Not NWS but NWF for ‘New Writing Friends’

If you who follow the Write Romantics will know that we are a diverse and international bunch (international because Helen R lives in Australia).  What you may not know is that when we formed the blog the only two of us who had met were Julie and I (and that was only briefly at a RNA lunch in York organised by Lin Treadgold).  However, in the past month I’ve been lucky enough to meet Jo for the first time and meet Julie again. 

Jo lives in Kent and in May I spent a few days in Broadstairs with my family.  Jo and I arranged to meet in a charmingly retro ice cream parlour in the town.  It was raining cats and dogs and I felt a little worried that Jo wouldn’t recognise this rather drowned looking me.  In the photo on the blog I look decidedly less soggy.  But it was fine.  As soon as Jo walked in, similarly drenched (although she was definitely handling it better) I felt like I was meeting an old friend.  We talked for two hours and the time just flew by. 

Two weeks ago I met Julie again and Sharon Booth, another NWS member and fellow blogger. This time it was Bridlington and the sun was almost shining.  Again we instantly found masses to talk about.  In two hours we covered book length, editing, point of view, agents, self-publishing blogging and (after a minor diversion to discuss who might be the new Doctor Who) how much tragedy you can have in a romantic comedy.

For me these meetings are very special.  Over the three years I’ve spent trying to write my book, I’ve had varying amounts of support.  Some members of my family treat my writing as a slightly disreputable hobby that simply isn’t talked about.  And, while my friends and others in my family have been very supportive, none of them write.  When I talk about writing they do tend to glaze over.  I don’t blame them.  It’s my passion but (as I’m sure we all know!) other people’s passions can be a massive bore.  

So for me, meeting Jo, Julie and Sharon has been a joy.  It’s great to talk to other people who understand the highs and lows of trying to be a writer. And afterwards I feel positive, inspired and more determined to succeed.

In two weeks’ time I’m going to the RNA conference. I’m very much looking forward to meeting some more of the Write Romantics, Lorraine, Rachael and (hopefully) Helen P and catching up with Jo again.  While I’m rather terrified at the thought of my two pitch meetings with publishers I’m excited to be meeting up with my new writing friends. 

I joined the NWS for the review of my book.  I didn’t expect to meet such a lot of lovely people through it.   That has been an unexpected bonus and a real pleasure. 

Alex xxx

Check out Sharon’s blog, The Moongazing Hare at

16 thoughts on “Not NWS but NWF for ‘New Writing Friends’

  1. Alex that is a lovely post it rings so true with how I feel, I often think there is something very special about writers because the ones I have been lucky enough to get to know are simply amazing. I am very thankful I have met you all (virtually) and yes today I ordered my day ticket for the Saturday, how could I not I’m very excited to meet you all in person. The NWS is simply amazing and I’m so glad I waited up till after midnight to send off my application in 2012. I’m really looking forward to meeting up very soon.

    I love the thought of the retro ice cream parlour it sounds fab and I’m very honoured to be a part of all your journeys to publication 🙂

    Helen xx

  2. Oh Alex, thank you! I’m really glad you enjoyed our meeting. You know how nervous I was, having never met either you or Julie before. We seemed to “click” really easily and, as you say, we had a LOT to talk about! 🙂 I really wish I was going to the conference, although the pitching aspect sounds like hell. Good luck with it and I hope you all have a fabulous time and report back with all the gossip and lots of photos! I hope to meet up with you both again soon, and maybe in time I’ll meet other writers. As you say, it’s hard being surrounded by family and friends who have no interest in writing whatsoever and cannot understand why, if you’ve been working on a novel for more than a month, it isn’t finished and ready for publication!
    Thanks for linking to my blog, too. Hope to see you soon
    Sharon xx

  3. Alex that’s a lovely post, I found the same when I went to RNA events, everyone is very nice. It is wonderful to to be able to talk about POV, character and every technical aspect you can think of (and some you can’t) without people’s eyes glazing over. My poor old hubby tries his best to keep up with writing chat, but there’s nothing like a chat to someone with first hand experience!

    I wish I could meet up with some of you, but maybe next year when the conference is down south.

