I've had writing friends for nearly as long as I've been writing. My friend Lara was a crucial collaborator in the creation of No Way Out, the mystery novella I penned in the fourth grade. My writing circle really exploded in the eighth grade, when I made it onto my school's Power of the Pen team. By the time college came around I understood the writing community to be every bit as important to the writing process as writing itself. I still treasure my Kent writer friends: Maj, David, Carly, Amanda, Dan, Bryan, Paul, DM, and of course the red-headed one I married. The wisdom I gleaned from their writing and our friendships is invaluable to me.
Lately I've been especially bowled away by my friends' writerly brilliance. Amanda founded an incredible food literary journal, From Plate to Palate. I was not at all surprised at the news of another friend's acceptance to a fantastic MFA program; I read her portfolio, and it rocked. Erica's letter to her children and Heidi's piece on Fidelia's about the news of Osama Bin Laden's death impressed and moved me to no end. I'd barely scanned the headlines before they turned out remarkably thoughtful and faithful responses. I can't wait for Lee's contribution to Day1 to air, because I'll finally get to hear the words of her beautiful sermon embodied. Meanwhile Bromleigh published yet another thoughtful and practical piece, this one about biblical literacy (and illiteracy, as the case often is). MaryAnn manages to run a great blog even while under contract for what will undoubtedly be a must-read book about Sabbath. And my friend Suzie just contributed her first guest post to [in]courage; I hope many more will follow.
That isn't an exhaustive list.
Your friendship is a gift. Your words are a gift. Thank you.