Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The Value of Writing Friends

by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

Every career has the obvious—work peers. We travel to our offices sharing space with our coworkers eight plus hours a day. These people become our extended family. It’s easy to become part of their lives because we hear their daily struggles, joys, and adventures.

Writing is no different. We develop friends who truly understand us. They get our hours shut behind a door working. They understand our sensitivity to situations that we clearly see as a scene developing. 

Writers, however, don’t have the pleasure of seeing their peers on a daily basis. Sometimes we only see them yearly at a conference or worse, never seeing them again. Contact happens through social media or email. Sheesh, with technology, we rarely call folks on the phone anymore. We text.

Because we are a somewhat reclusive group, staying connected to our work peers takes effort. Over the years, I’ve made some wonderful friends in the writing world. Some were folks I admired from the rear of the room, hoping someday to call them my friends. Now, I do, but it took effort to develop relationships long distance. I had to make a concerted effort to keep in touch.

Once I began to teach at conferences I saw some of my friends frequently throughout the travel season, but at a conference, we really never have time to sit down and catch up. Sometimes we need personal writing help or prayer. After all, brainstorming is more productive with more than one person. Those relationships help me in massive ways – as friends, confidants, guidance with the craft, advice. Nurturing them is important spiritually and physically.

A writer friend and his sweet wife recently passed by our home. They actually ended up staying the night with us, allowing us time to eat dinner together, laugh, and really talk about our families. There was a little shop talk, but honestly, not a lot. This was simply time to feed the friendship that we maintain via email and social media throughout the year. 

It’s important to develop those lasting friendships, especially as writers. Follow these tips to connect and maintain lasting friendships when the miles separate you.
  • Make time to connect: Like anything else, we find time for the things we really want to do. It’s easy to put off making a phone call or sending yet another email, but living in the reclusive world of writing means we MUST. Set aside time weekly to touch base with those peers whom you share a special connection.
  • Skip talking about work: And take time to talk friends and family.
  • Touch base to find out special needs: Prayer is our biggest advocate and from time to time, we need to seek out those who understand us so we can pray together. Prayer not only leads us closer to God, but it leads us closer to one another.
  • Make unexpected phone calls: Not an email. Not a text. A real live phone call. We need that personal connection. People need the human touch to solidify a relationship. A surprise phone call lightens your heart and you never know—sometimes it’s exactly what your peer needs! 
  • Social Media banter: Social media is filled with bad news. Friendly banter makes others laugh and it challenges our wit. I have two friends who spend good fun time on social media bantering with me. Fun jabs, puns, and quick wit brings great joy. My friend Michelle and I live to harass our good buddy Bob, and truth be known, he wastes no time to add his return jabs. I recently returned from a conference where a number of writers told me how much they enjoyed my banter with Bob, and Michelle. Not only are we enjoying jabbing one another, but the fun stretches to others. It’s good clean fun.
  • Confidants: There are times we simply need folks who know the trails we travel. They relate to the ups and downs. Frequently touching base with those people keeps you grounded and open to times when sharing your heart is not only relevant but important. Having that person you can trust to share your heart with is vital.

Long distant relationships are tough to maintain, but in the case of the writer, those friendships are valuable. In a world where we sometimes find our characters as our only friends, it’s important to keep the real ones, fresh. Take the time. Make the effort. Develop those relationships. Everyone needs friends. You will see how your writing excels. 


Cindy K. Sproles is an author, speaker, and conference teacher. She is the cofounder of ChristianDevotions.us and the executive editor of ChristianDevotions.us and InspireaFire.com. Cindy is the managing editor for Straight Street Books and SonRise Devotionals, both imprints of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She is an award-winning and best-selling author and the director of the Asheville Christian Writers Conference. Visit Cindy at www.cindysproles.com. @cindydevoted


  1. Without question, I don't think I would survive this journey called writing without the many wonderful friends it has afforded me. God seems to always put the right person, with the right message, in the right place, at the right time. I thank God for each one as I pray for them each morning.

  2. I couldn't agree with you more, Cindy! I just told my husband the other day that it's heading into that time of year with less conferences, which means I won't see writer friends in person for a bit, and I really miss that. Thanks for the tips to stay in touch!

    1. I know...I dread winter because we don't see each other.

  3. I am thankful for the new writers friends I meet at writer conferences and online. I learn great wisdom from other writers.

  4. They are faithful and supportive peers and FAMILY.

  5. Ah, Cindy, your words echo the cries of my heart. I want ... no, need to cultivate friendships on a more personal level, not just acquaintances through homeschooling or church, but true "kindred spirits." I grew up without friends, my mom my best friend until our daughters became my friends. Now, with an empty nest and a busier-than-ever schedule, I have even less time for friendships, but I find myself making that time. "Facebook friendships" have become dear to me, even those with the people you mentioned--the ones we rarely see and some we never have and maybe never will this side of heaven. One of the latter, a gracious woman of God and a talented writer, did an unexpected kindness to me, one with possible far-reaching results. And I am blessed. I'm also blessed to call you my friend, Cindy. Your heart's thoughts often mesh with mine, although you may not know that. Blessings, dear friend!