Friends for Life

     I’m stunned—people never cease to amaze me. You’re probably thinking, oh oh, something has got Al riled this week. And you would be correct, as I am quite irritated.

     Why?

     Three months worth of pages have been torn from the calendar since initiating my leap into the social media scene. In that period of time, I’ve met more gifted, giving, and interesting souls than I did during the entire forty-seven years prior.

     My exasperation comes from not having started sooner.

     “But Al,” you say. “Things happen the way they do for a reason.”

    True enough, and in the area of my brain responsible for core logic, I realize this. Therefore, I’m going to be thankful that you are all here now—thankful that my fellow author and reader friends posess a veritable treasure-trove of attributes, and characteristics I consider invaluable.

     The past ninety days have provided me a shower of daily wit, laughter, and inspiration. Writers, and readers alike, are predominantly intelligent, deep thinkers with wonderful imaginations. My soul craves this type of interaction, and camaraderie, much like a bird interacts with the sky.

     Writing is a solitary activity that requires intense focus. The time I devote to social networking is a wonderful counterpoint to the hours I spend with my words. Those who I’m in contact with throughout the week understand what this writer’s life entails, as they’re immersed in the same scenario.

     Yes, I may tend to spend a bit longer than I should on Facebook and Twitter, chatting, laughing, and commiserating with my new friends, but here’s the thing; it’s all about the journey, right? My goal is to transition from my current day job, to that of a working author. Yet, lives are made up of days, hours, and minutes. So what, if I trade an extra hour a day to be involved with fellowship, as opposed to spending that hour writing?

     The bottom line is this—writing is my love, and it’s what I long to do. The friendships I share are the fuel, the joy, the inspiration behind that love. I refuse to beat myself up a moment longer about the time I spend with these wonderful people, or fret that I didn’t start years ago.

     You are all here now, and I’m thankful for that. I’m thankful for the opportunity to spend time getting to know each and every one of you. I consider it the greatest gift. Consider this week’s post a tribute to you.

     Please feel free to comment about your feelings, and experiences with reading, writing, and the time you spend socializing and networking.

All the best,  AB

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52 Responses to Friends for Life

  1. AJ Powers says:

    You’re a true and great friend, Al. Very glad and blessed to have met you, and look forward to many years of friendship with you and the same gang you are speaking of.

  2. Steve says:

    Thank you Al – what a heartfelt post. I heartily agree – our paths are similar. Since jumping into social media on a personal level (not the company) in January, I’ve met the most amazing, supportive, friendly group of people I could have ever imagined…and you’re right at the top of that list.

    You’re absolutely correct – it is about the journey, and even though I’m much further behind on my WIP than I’d like because of it, I wouldn’t trade the friendships for progress.

    Happy Easter everyone!

    ~Steve
    http://www.SteveUmstead.com

    • Al Boudreau says:

      Steve…you’ve become a great friend, and I respect the talent, discipline, and hard work you show us each and every day. You are an inspiration Sir, and I thank you for that. Cheers to you!

  3. Susi Borath says:

    Al, I love this post!
    I resisted using social media for meeting new people. While I have had FB and Twitter for years, my profiles were totally locked down, visible only by those I approved. I only changed this because I kept hearing it was what I needed to do.
    In the past few months since I started using social networking to meet fellow writers, I have found the most supportive, caring, accepting group of people I have come across in my life, and I am thankful for each and everyone of you!🙂
    Thanks, Al!

  4. C.G. Powell says:

    Aww… We love you too Al. I just started my writing journey 3 months ago and have been amazed at the support of all the other writers out there. I have made friends with some of the most increadable people from all over the world and even Maine:)
    Happy Easter all!

    • Al Boudreau says:

      Yes, we have some of the best people in the world in our circle of friends. I’m so pleased to include you among them. Thanks so much for your wonderful support.

  5. What a wonderful post, Al! Being relatively new to this social media experience, I can tell you I whole-heartedly agree – in the past six months I’ve met so many caring and helpful people, including you🙂, that I am proud to call ‘friend’! I’m amazed and grateful at how this community has welcomed me as a newbie author. Like you, I now wonder why I didn’t jump in sooner!

    Hope you have a Happy Easter and a great week, my friend!

