing blog posts to get yourself through times of doubt. Fellow writers like me will read them, empathize with you, and support you.

    Question: I’ve been feeling a strong desire to expand my network of writer friends; which writer conversations would you recommend joining on Twitter and Facebook?

    1. Hey Eve! Thx for reading and commenting 🙂 You are right it is about perseverance! I think I was full of insecurity last year so that didn’t help this situation. On Twitter I normally hang out on the #writerslife tweets and #writers tweets. There are some lovely writers on there who are chatty and friendly. In terms of Facebook I am still finding my way. Will let you know on that one 🙂

      1. Thanks for the suggestions! Until now, I’ve pretty much just been poked around on #amwriting and #amediting. I’ll definitely give #writerslife and #writers a try.

  3. Reblogged this on Helen Treharne and commented:
    Having a buddy interested in writing has been one of the things that kept me motivated in the early days. She was a keen writer but hadn’t written seriously for years but that didn’t matter, it was just important to have someone who was passionate, imaginative and loved talking about writing. I didn’t tell anyone I wrote until I finished the first draft of my first novel and her excitement spurred me on. Several years later and lots of coffee discussing lots of ideas, she too is working her way through a screen play and her first novel. We don’t talk regularly, just meet up every couple of months, but knowing I need to tell her something about my WIP really helps. I’ve also made lots of friends through social media (joining Rave Reviews Book Club has been great for that) and keep in touch offline with many of them. Reach out. Share ideas. Ask for feedback. Join conversations. There’s lots of writers out there who love to connect and if they’re local why not ask them to meet up for a coffee? Us writers aren’t naturally the most outgoing of creatures but we can normally be bought with caffeine.

  4. This is a lovely bittersweet post, and I’m sure many writers – myself included – will relate to it. But one of the loveliest things to come out of writing/blogging is the sense that one has many ‘writer friends’ all over the world.

    My original writing buddy and I have seen our enthusiasm, commitment, and even available time for writing, ebb and flow over several years. Pressure of work, other priorities and even the fluctuating levels of excitement/crisis have impacted the support we offer one another as writers, but *never* as friends. One of the most exciting things to have come out of writing for me was from the first writing course I attended… a writing buddy who became a new and wholly unexpected friend-for-life. As it happens, at the moment, we are both prioritising other things, but I feel we will both return to our writing again in the coming months.

    Oh, and don’t you lose touch with your own writing… I’m still waiting with bated breath for that draft!!

  5. Writing is a lot of work and that isn’t always apparent when one starts out. There are tons of wonderful, exciting things to do in life. I hope when people decide it’s not for them that they find another source of inspiration and passion. Despite the loss, there’s no lack of writing buddies out here in blogland!

  6. Good advice to keep your head up through a challenging time. I think all artists have times of struggle, and I’ve had days when I feel like quitting the journey of becoming a self-published author and simply write stories without publishing them. But then I come back to the idea of keeping at it. For me, it’s been helpful to look back and see how far I’ve come. It’s been a journey with challenges, but I’m glad I’ve taken it.

    1. Me too even though I haven’t written a book yet that I have been happy with. Dire books are bad but at least they only see my folders. Maybe one day I will cross that hurdle. It’s always nice to see you – happy Friday!

  7. Another tip: consider the possibility that your friend may need to quit in order to find her writing roots again. I quit many times and always came back. The last time I quit for three years, and when I came back, I started the longest and most productive writing streak of my life. Richard Bausch wrote, “When you feel global doubt about your talent, that is your talent. People who have no talent don’t have any doubt.”

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