Having friends and family that support your writing is great but I believe that you also need "writer friends". Friends who are also writers that you can talk to about things that those who don't write often have a hard time understanding. And that's fine, they don't have to. If they support you that's enough. But having someone that you can talk to about those distinctly "writerly" things is also very important.
If you want to vent to someone about how you just can't get this character's background right, then that is something that you probably want to discuss with a writer friend. What I mean by this is someone who also writes. And usually, someone who also writes to seek publication in one way or another. Because writing for oneself only is different than writing something and then polishing it for publication. It's a different journey. So if that is what your aim is with your writing then usually you would want to find someone whose aim is similar.
I met one of my best writer friends (who has also become a good friend) through an author's street team on Facebook (Rachel Harris' Flirt Squad). Jennifer Wesier. (Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/jenniferlynnweiser) I posted a question about beta readers and she said that she would be happy to read for me. I sent her a message, we messaged back and forth on Facebook a few times and then we exchanged e-mails. That was it. I've sent her the manuscript I was referring to in that first question on Facebook and she had suggested edits sent back to me in a little over a week. Now, I continue to bounce ideas off of her. I e-mailed her a character profile of one of the characters in the next book that I'm working on. Yes, she will be reading that one too. ;) I will also read for her.
So, I suppose my point is that it's important to have people who "get it". Often, writing is a solitary experience and if we can then talk to people who understand the things that we as writers come up against, it makes it a little easier. My fiance also looks over and edits my work - he's an avid reader so I also trust his edits. (He'll be starting a food blog this year. Check out the Facebook Page for it: https://www.facebook.com/ChronicallyHungry)
If you're a writer I encourage you to find people that you can talk to about your writing. I met Jenn through Facebook and through her I met Ryan Ringbloom. (Facebook Page:
Writing classes are a great way to meet writer friends as well. Or you may just stumble upon someone who also writes. I met someone who also wrote with the goal of publication in mind during my junior year of college, Taylor Vogt. The project that he's working on is Romantic Fiction with Fantasy and Science Elements. (Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/GammaTheExperiment ) If you're still in school, maybe your school has a literary magazine. I was on the literary and arts magazine in college and was therefore surrounded by people who also loved literature and the arts.
How do your writer friends help you? Are you looking for writer friends? Any tips on how to find some? Let me know in the comments! :)
<3 Amanda Leigh