Thursday, August 4, 2011

Literary Friendships

By Jaden Terrell

I thought I'd share with you an email I got today from Lee Lofland's Writer's Police Academy. Lee's been sending out a lot of interesting and informative posts, and today's was especially notable to me. It's about 11 famous--and infamous--literary friendships. You can read it here.

Some of the famous friendships are J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, Percy Bysse Shelly and Lord Byron, Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson. Some of the friendships endured, while others fell prey to personal or professional jealousy. All have something valuable to teach.

When it comes to literary friendships, I've been blessed. Not only have I met many kind and generous online friends (like those of you at Murderous Musings, DorothyL, and Murder Must Advertise), but I've had the long-time support of the Quill and Dagger Writer's Guild. Then there are the friends I've met through Sisters in Crime, SEMWA, MWA and the Music City Romance Writers. Maybe it's the genre--stories I've heard from writers in other genres lead me to think mystery and thriller writers are an exceptionally friendly and supportive bunch, and I've met very few exceptions to this rule.

This is good, because writing is a tough field. Not in the same way being a crab fisherman is tough, but tough in the sense that the opportunities for rejection are limitless. Rejections from agents, poor sales, bad reviews...even if you've written the best book in the history of the world, someone, somewhere will hate it. Don't believe me? Go to and check out the one-star reviews for The Diary of Anne Frank, A Separate Peace, To Kill a Mockingbird, and even the Bible.

This makes the friendship and encouragement of other writers doubly important. It's easy to get caught up in the write-promote-write-promote treadmill and forget to thank all the writers who have helped and continue to help along the way. So, to all of my online and offline writing friends, thanks for everything.

1 comment:

Jean Henry Mead said...

Thank you, Jaden, for reminding me of the support gien me over the years by other writers. Thanks, Everyone!