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

Steve’s Update 7/10/2022

(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)

“Think Agile, Write Better”: I had a few interruptions, but seem to have my pace back. It’s still slower than I’d like because of the “change of voice,” but that’s the way it goes.  I’m going to push this hard so I can get a draft out to people.  

It’s fascinating to write because it’s helping me review my own writing and see where I did well – and flaws where I didn’t practice what I preach!  It’s really a personal book and I can’t wait for my beta readers to check out the new tone.

The Seventh Sanctum rewrite: I’ve got the setup tested, but did not get it out like I wanted because my attempts at “uninterrupted time” did not happen.  There’s a few parts where I need an uninterrupted block of time and focus, which I haven’t had.  So at this rate I’m just going to keep trying to ram it out while staying nimble.

The Way With Worlds series: As note on hold until Q3 or so, when I’ll write “Disaster Response and Worldbuilding.”  Cover conversion goes well – I’m going to try to do one a week.  As for converting the books over, that’s probably much later this year.

The Compendium of Writing Advice: I’m putting off even thinking about this until September.  I need it off my mental plate!

Plus there are giveaways!

Steven Savage

Steve’s Book Roundup 7/11/2022

I write a lot and have quite a few books.  So now and then I post a roundup of them for interested parties!

The Way With Worlds Series

This is what I do a lot of – writing on worldbuilding!.  You can find all of my books at www.WayWithWorlds.com

The core books of the series will help you get going:

  • Way With Worlds Book 1 – Discusses my philosophy of worldbuilding and world creation essentials.
  • Way With Worlds Book 2 – Looks at common subjects of worldbuilding like conflicts in your setting, skills for being a good worldbuilder, and more!

When you need to focus on specifics of worldbuilding, I have an ever-growing series of deep dive minibooks.  Each provides fifty questions with additional exercises and ideas to help you focus on one subject important to you!

The current subjects are:

Fiction

Take a typical fantasy world – and then let it evolve into the information age.  Welcome to the solar system of Avenoth, where gods use email, demons were banished to a distant planet, and science and sorcery fling people across worlds . . .

  • A Bridge To The Quiet Planet – Two future teachers of Techno-Magical safety find trying to earn their credentials hunting odd artifacts backfires when they’re hired to put some back . . . on a planet where gods go to die!
  • A School of Many Futures – The crew is back, and finding having secrets and keeping them isn’t the same thing! Unfortunately they also find “very normal” is a cover for “anything but” . . .

Creativity

I’m the kind of person that studies how creativity works, and I’ve distilled my findings and advice into some helpful books!

  • The Power Of Creative Paths – Explores my theories of the Five Types of Creativity, how you can find yours, and how to expand your creative skills to use more Types of Creativity.
  • Agile Creativity – I take the Agile Manifesto, a guide to adaptable project development, and show how it can help creatives improve their work – and stay organized without being overwhelmed.
  • The Art of The Brainstorm Book – A quick guide to using a simple notebook to improve brainstorming, reduce the stress around having new ideas, and prioritize your latest inspirations.
  • Chance’s Muse – I take everything I learned at Seventh Sanctum and my love of random tables and charts and detail how randomness can produce inspiration!

Careers

Being a “Professional Geek” is what I do – I turned my interests into a career and have been doing my best to turn that into advice.  The following books are my ways of helping out!

  • Fan To Pro – My “flagship” book on using hobbies and interests in your career – and not always in ways you’d think!
  • Skill Portability – A quick guide to how to move skills from one job to another, or even from hobbies into your job.  Try out my “DARE” system and asses your abilities!
  • Resume Plus – A guide to jazzing up a resume, sometimes to extreme measures.
  • Epic Resume Go! – Make a resume a creative act so it’s both better and more enjoyable to make!
  • Quest For Employment – Where I distill down my job search experiences and ways to take the search further.
  • Cosplay, Costuming, and Careers – An interview-driven book about ways to leverage cosplay interests to help your career!
  • Fanart, Fanartists, and Careers – My second interview-driven book about ways to leverage fanart to help your career!
  • Convention Career Connection – A system for coming up with good career panels for conventions!

Culture

  • Her Eternal Moonlight – My co-author Bonnie and I analyze the impact Sailor Moon had on women’s lives when it first came to North America.  Based on a series of interviews, there’s a lot to analyze here, and surprisingly consistent themes . . .

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