I once read this definition of a friend: A friend is a person who you can ring at 3am and ask them to come and they will arrive without stopping to ask why.
I've often thought of that and it's sobering to realise that among our myriad of aquaintances most of us have only a very select few who meet that criteria.
On the same theme someone wrote in my autograph book many moons ago....and doesn't admitting I own an autograph book age me??
True friends are like diamonds precious and rare
False friends are like autumn leaves found everywhere.
I found this despressingly true until I joined the fraternity of writers...and found a whole slew of like minded people... The romance writing fraternity is made up of warm uplifting and the most helpful people I've ever met.
They are swift to praise... swift to commiserate when you have a rejection... eager to offer helpful advice on writing matters... they enjoy sharing hard gleaned information...and they rejoice over anyone's recognition or achievements in the "dog eat dog" world of publishing.
Where else in this world is there such a total lack of professional jealousy?
I venture to suggest that it would be nigh on impossible to find another such organisation anywhere. This is reinforced at every conference where Internationally famous authors share their expertise with other writers.
Where else but at a Romance writer's conference would you find the Nalini Singhs and Stephanie Laurens, the Robyn Donalds and Daphne Clairs mingling and willingly sharing their helpful knowledge with raw new writers who have just picked up a pen?
Sure as writers we each have a personal journey to take, we each have to put in the hard yards... we have to sit at our keyboards day after day and actually put words onto blank pages...create characters who live and breathe who cry and laugh... but behind it all is the wonderful warmth of fellow writers... the support network we can tap into at the end of an email.
I find it incredibly precious... and like nothing else I've ever experienced.