Different than a diving buddy (who stands by with oxygen) or a porn buddy (who pledges, in the even of your untimely death, to remove all the pornography in your place before your parents can find it), a writing buddy can be many things to a writer.
Sometimes I have used it as a term for a co-author when I don’t want to sound too prissy and formal about it. I’ve known others to use it as a code word for a glorified intellectual fuckbuddy (“This is Jason, my ‘writing buddy.’ We get together on Wednesday evenings and alternate weekends to discuss Pynchon and Hemingway, work on our novels, drink wine… and screw each other senseless.” You know, like you do… or other people do, at least…). Still others utilize it as a casual term for someone you see on occasion – a friend, colleague, or someone you met in a writing group – with whom you share a need to be culpable for your progress.
This last usage I find myself identifying with at the moment, and I have to say, the relationship is anything but casual. If not for an appointment with a writing buddy last night (who is also a friend/colleague/actress/theatre-maker/all-around amazing woman), my writer’s block may have gone on for weeks, perhaps even months (it has been known…). I won’t wax on about how devastating a continued block is, or what tactics I may have been forced to employ should the block have continued much longer (though some ill-advised adventures in debauchery were on the list), because my block might have broken on its own in a few days… though I doubt it.
What I do want to impart is that a ‘writing buddy’ who is there to be a fellow soldier in the war against writer’s block, even if it’s only to set a time and place to write your separate projects concurrently, is just as important as a diving or porn buddy. A good writing buddy stands by with the oxygen of support and understanding, and even a breath of conversation when you’re beating your head against the wall looking for the right words. Just by sitting near you and participating in the battle they clear out many of the distracting thoughts, fears, and hidden guilt hiding in the closets of your mind (or under your bed, or slipped in behind other thoughts you know no one else will ever explore, so it’s safe there…).
Praise in the form of blog lauding and internet hugs go out to my writing buddy*, the marvelous Nina.
*She even gets paid to write -- something I sorely miss, thus I am not only grateful for her, I'm jealous of her ;)