My dear friend Laurie recently fell and broke a bone in her right hand. That’s a nasty experience for anyone, but especially Laurie because she’s an artist – a right-handed one! She can’t paint for at least six weeks.

I called her to sympathize and offer to help in any way I could. We talked for a while, Laurie berating herself for not being careful, and groaning about the infuriatingly long healing process.

Then, wrapping up with a chuckle to forestall self-pity, she said, “I know you’re working, Barbara, so I won’t keep you.”

I did indeed go back to work on the book I’m writing, thinking: Thank goodness for friends who “get it.” As an artist, Laurie well understands the long hours – the long process – it takes to create.

Few people understand what it takes specifically for writers to create.

For example, I’ll bet there are several among your family and friends who don’t get it. (I call them “civilians.”) They don’t understand that when you’re staring out a window for half an hour, you’re at work. Maybe you’re mulling how to introduce your story’s inciting incident. Or how to tighten a straggling scene. Or how to intensify the story’s climax. Or dozens of other challenges involved in bringing your story to life.

Also, these folks have no idea how wounding it is when they say something like, “Are you still writing that book?” They mean well, of course; they love you. They simply don’t get it.

But you know who does get it? Your writer friends. They understand what goes into the work. They know all about the brain-teasing, hair-pulling process. Like you, they’ve been through the exhilarating highs and the soul-testing lows.

And, as a veteran of the writing trenches, I assure you that the work can eventually bring deep satisfaction and solid rewards.

So, cherish your writer friends. They are with you in spirit on every step of your journey to create. They really do get it.

Happy writing!

All my best,
Barbara Kyle