Thursday, April 06, 2006

Woe Is the Friendless

I have no friends.

Wait. Let me rephrase that before you all think I'm a complete loser.

I have no writer friends.

Okay, once again, need to clarify.

I have no writer friends who exist in three dimensions. No one who shares my passion for writing that I haven't met on and communicate with primarily via the Internet.

Many of my non-writer friends know that I write, or at least know that I "dabble in writing, as sort of a hobby to fill those boring hours between picking the kids up at school and waiting for the dryer to finish so I can get the whites out before they wrinkle". These friends are always interested enough to ask me if I'm still writing or how the writing is going, to which I always offer up an embarrassed "slowly." In other words, I can't blame them for not taking me seriously because I don't act serious about it with them, but rather as if I'm ashamed to call myself a writer without any writing to actually show them as proof.

Anyway, I have non-writer friends; friends I've made with things in common that have nothing to do with writing. Mothers of the kids who go to school with my kids, with whom my conversations are limited to pretty much school and kid-stuff.

Friends I inherited when I married my husband, through his work and a couple of guys he's known since high school. When these buddies of his got married, I acquired their wives as friends, so a boon for me.

And I have a handful of friends I've retained from my own professional life. These are people I talk to every once in a while, always with the promise and intention that we really should get together soon and catch up. Except, when we catch up and then find we don't have work in common any longer, somehow it becomes easier to delay those get-togethers for longer and longer stretches of time.

In the end, though, I don't have any friends who I can relate to on a purely intellectual level that live close enough to meet for lunch once or twice a week or month. No one who I can bounce ideas off of over a cup of coffee. When I talk writing, it's via e-mails and comments on blogs and the like. There's no face to face involved. I'm not ready for a writers' group or critique partners, so I haven't looked yet.

Thus, after wracking my brain, I could come up with no one who would want to go with me to the Jennifer Crusie/Bob Mayer booksigning that's scheduled at a bookstore only a couple of suburbs away from mine at the end of this month. None of my friends that I can imagine would think I wasn't off my gourd for waiting in line to have some writer sign a romance novel (which goes to show what most of my non-writing friends think of the genre of my heart).

I've never been to a book tour appearance before. Except the time when I was working at Barnes and Noble and Greg Louganis came to our store for a booksigning and I got to meet him and was actually sent to fetch him some dinner from the Burger King right down the street.

Part of me loathes the idea of going. I hate crowds, and I'm imagining a person of Jenny Crusie's stature will draw crowds. I hate showing up to stand in line all alone, feeling as if I look really pathetic. I already experienced this the first time I waited in line at midnight to pick up Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. If I knew that there would just be a handful of people milling about and that I could easily approach the table, have Crusie and Mayer sign my book, and slip away, I'd go in a second.

Because I'd just love to meet Jenny Crusie. To see in the flesh a person who represents the dream I have for myself. Plus, I think I might already be in love with Bob, just from reading his half of their dueling blog.

So, maybe I'll go. Maybe I won't.

Either way, I'm thinking I need to get me some writer friends who are local. These cyber-relationships leave me a little lonely.


Anonymous said...

Dear Friendless in Chicago,

I also proclaim to dabble in writing and went in search of writer blogs to feel a sense of kinship. Yours is the first blog I've read so I felt I should leave you a comment. Keep on writing! Even if you never get published, writing is a joy. I try to take my own advice. :-)

Jean said...

GO!!! I wish they were coming to a few suburbs away from me. I don't have any off-line writer friends either, but that signing would be worth the while.

I hate crowds too, but you could meet someone worth chatting with while you wait in line. I'm frequently surprised by the conversations I stumble into with complete strangers.

(Well, I have one off-line writer friend (we were friends before we were writers)I know in person, but she lives too far away to easily get together with for lunch, so we're relegated to email, some IMing, and blog posts.)

Go stand in line and get your signatures--make sure you get the Moot stamp.

Kelly E. Lee said...

Have you tried finding a writing group in your area? I joined a writing group in my small town of 3000 people (Wisco). It was one of the greatest things I've done. If there isn't a group close by, you could consider starting one through your local library. That's how ours was started. The friends I have made through the group understand me in a way that, I feel, very few people do. I really identify with your blog. I am a stay-at-home mom/aspiring writer, as well.

MaryF said...

GO!!! They aren't even coming to Texas!

Good luck!