    Take care and have fun, Lynne x

  4. Your post resonates with me Alex. It’s so essential to have like-minded people to chew the cud with isn’t it. I have just two that I meet in person, one of whom is quite close to me in terms of what we write, the other who writes very different stuff but also reads for me and it’s great to have the fresh perspective. We don’t meet that often but when we do it’s like opening the proverbial floodgates and all very cathartic.
    If any of you ever come to Brighton I’d love to meet up!
    Deirdre x

    • It is so true. To meet people that we can share our passion with. It really encourages us on our journey. I can’t wait to meet everyone, looking forward to seeing you all.
      Lorraine x

  5. Hi Alex

    What a lovely post, through which your own warm and friendly personality shines out! I was very nervous about our ‘blind date’, in the retro ice-cream parlour, but I loved it and found it gave me a much needed boost. I was at a low ebb with my writing at that point, which unfortunately is something of a recurrent theme for me – part of being a writer and the tortured soul that goes with it, I guess! After our meeting, though, I felt inspired and re-energised, just from knowing that someone else understood.

    I can’t wait to meet up with you again at the conference and with the rest of the Write Romantics in attendance. I have to give Julie a special mention, of course. I can’t remember exactly when we first got in touch through ROMNA, but I think it was around November of last year. It’s difficult to believe we’ve only been in touch for about eight months and that we have never met in real life, as we have shared so much in that time.

    I remain somewhat envious that there is a seemingly larger group of you in Yorkshire, but a trip from Kent to Brighton isn’t all that far, so watch out Deirdre… I may be about to ask you to meet me for a ‘blind date’ too!

    Jo x

    • Aw, I had a warm and fuzzy moment there. I feel we are kindred spirits who met over a Romna introduction. Yes, I think it was around November time. I’m so excited that we’ll be getting together in less than 2 weeks’ time. I know the 4 who can’t be there in body will be there in spirit with us!

  6. Thank you for such a lot of lovely comments. As some of you know, I’m not terribly comfortable with this blogging thing. I don’t find it easy to put my own thoughts and opinions on the internet for anyone to read and I felt a little bit apprehensive writing about something as personal as meeting new friends. It’s great to read your comments and know that you understand.
    Helen – great news that you’ve booked for the conference. Really looking forward to meeting you, Lorraine and Rachael. It’s not long now!

  7. Hi Alex

    I confess that I started an entry yesterday then the screen went funny, kicked me out and didn’t save anything. Was on my way out shortly after so I had to give up and have only just got round to coming back to post something.

    There’s a bit of a love-in going on here and it’s exactly what everyone else has said; we writers get it. I don’t think a non-writer could understand how it’s possible for complete strangers to meet for a few hours for the first time ever and come away from that meeting having talked non-stop about writing. I also think a non-writer would assume that other writers are all jealous and competitive yet it’s not like that at all; the camaraderie of having someone to discuss your “craft” with is just amazing.

    It’s a great post and a lovely pre-cursor to us getting together for the conference.

    Hope it’s given you confidence in your ability to post a great blog and to put your feelings “out there” because you did it brilliantly!


  8. Hi Alex,
    I love this post, and agree entirely. I just wish I was closer so that I could be at the conference to meet some of you lovely ladies! Ah well, 2014 I will be there, in Shropshire and the babysitters have already been booked!
    It does make such a difference to talk with other writers doesn’t it? I find that family do their best to understand but it’s particularly difficult when you’re on the road towards publication because I think that at that stage people regard it as more of a hobby than your career path.
    On that note, I must get on and do some writing! School hols here and luckily my two girls are playing nicely but who knows how long it’ll last…
    Happy writing new friends 🙂
    Helen R xx

  9. Even though I won’t get to meet any of you for a while yet, I still think of you as my “writing friends”. 3 rejections in 2 days and I’ve been through many emotions: disappointment, hopelessness, determination. But when I received each I wanted to get onto the write romantics with people who I know totally get it :-). (Still smiling…just)

    • Oh, Helen, I am, really sorry to hear that. We need to have a chat via the Google Group, but we don’t see you there much. I am going to email you off loop, so we can have a chat and share our frustrations. Chin up, my down under writing buddy, we WILL get there 🙂

      Jo x

    • Helen just think how upset these people will be when you get your contract and they missed the chance. It’s horrible, soul destroying and frustrating but all part and parcel of being a writer. You just need to find the person who loves your writing as much as you do and trust me it will happen. I got four rejections back so fast in one day I thought the Post Office hadn’t delivered them in the first place. I now have a file at the back of my folder in which there are fair few. Just keep smiling and let it make you even more determined to find that wonderful agent, publisher or editor who can see just how special you are.

      Helen xx

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