by Lucy Felthouse
Writing is a very solitary thing. Something you have to just sit down and do, all by yourself. Yes, you may have other people involved in the research stages, and you may have beta readers once it's finished, then editors, publishers, cover artists... the list goes on. But the specific act of getting words down on the page is a lonely task. Nobody can do it for you, and unless you're super-talented (and if you are, I'm very jealous), you probably can't talk to people while you're doing it.
Which is why it's nice to have writer buddies. Whether you know them in real life or just online, they're a valuable bunch. There to encourage, to rant with, offload on, ask questions, sympathise, celebrate, commiserate... as much as friends, partners and families may try to be and do all of those things, it's really only other writers that truly get it.
I'm very lucky in that I have writer buddies living locally, ones I see on a fairly regular basis, as well as ones I chat to pretty constantly online. Some of those I get to see occasionally, too. One such example being last weekend (not the one just gone, the one before!). A whole bunch of erotica and erotic romance writers and readers descended on Scarborough on the east coast of England for Smut by the Sea, a day of smut, workshop, socialising and fun. And fun it was! There was lots of chatting, giggling and all of the above supportive-types things going on. It's so nice to be reminded you're not alone as a crazy writer that's battling away on something that's bloody hard work, often for very little reward.
Now it's all over, I'm already thinking about the next such get-together. Which is in November. I'm sure it will be upon us within the blink of an eye. So if you're in the UK and can get to Manchester... it'd be great to see you there!