It's the night before the Rutgers University Council on Children's Literature One on One Plus Conference, and I'm sitting in a hotel room with three fellow writers from middle Tennessee, going over notes about which editors and agents we plan to descend on—okay, "introduce ourselves to—" at tomorrow's conference. I can't post photos tonight (we've taken a few silly ones; it's late), but our "gang of four" for this event is myself, Sharon Cameron, Hannah Dills, and Jessica Young, all from the Nashville area. We've had a great time planning together, traveling together, and encouraging each other.
There's more to do tonight, but I'll close with a look at that last. Writing is a process done alone, but it need not be a lonely process. Nothing makes you better able to write, or helps you bear the frustration and disappointment, or lifts your spirits, like a group of fellow writers— friends who understand what you are going through, because they are going through the same experiences yourselves.
So write, but find friends. They'll keep you going; and as a writer, keeping going is sometimes the most important thing you'll do.
--- Howard Shirley