    Michael

    • Al Boudreau says:

      Michael…you always have something thoughtful to say about your fellow authors. This type of outlook and attitude is what makes our community such a pleasure to be a part of. As always, I appreciate your visit, kind words, and fellowship.

  6. The thoughts and insights that you so generously share are wonderful. We need more people like you in the world. Thank You Al!

    • Al Boudreau says:

      Michelle…the beauty of it all, is that we feed off eachother’s energy in sharing our experiences with one another. This melting pot of views, attitudes, and diversity is what makes our interactions so rich, and rewarding. Thank you so much for your daily contribution to this.

  7. L.M. Stull says:

    Michelle said it – we need more Al!! ha. I too sometimes spend more time networking and socializing than I should, BUT would I be the writer I am today if I didn’t interact with my fellow writers and friends? After all, writing comes from inspiration and my inspiration comes from all the wonderful people I call friend.

    As always, wonderful post.

    • Al Boudreau says:

      Lisa…you really captured the heart and soul of what it’s all about, in terms of the lovely connections we share with one another. Our writing derives from our experiences—friendships make up a huge part of this. I’m thrilled to report that the fringe benefits of my writing experience nearly outweigh the core objective. It just doesn’t get any better than that.

  8. Marni Mann says:

    It doesn’t matter when you started – it matters that you’re here now. We adore you, Al. Some of the best moments of my day are when we’re ‘talking’ and I’m sure most of your followers would agree.

    If friendships are your fuel and inspiration than consider Twitter and Facebook research for you next book.🙂

    • Al Boudreau says:

      Marni, you are such a dear friend, and my days would feel strangely incomplete without you in them. Thank you for your never-ending support, and encouragement—it has made a world of difference along my writer’s road.

  9. What a wonderful post, Al. Heartfelt and soaring with joy & gratitude. You are such a gentleman, in every true sense of the word.
    And I love this post, because I feel the exact same way.

    I have been catching a lot of flak from family members who feel I spend too much of my time on Facebook & now Twitter. Initially I joined Twitter to “broaden my media platform”, as I’ve been told to do by many websites, blogs, magazines, conferences, etc. I only joined Twitter a month ago, after a long time of kicking & screaming that I didn’t “need” to. Now I’m like you: why didn’t I do it sooner?!?

    I’ve met more like-minded people, true kindred spirits, in the past month than I had in 3 years on Facebook — or, like you said, for the 40 years before it (for me). Writers have a singular mindset that only other writers can truly understand; yet, at the same time, we crave a social connection with others because humanity is at the heart of what we WRITE about. Twitter, & FB, have provided that in spades.
    My time online is important; not only because it enables me to connect with friends, but because I’m interacting with other people who truly understand my mindset, which as a writer, is so important, reaffirming, and, well, needed.

    Hey, I’ve stopped watching TV — Twitter & Facebook are now my media vices of choice. Is it sometimes a time suck? Absolutely. So what. It’s a thousand times more enriching than a lot of other things, and I won’t give it up. When I come online, even just to quickly check in and say hello, I know at least ONE person out there will make me smile, and that’s a tiny yet invaluable gift.

    Fantastic post, Al. So glad I met you.🙂

    • Al Boudreau says:

      Wow…what a lovely response to this week’s post, Jen. I enjoy your warm, and cheerful fellowship too, as I’ve noticed many of our fellow writers do. Our writing community is a support system that, in my opinion, is unrivaled. I find it to be a necessary, highly anticipated aspect of my daily routine. Thank you for being a part of it.

  10. I couldn’t have said it any better – Great post Al. Really, it’s exactly how I feel too.

    http://christopherdavidpetersen.wordpress.com/

  11. Larry Enright says:

    You’re a good friend, Al. It only takes a moment to figure that out. So maybe the friends I’ve had all my life I’ve known longer, but they shared moments like that, too, when they realized, “Yeah, he’s my friend.” Carpe amicus, carpe diem.

    • Al Boudreau says:

      Larry…you are someone who is remarkably consistent, and constantly present in my world—these are but a few of the many things I respect about you, Sir. I want to thank you, on behalf of the greater writing community, for your tireless efforts on our behalf. It’s always a pleasure to have you stop by.

