I get by with a little help from my friends

 

A citron

New or old, close or only online, relationships are the only thing that will sustain you in the literary long haul. You will benefit from mentors, other writers and artists can inspire you, prop you up, drag you kicking and screaming into risks you know you should be taking anyway and on and on. At Antioch, we had a new cohort each semester. I’m part of the mighty Citrons and we still keep in touch and, unlike many with MFA’s in Creative Writing, we’re still writing and submitting to agents, journals and publishers.

Barbara Nicolosi has written a great piece on Friendship and the Artist. Yes, it’s from a biblical perspective. Get over it. It’s worthwhile, even if you don’t believe in “that stuff.”

Friendship’s shelter for an artist is a place to retreat amidst the chaos of your creative process to find peace. Friendship’s shelter offers the shade of acceptance when the artist is laboring under the burning heat of criticism or rejection. It is a place where there is the warm light of counsel and perspective when the artist’s soul shivers in the cold darkness of doubt. Friendship is a wall of security against the tearing wind of instability that is the life of the creative person.

Be a good friend too. Promote the work of other writers, other artists. Not because it will come back to you. It might and that’s great. More importantly, that kind of generosity is good for you as a person and good for your writing.

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