Writing With Friends, Friends With Writing

(This column is posted at www.StevenSavage.com, Steve’s Tumblr, and Pillowfort.  Find out more at my newsletter, and all my social media at my linktr.ee)

Serdar’s latest article on feedback investigated why we need feedback to know we’re not going wrong. Positive feedback has its limits, after all.

That article got me thinking about feedback from my fellow writers and socializing with my fellow writers. These are things that I others value, but I’ve come to realize that you don’t always get them from the same people.

It’s essential to have feedback from fellow writers because they’re fellow writers. There are some things only a fellow writer can provide, such as the best tools or personal stories. Even your fans can’t give that kind of feedback.

But we also want to socialize with fellow writers. We want people to get us and share our triumphs and complaints. Writers want to connect with each other – just like anyone else. Forget feedback – can I just hang out with someone who sort of understands.

These things don’t always come from the same people, which is a difference I’ve struggled to deal with. COVID isolation has only made it worse, cramming all my writing relationships into a few social media apps.

Sure, I want feedback from my fellow writers, but the ability to learn from each other may not mean you’re friends. You may not have enough similarities, be too busy, etc..  You may find some writing relationships only work in the professional sense.

But as for being friends with fellow writers, that’s a whole different sphere. Your friendship may be built – or grow around – things unrelated to writing. You may find you enjoy hanging out and don’t want to drag writing into it. Friendship is different than professional relationships.

As I navigated COVID and our current “not quite a disaster but damn” phase of COVID, I and others are trying to build and rebuild relationships. I find myself craving feedback and friendship with fellow writers, something they often share. We’re constantly trying to sort out what we’re looking for or what function a writer’s group serves.

We writers might need to pause and what relationships we’re looking for – and how current relationships work. We might have more than we know, less than we wanted, or find we’re confused about relationships.

But at least we’ll know.

Steven Savage

The Desire For Exchange

(This column is posted at www.StevenSavage.com and Steve’s Tumblr.  Find out more at my newsletter.)

I’d like to propose something to my fellow writers, creatives, and philosophical types. What if we were to exchange such things as written folios, guides, and musings of our various interests? Imagine exchanging a few thousand words specifically among your fellows for deep contemplation and writing.

This idea struck me for two reasons:

First, in my readings on religion, writing, and so on, I’d often read of people exchanging detailed outlines and folios. These were not things meant for initial public consumption but for private exchange, “beta” readings, and contemplation. They might become more later, but they had an intimacy to them.

Secondly, in an age of blogs, discord chats, and social media, I feel something is missing – longer but private communications. The kind of thing that lacks worries about public appearance but also allows for contemplative thought. It also allows for timeshifting in a busy and chaotic age.

I visualize this as a small, tight group of people exchanging communications in longer form. Such exchanges would gradually form a dialogue about whatever subjects are at hand. People may also participate in multiple related or unrelated groups, further increasing insight. The works exchange may become books, or records, or just sit in email boxes – but it’ll be a deeper exchange of ideas.

I’m going to bounce this off a few people I know and see if they want to try it. Let me know if you give it a shot as well – or want to try it!

Steven Savage

Geek Catalog Update 9/7/2014

Child Reading Magic Library

Here’s the latest Geek Catalog update for those of you interested in civic geekery. You can find the entire catalog sorted by geek interest and community focus as well.


  • Charitable Work
    • Heroes Alliance – Cosplayers who use their skills for charity and community events.


  • Charity
    • Free Geek Chicago – A Chicago nonprofit that recycles used computers and parts to provide computers and job training to those in need.
    • Free Geek (Portland) – A Portland nonprofit that recycles used computers and parts to provide computers and job training to those in need.
    • Motor City Free Geek – A Detroit nonprofit that repairs and recycles computers, teaches and educates, and works on Open Source.


  • General
    • Geek Market – A philanthropic company in Ottawa that provides markets for geek artisans, promotes community, and raises money for charities.

Video Games

  • Charity
    • Extra Life – A gamer organization that supports the Childrens Miracle Network via personal sponsorship.
  • General
    • Childs Play – The famous organization that provides games and consoles for hospitalized children.


  • Literacy
    • Stan Lee Foundation – An organization that builds alliances among various groups to promote literacy.
    • Might Writers – A Philadelphia organization that supports writing and literacy by providing free classes and teaching.

– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at http://www.musehack.com/, publishes books on career and culture at http://www.informotron.com/, and does a site of creative tools at http://www.seventhsanctum.com/. He can be reached at https://www.stevensavage.com/.