  12. Karen DeLabar says:

    Wonderful post, Al…as always. Every comment above is the absolute truth. The writing community that I have found on Twitter has the most the supportive, enlightening, inspiring and hysterical group of people I have ever met.

    The only thing I can add is that I wouldn’t be writing if it weren’t for this community. I’m just starting out; it has been only a few months that I decided to realize what I had in me, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

    Sure, I think if I did give up I would return to writing eventually. It’s something that’s in me and always will be, but I’d most likely be angry with myself for giving up and wasting time.

    The community I found on Twitter is giving me the strength to get through the tough days and forge on to brighter days ahead.

    Thank you, Al, for being a part of that community!

    • Al Boudreau says:

      Karen…I appreciate your wonderful feedback concerning our writing community, and the strength you gain from being an integral part of it. The beauty of it is found in the diversity of each member…pieces of a beautiful puzzle that fit so well together. I’m glad you’re one of them.

  13. last_lines says:

    Great post Al! It is so true that the writer friends made online through various social networks are invaluable both to the enrichment of the experience. I believe these friendships are also an invaluable tool for our writing. Writing is a very solitary pursuit so it is wonderful to be able to – as you so aptly put it – fellowship with like minded people pursuing the same dreams and aspirations. I spend a lot of time social networking but I view this as part of an integral part of my writing life. These are not shallow friendships. They are friendships of the mind and spirit that buoy me up when I may feel doubt or discouraged. They urge me on.
    Pleased to add you to this support net of friends.
    Kim

    • Al Boudreau says:

      Kim…like you, I’m a firm believer in having a reliable support system in place for when we stumble. It’s nice to know that there’s a friend in the wings, merely a click away, to administer support when needed. It’s an honor to be a part of such a wonderful group of individuals. Thank you for your contribution to this week’s post, and to our vast community of readers and writers.

  14. eden baylee says:

    Beautiful post, Al. You obviously have a talent to write, but to touch someone’s heart with words takes more than talent. It requires compassion, honesty, and kindness— qualities that are not easy to translate on to a page.

    In the social networking world where everyone screams for attention – your friendship and your genuineness comes across loud and clear. You are a lovely man with a heart of gold.

    • Al Boudreau says:

      Aww…your kindness warms my heart, Eden Baylee—so does your never-ending support of our fellow writers who I see you helping to promote on a daily basis. Without individuals like you in our corner, the road to becoming an established author would be far more daunting. My hat is off to your wonderful efforts and writing talents, my Dear. Thank you for all you do. xo

  15. Chloe says:

    Like you, I so wish I had started blogging a LONG time ago….seriously, blogging is like fuel to me too…well, the interaction with other bloggers is.

    Thanks for a great post, and a Happy Easter to you and your family! 😀

    Chloe xx

  16. Marci Jefferson says:

    Al, Al, Al. In your short time on twitter, you’ve become an essential part of my everyday circle. Don’t ever leave us. Much love to you, friend.

    • Al Boudreau says:

      Hey Marci…wild horses couldn’t drag me away from the happiness and fulfillment derived from my interaction with you, and our wonderful gang. It’s a breakfast, lunch, and dinner for my soul. I’m hear to stay, my Dear. As always, it’s a pleasure to see your words on my screen. Slainte!

  17. Suzanne says:

    It really helps to keep in touch with old friends and family. I like meeting like-minded new friends (writers, librarians, teachers) too.

    • Al Boudreau says:

      Suzanne…the beauty is, there’s always someone present to chat with, any time of day, or night. Just a reminder to everyone…Twitter is a great place to find me (@Threecifer) Feel free to chat me up anytime. Thanks so much for your participation in this week’s post, Suzanne.

  18. Darlene says:

    Well put Al. It is exactly how I feel. I sometimes beat myself up for spending too much time social networking and not writing. but you just remined me how worthwhile it has been. I have learned so much from all of my new friends. So glad you are my cyber friend!

    • Al Boudreau says:

      Thank you, Darlene. We’re so lucky to have the online circle of friends that we do. Any time we need a question answered, advice, or a simple laugh, we can count on our friends to be there. It’s a wonderful thing.

  19. Sheilagh Lee says:

    you are a very giving writer and friend Al we are all lucky to know you.

