Writing is hard work. How many of you could figure that out on your own with no help at all? It can get kind of exhausting to think up entire worlds, and sometimes you need a break. But other times, what you need is a Brainstorm Buddy.
I’ve been going through a bit of a tough period with my writing lately. The creative juices haven’t been a river, to say the least. In fact, it’s not really unlike the last time I struggled with this. It still happens, folks. I’m no perfect writer, and neither are you. I battled this for a while before I realized that something important was missing. I needed a Brainstorm Buddy.
My Brainstorm Buddy is fantastic. He also happens to be my best friend and true love, so that’s probably part of the reason. 😉 He’s also really smart and creative (not to mention witty and handsome), so it’s pretty much the ultimate win. But Brainstorm Buddies come in all shapes and sizes, and there are so many benefits to having one. Maybe you already have one, but if you don’t, here are the reasons why you need to stop wasting time and go find one.
Why You Need a Brainstorm Buddy
#1: Writing can be a lonely, grueling job
Any veteran storyteller will tell you that this is the absolute truth, and if you’ve ever tried to go it alone for any long period of time, you’ve probably figured it out yourself. It gets lonely being a writer at times. You get tired and whatever it was that’s been fueling your creativity starts to shoot sparks. Brainstorm Buddies are kind of like mechanics. They’re really good at fixing that stuff and refueling your burnt-out engines. Plus, they’re great company.
#2: Stories get complicated
At least, mine do. How many of you start with an idea and tell yourself, “This time I’ll keep it simple.” Haha, you’re hilarious. (Unless you actually succeed at that, in which case, teach me your ways.) Stories often get more complicated than we intend, and having a Brainstorm Buddy to help you sort things out when your brain gets muddled makes the load approximately 87% more bearable. Just having someone to listen can work wonders for the overwhelmed writer.
#3: Their perspective adds depth
There’s something I’ve noticed about Brainstorm Buddies—and mine in particular: sometimes they have the most epic ideas. I can’t tell you how many times Sam has made a brilliant suggestion for one of my stories that I never would have thought of on my own. It’s amazing how much deeper a story can get when you employ the help of a Brainstorm Buddy. A second perspective works wonders.
#4: Constructive feedback strengthens your work
Not only can Brainstorm Buddies provide you with excellent ideas for content; they can also give great feedback on your work. Good feedback is crucial to your improvement as a writer, and this is why it’s important that your Brainstorm Buddy is honest, as well as kind.
#5: You have someone to keep you on track
It’s easy to get carried away, and sometimes it’s good to have someone who can bring you back to the focus of what you’re trying to accomplish. Brainstorm Buddies are great for this. They can act as the voice of reason and bring you back to earth when you start to get stuck in the clouds.
#6: They provide encouragement
Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I’ve been a bit discouraged with my novels lately. Most of you have gone through that struggle as well, no doubt. Brainstorm Buddies can be incredibly encouraging, which is something that, if we’re honest with ourselves, we all need. We all get discouraged at times, and Brainstorm Buddies can help draw us out of our slumps. If you need encouragement, believe it or not, it’s okay to ask! A good Brainstorm Buddy will be there to help you.
BONUS – #7: Mutual support
If your Brainstorm Buddy happens to be a writer as well, the great news is that all of these benefits are now mutual. Everything they provide for you, you can give back to them. It’s a win-win situation. And even if your Brainstorm Buddy is not a writer, or they write different subject matter or content than you do, you can still support them. The best, most healthy Brainstorm Buddy relationships do not go only one way. When you have mutual support, you with both thrive.
Where to Find a Brainstorm Buddy
As I said earlier, Brainstorm Buddies come in all types. They can be found in lots of places. In fact, if you have access to any one of the three areas I am about to mention, I can almost guarantee that you will find one.
If you know of a local writer’s group, you can most definitely connect with a Brainstorm Buddy there. If you don’t know of one, maybe you should consider starting your own. Perhaps another writer in need of a mutual Brainstorm Buddy relationship will find you.
Online Writers’ Communities
For those of you who don’t know, this is how I met Sam. We both took The One Year Adventure Novel course in high school, and met through their wonderful online community. Teenage writers from around the world thrive there because of the abundance of mutual support they find. Another of my favorite communities is called Go Teen Writers, with a great blog and a FB group where you can connect to others writers.
Your Own Family and Friends
That’s right—you may have Brainstorm Buddies-to-be living in your own home, or hanging out with you during the week. They don’t have to be writers to have great insights and feedback for you. Sometimes getting a reader’s perspective is just the thing you need.
Who is your Brainstorm Buddy? How did you find them? What is one way that they have helped you to grow as a writer? Please leave a comment and share your experiences!