Jan 26

Why a Writer Needs a Writer

by Hannah Holt »


I’m excited to have Renae Mackley as guest blogger today. She’s an award winning writer, master gardener, and proud grandma. Check out her writing adventures and tips at Renae’s Write Spot. She’s generously kicking off my new series on art and friendship.

Take it away Renae:

I started writing a novel after reading one that struck me as being something within my capabilities. Just give me a computer and enough time and the ideas I find exciting can turn into publish-worthy pages. Ignorance is bliss. Rejections came but I had proved to myself I could complete such a project, and my skills should only improve with practice.

After beginning the second novel, I moved to a new area and met a friend who also wrote. She encouraged me to join her critique group. What an eye-opener! She and another woman did their best to find good things to say about my writing while guiding me through reasons why a sentence or paragraph needed changes or why a character felt flat. I quickly learned and improved through both writing and critiquing. The process of growth felt exhilarating.

This woman and I developed an unlikely friendship. She has a busy household full of children, and my caboose was heading to college. She is a bit high-maintenance, and I’m more relaxed. But we needed one another to improve, to fulfill our dreams.

There came a point where my friend grew frustrated with her lack of success.

“Why spend so much time when nothing comes of it?” she asked.

The answer was evident. “Because you love it.”

An artist needs another artist to buoy her up, give encouragement, praise when deserved, and offer constructive criticism as needed. Our spouses may be supportive, but they really don’t understand our drive and all that it takes to do what we do. Only another passionate writer can fill those shoes. I am grateful to have such a friend in my life.

 Well put Renae! Thank goodness for writing friends. Check out the fun alliteration contest she is running on her blog.
If you have a story you would like to share about art and friendship, email me at hannahweight at yahoo dot com.

  1. Eric VanRaepenbusch

    Before I was a stay-at-home dad I was a teacher (can’t believe I have been at home for almost 7 years!). I can honestly say, I have never missed the daily grind of teaching. But, I did miss being creative to help kids learn. Starting my blog really helped fill the creativity void in my life, but something was still missing.

    After joining SCBWI and a writer’s critique group I realized that what was missing was having friends and colleagues that share the same passion. I have been attending for only about six months, but the friendships that I have made are strong and very important to me.

    Thank you for this blog post!

  2. Hannah

    I hear you Eric. I’m a SAHM, and my evenings out with my writing friends are like manna from heaven.

  3. Renae Mackley

    Thanks for having me visit, Hannah. I enjoy seeing your creativity and that of others and believe we can learn from one another as we share our artistic passion with our friends and family. But there is that special bond Eric talked about.

  4. Hannah

    Thanks Renae. You are welcome on my blog anytime. :)

  5. Julie Hedlund

    “Because you love it” is the PERFECT response. Great interview.

    • Hannah

      Thanks Julie.