  20. Draven Ames says:

    Lovely quickie here. You are diving into a world that is rich with cool souls and nice people. I’m glad the interaction is working for you because we all need laughter in our lives. When I first started, I ran into Twitter and Facebook at full speed. Now I spend more time writing.

    You seem to have a great balance, and I commend you for that. If you keep leaving this at one hour, you’ll be fine. So, what are your favorite authors so far?

    Draven Ames

    • Al Boudreau says:

      Draven…the camaraderie we experience while on Twitter, and Facebook, makes building a platform for our writing truly enjoyable. However, as you have mentioned, the balance between socializing, and writing, is the key to success. It’s a pleasure to meet you, and I’m looking forward to your continued involvement with “our gang.” Cheers, my friend.

  21. rinnziegler says:

    I’ve been writing for just about a decade. A whim Google search about 2 weeks ago landed me a freelance commission for a short story. Something clicked. It’s been a whirlwind ever since: Twitter acct, WordPress page, FB, communities I never knew existed welcoming me in…what a glorious time to be an emergent writer.

    But, man, I’m tired. I must learn that moderation thing. Fast.

    I’m very happy to have stumbled upon this site. You all seem like truly compassionate and supportive writers.

    -Rinn

    • Al Boudreau says:

      Here’s the good news, Rinn. Body and soul adjust to the demands our writer’s world puts on them. After a while, you’ll be convinced your old routine was locked in slow motion. Welcome to the fray, and thanks for taking part in this week’s post.

  22. Hi Al,

    I just came across you on Twitter last night, followed you and am so glad I did.

    Reading this post is inspiring. You have such passion and I can see you’ve connected with a lot of friends because of your personal touch in communicating with each one.

    Yes, many of us are on the same journey… a journey of the heart… to express in words what is so deep within and just waiting to be born. And our connections with others – as they inspire, share what they know, encourage us, and make us laugh – helps us on that journey.

    All the best, my fellow sojourner.

    • Al Boudreau says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and for following on Twitter. Your observations are right on the money. The connections we make are so important, because friends provide a support system for us, and us for them. The human connection makes all the difference on the days that are slow, or difficult. Thank you very much for choosing to be a friend of mine.

  23. Perhaps late to the party, Al, but throw my words in with the lot of your other pals here. I’m with ya. Ever after, evermore. With ya.

    j. //

    • Al Boudreau says:

      Jason…you are someone who I have grown to respect a great deal. You take your craft, and your friends, very seriously, but put family and responsibilities first. Priorities are difficlt to define, and adhere to for some. You are a master at it. As always, I appreciate both your friendship, and your visit.

  24. alisondeluca says:

    THIS is the post that “got ” me. Because – ohmigosh! That’s me! I started all this blogging / tweeting / facebooking and all of a sudden I have all of these great friends giving me amazing concepts and ideas and making me laugh. I feel as though I’m in some kind of 19th century literary salon 24-7.

    and the inspiration is fabulous. Consider yourself my new inspiration, my new friend.

    • Al Boudreau says:

      Alison…it’s my pleasure to include you in my wonderful circle of friends. Like you, I’m constantly fascinated by the wonderful diversity and wealth of knowledge that comes with taking part in our community. Thank you for your visit.

  25. You know, I feel exactly the same way. There are writers out there in their early twenties who have multi-book publishing deals and film options and I’m thinking “What the hell have I been doing with myself?”

    I guess in the end, I’ve been living. It wasn’t always what I wanted to do, but I have done an awful lot of stuff and experienced the full gamut of emotions available to us as human beings. Technically I’ve been writing all my life, but I’ve only really been working at it for less than a year – a lot less. As frustrated as I am that I didn’t start sooner, I know I am in exactly the right place to make this happen here and now. I know because that’s how my life works out – when I am ready for something to happen, I make it happen.

    We’re making this happen, Al, and I’m thrilled to be sharing the journey with you🙂

    • Al Boudreau says:

      AM…I just love your spirit. You are absolutely correct—things happen when they do, for a reason. I suspect, neither one of us would have been ready to embark on this exciting, new career prior to now. Our life experiences have allowed us to gain the wisdom and knowledge needed for this new-found passion we have in common. Thank you for allowing me, and the rest of our wonderful community, to share this sweet ride with you.

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