The Best Friends I Never Met

worldThey say the world is shrinking. And I’ve never believed that more than I’ve come to believe it this week.

You’ve all read in one post or another that I currently live one thousand miles away from “home.” That doesn’t mean that I don’t keep in touch with family and friends. I still talk to my parents every day. I talk to my sister all the time. You all know I’m in frequent contact with my beloved grandmother. My brother is really more of a Facebook commenter or a texter, but I still know what’s going on in his life. And I still keep in touch with friends I’ve known all through school (college all the way back through kindergarten).

But that’s not why I say the world is shrinking.

When I decided to pursue my fiction-writing career, I didn’t wade into the pool. I jumped right into the deep end. Even though I had a creative writing degree, I bought books, I read blogs, I wrote every day, I joined a critique group, I went to conferences… I did everything they said to do to become successful. “They” being the experts. And one of the things I did was sign up for an online course to teach me about building my online presence. More than a year after that fateful day, a small segment of those students have splintered off and formed a private fiction writing group of our own.

There are students in that group from four different continents, more time zones and countries than I can count. We are different races, religions, backgrounds, ages. We write different genres and have different competencies. I’ve recently discovered mine is NOT figuring out how to switch a wordpress.com blog over to self-hosted. Guess what? A lot of my new friends are quite competent at just that.

We share everything. We celebrate each others’ victories. Commiserate each others’ setbacks. Offer encouragement when someone is down, a suggestion when someone is stuck. If a contest is posted, we pass the word along. If we see a pertinent article, we post it for everyone’s benefit. Someone needs a beta read? Done. We hold each other accountable, but we help when someone needs it.

I needed help this week, and I benefitted from the collective wisdom of the group. People came together en masse to offer their support and their knowledge to get my problems fixed. It’s not entirely easy when you’re long distance, but it’s great knowing you have a support system in place.

I have the best friends in the world. I’ve just never met any of them.

I’m finally sitting down with a good friend I have met (many times). Hopefully she can get the rest of my issues straightened out. Or at least get me in a better spot than I’m in now. In the meantime, I appreciate your continued patience while I sort all this out. You’re also some of the best friends I’ve never actually met.

For Writers:

Every hero needs help once in a while when trying to save the day. No one is perfect. No one can do everything on his own. Have you considered letting your hero’s help come from somewhere far away? Some online or phone assistance that he can’t physically see or touch? Some movies have used this technique effectively. Think of the 911 operator guiding someone through a crisis or air traffic controllers helping a novice land a plane. Maybe you can have a situation where your assistance comes from afar as well.

For Everyone:

I’m lucky. I have a strong family support system, both in my home and in my hometown one thousand miles away. I also have friends where I live and friends all around the world. Do you have a network of people you can turn to when you need something? Have you found a go-to group online? Let’s talk about where you go for answers to your questions.

About 

Writer. Editor. Wife. Mom. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Dog owner. Award-winning author and recipe creator. Conservative Catholic with an avid interest in the supernatural. Think all that doesn't go together? Then you have to get to know me better.

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9 Comments

  1. Hello my friend! I wish to say that this post iss amazing, great writtern and come with approximately all
    vital infos. I would like to see mre posts like this .

  2. I like how open you are about things; you don’t mind saying you don’t have all the answers. I’m trying to piece together my own part of the web as well. A heck of a challenge, but you learn quickly and find a lot of help along the way. It’s not really a race; in fact I don’t even know if there’s a finish line. But it is an interesting journey. Hope I can be part of yours…..

  3. Great new “home,” (website), Staci. I’m following you here now. WordPress can be a challenge, but if you keep at it, it will get easier. 🙂

  4. Staci, you have said so eloquently what I think we all feel. That one decision to join TW has turned my entire writing world around. I am thankful every day for the technology that allows us to be connected from miles (and miles!) away. Our group is special. It’s otterly terrific. Thank you for being such a blessing to all of us!

    • Staci Troilo

      May 7, 2014 at 9:50 pm

      I’m not often called eloquent, Steph. Thanks. I’m glad to be an otter, too!

  5. Staci,
    What a great post. Our online community really is such a great group. We’ve become more than a group of writers sharing tips, we’ve truly become friends, like you said. It’s great to be able to talk about not only writing, but life as well.

    I’m sorry to hear that you’re still having WP issues, but glad that you’re getting closer. I hope today is the last day, and you get every last issue resolved!

    • Staci Troilo

      May 7, 2014 at 9:52 pm

      Thanks, on all counts, Stacy.

      I’m getting closer to figuring it all out. My friend Missy was a big help. I still have a way to go, but she got me well on my way.

  6. Oh Staci, this brings tears to my eyes (the good kind). You know I feel the same way. So much that most of my Facebook contact of late has been with all of you. I am truly blessed to be a part of our group. Hoping your friend helps you with the rest of your WP issues today. I really believe you’ll love the self-hosted site once you get the hang of it.

    Blessings to you, my friend!

    • Staci Troilo

      May 7, 2014 at 9:55 pm

      Sending you virtual tissues, Joan. You’ve been a true friend. All the otters have. So I wanted to give you all a shout out. I figured it was the least I could do, since you’ve all been listening to me rant about my WP problems. Hopefully I’ll get a handle on this all soon. (I’d cross my fingers, but I need them to type!)

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