Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Influence of Association: Part Three

How does the last two posts equate to writing? If you want to increase your motivation to write, hang out with writers. It’s pretty simple. Hanging out with all soccer players isn’t going to help you crack open that story you’ve been meaning to get to for the past month. Hanging out with soccer players is going to help you to play soccer more, and hanging out with writers is going to help you write more.

Surrounding yourself with people who are successful in your craft (writing for writers, thin people for people working on losing weight, PHDs for aspiring students) can be very beneficial. They can help guide you, give you valid advice, help motivate you, and help show you the rewards ahead for those successful in that craft.

However, all of your acquaintances don’t have to be successful writers and probably shouldn’t be (and you would probably have a hard time constructing a friends circle of all successfully published writers anyways). Even though you most likely will learn the most about the craft of writing from a successful writer, you can learn something from everyone you interact with.

Perhaps my gamer friends aren’t, ehem...
as "hardcore" as this proud gamer, but they're proud none the less.
I have multiple friends groups: some writers, some gamers, some artists, some programmers. I’ve learned to diversify characters in my stories because of them. They’ve introduced me to hobbies and ideas that I would have never been exposed to if I had just a friends circle of hardcore writers. Because of that, I’ve gain some unique experiences that I incorporate in my writing. My relations with my non-writer friends helps keep my perspective fresh on page. But on the flip side, my friends that write regularly help keep me charged about writing and help inspire me to improve my craft. In essence, this is my yin and yang pool. A dichotomy of skill, ideals, characters, and slants that help keep me balanced between focused and striving for excellence in my craft, as well as keeping it fresh and interesting.


  1. Yup. :) It’s important to hang with other writers to help keep you on point, but it doesn’t hurt to hang with others too. It’s a balance that I’ve had to find, and when that balance was “off,” it seemed that my writing was “off” as well.