D.E.A.R. Friends

Today I’m feeling especially grateful for my D.E.A.R. friends. Why the fancy capitalization and punctuation? I’m glad you asked. J

I’ve had a lot of friends over the years, but there is nothing like a friend who writes. I’m fortunate enough to have one in the amazing Cynthia Justlin. Once upon a time, we embarked on what some people in writing circles call a critique partnership. The intent is to have a go-to person for all things related to your writing. Brainstorming. Character development. Editing. Career planning. Along the way, the really lucky ones find a person they can commiserate with. Writing is a gut-wrenching, sweat-inducing, tear-jerking business. It’s hard to talk to non-writing people about this. It just is.

Cynthia and I found all that in each other and more. She’s the other half of my writing brain and without her, I’d be…well, brainless. But that’s not even the greatest part. Cynthia is not only willing, but happy, to drop everything and read (D.E.A.R.). When I’ve got a deadline, she doesn’t even think about her own frantic, uphill race toward the best seller list. She reads. Whatever I ask her to. Then she proceeds to point out all the things I missed, all the things I could do better and she’s always right. I can’t put a price on that.

I have a few other friends who have dropped everything for me, too. Morgan Scott Matthews read an entire 100K manuscript in a weekend, then took the time to text me about how much she liked it, mere minutes before I was about to walk into a pitch appointment with an agent. That’s something I’ll never forget.

Julia Broadbrooks is another amazing person who took time to read for me when she was pulling twenty-hour days to get her own manuscript completed. No words could adequately express how so very generous she is.

Abbi Cantrell (no relation J) read for me and goes out of her way to check in frequently on my submission progress. Abbi has the singular distinction of being my first Call when I was a finalist in the Marlene contest in 2010.

How did I get so lucky? I have no idea. But you can bet I’ll do the same for them any day, any time. I wish I had some steps you can follow to get some D.E.A.R. friends of your own but I don’t. I reached out at a time when others were reaching back, I guess. I’m convinced you can’t do this thing called authorship without such people and any success I have in the future will be largely owed to them.

Thanks guys. You mean the world to me.

11 thoughts on “D.E.A.R. Friends

  1. You are pretty great yourself! You’ve given me more encouragement than anyone, which is great, because you’re sincere, and you know what you’re talking about too. <3

    I'm glad to see you posting again! :D

  2. You’re so sweet! And I totally agree that I could never manage this on my own. Without all of my online writing friends, I’d simply flounder all alone. Having friend along for the ride makes it all so much more fun, even the challenging days.

  3. Okay. You just made me cry. You are a very D.E.A.R and *dear* friend to me too. :) I don’t know what I’d do without you! So glad I have someone that not only ‘gets’ me and my writing but is always there for me no matter what. That is a very rare friendship indeed, and I wish that every writer could have the kind of friend I have in you!

  4. Oh, Kat, this is sooooo sweet! I totally forgot about the Marlene contest, but that is how we ‘met’ isn’t it? I love reading your work and appreciate the fact you offer insightful criticism. Plus, I consider you a friend.

    Abbi :-)

    • I still remember where I was sitting when the phone rang! I consider you a friend too – that’s what makes this all so great. The lasting friendships we make with people who are technically the “competition”. But I never think of that. :) Glad we’re all in this together.

  5. Kat, I just saw your news on facebook and twitter and I’m so excited to meet a new Desire author. Congratulations on your success and I totally understand the fabulous and precious gift of your D.E.A.R. friends. Without them, it’s next to impossible to function, let alone succeed.

    All the very best!

  6. We share many things throughout our lives with many different people; we have our families, our co-workers, our children and our friends. The key to making all these different types of friendships something treasured is to remember the importance of all the different types we have in our life. There will probably be no one we will be quite as united with and special as our childhood friendships. These are the ones the most history is shared with. Friends can be met at any point in your life and if you are truly a friend to them and reciprocate then they will still help fulfill our happiness. There is nothing better than sharing something happy or sad with someone we trust with all our heart. Friendships and sharing is truly the core to everything in our life and with this will come a unity of souls.

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