**Art acquired from www.DeviantArt.com **
We talk quite a bit on Monday Sanctuary about taking time to be with your children and spouses, and making time for yourself. And all of those things are über important. But there's another important sanctuary for writers out there: friendships with other writers.
I can't imagine taking this leap into the publishing world without others who are just as crazy as I am, holding my hand and encouraging me along. From my first SCBWI conference, to the daily support I get from the Oasis Ladies, I've learned that fellow YA writers are hands-down some of the best support you can get.
For example: Who else are you going to complain to that Agent Awesome hasn't answered your query yet? Your spouse? Not if you're me. The typical reaction I get from my husband is: which one is that?
Or: Who's going to understand that you had an amazing stroke of genius and just had to stay up writing till 2 am? Your boss as you drag your tired carcass in the next morning? Not hardly.
But your writing friends know. They get it; they get you. They're the ones who will help you sort through polar opposite critiques and talk you down off the ledge when your characters stop communicating with you. They're also the ones who see the plot holes, the logical fallacies, and the sheer beauty of your writing. Without writing friends, this might truly be the loneliest business around. But it doesn't have to be.
If you're following this blog, then chances are, you already recognize the value of connecting with like-minded crazies. But if you want some other places to go to meet writer friends, try these ideas:
* Join a group like YALitChat -- we've gotta pimp it & spread the love, 'cause after all, we all met there
* Join some chats on twitter (like #yalitchat or #kidlitchat); along those same lines, start engaging with other aspiring YA authors on twitter
* Start really engaging with other bloggers who share you writing passion
* Perhaps most importantly: find a critique partner/group whom you trust and respect
If you find the right people to write with, then your sanctuary need not be solitary. Whose friendship has brought you sanctuary lately?