Which is why having writing friends is a great thing! I've found that just about every writer has some kind of writing friend, but we all tend to use them for different things. Here's your handy pocket guide:
1. The Critique Partner. This person operates in a pretty official capacity. They critique for you, and hopefully you critique for them too! This relationship can start by randomly meeting someone, but a lot of times it comes from someone asking for critique partners, getting a response, and starting that relationship.
2. The Critique Group. This one I'm giving a separate category because this one's like a whole GROUP of friends who critique. Some of them keep this limited to professional writing talk only, and some of them turn into a cool little group of BFFs that you almost feel like a cute movie should be made about.
3. The Brainstormer. This friend discusses writing with you, but for whatever reason you don't critique each other's work. You do love coming up with new story ideas together, though.
4. The Random Writing Discussion Friend. You and this friend hardly ever see each other's work. You don't even brainstorm much. Mostly you just share vague ideas about what you're doing, commiserate about whatever obstacles you're facing while trying to get where you want to in the writing world.
5. The Writing Friend Who Doesn't Talk about Writing. These are SO RANDOM, but they're some of my favorites. =) These are the friends who you know because they're writers and so are you! Yet for some reason you spend way less time talking about writing than you do talking about random things, your kids, and life in general.
Obviously people can fall into more than one of these categories at the same time. Or they can shift from one to the other. I've had all of them at one time or another. Which kind of writing friend do you most enjoy being? Do you have all of these? Some of these?
Looking forward to seeing what y'all's experience has been!
Also, this post may or may not have been inspired because I'm having lunch with a writing friend today. Don't be jealous. =)