Well. NaNoWriMo officially begins tomorrow. So, before you 'dive write in' (pun absolutely intended), please allow me to stress the importance of writing buddies.
Writing is too often a solitary act. Authors seem to disappear into their caves for several months together, and when they emerge, they have a manuscript. True, they got the job done and produced a manuscript. There is definitely something to be said for that. But there is also something to be said for making a point not to be a recluse. You may have friends who like to write, you may have family who is dying to hear about your latest literary concoction; but you might not, and that's okay too.
You probably have some friends who don't care much for writing, whether it's yours or a bestselling authors. Your kids may not want to hear you ramble about what you wrote today. And that is okay. It is possible (I promise!) to write a book and still be invested in other peoples lives. And besides, from them you can draw inspiration and courage that you need to finish that manuscript. Not everyone has to be incredibly invested in what you write, why you write and everything that goes along with it.
That said, it is also very encouraging to have those people in your life that do care about your works. People who you can run ideas past, make terrible writing puns with and just enjoy. It's really nice to be able to talk (or type, as the case may be) to someone who has firsthand experience with writing; the ups, the downs, the in-betweens, and everything else. You might be so blessed as to have someone like that in your life already (I know I have had a couple). But then again, you might not. If that is the case, or if you just want someone else to add to your list of fellow writers, then I would suggest considering having some online writing buddies. You can find someone in the NaNoWriMo forums, or you can make your author's bio really good and hope they find you. (I recommend the former.)
I, myself, have some really awesome writing buddies, and NaNoWriMo hasn't even really begun yet. We've been swapping ideas, reading over finnicky prophecies that just won't come out right, telling each other about ourselves, and generally having a pretty amazing time getting to know each other and getting ready for the insane month ahead.
And, on top of that, these are people I would never have met anywhere else, ever. I have two buddies, in particular, who are totally and completely great, and both of them are from across the world. One is from Belgium (A), and another from Amsterdam (B). They have both given me great advice already, and promised to do so in November.
A is probably the smartest person I know (and I know some pretty smart people). She speaks what, three, four languages? She's a science whiz, and very intelligent. A has really given me a new perspective on this whole idea of NaNoWriMo. She has gotten to see a little inside my crazy life, and still she's there for me. I know that when I have a problem, writing or otherwise, I could totally talk (type?) to her for advice and feedback, critique and encouragement. She was my first-ever writing buddy, and I'm still trying to figure out why she's hung around so long. You're awesome, A!
And B. She lives halfway around the world, English is her second language, and still I have a new friend. She pretty much rocks my socks. She's helped out on this prophecy that would not come out right, but now is completed (Thanks!) and she's always willing to give a pep talk. she's into things you couldn't pay me enough money to do (Exercise? Me? Ha.), but that is one of the things that's awesome-- both A and B are so different from me, but still are totally amazing. Thanks, you guys!
So, yes, writing buddies are pretty essential. I don't think I would be here in the Writerverse if it weren't for them.
All that to say, if you do not have a friend nearby who loves writing as much as you do (or even if you do-- the more the merrier, right?), then go out there and find yourself a writing buddy. Or two. Or eighteen. Don't be shy-- chances are, they want a writing buddy as much as you do.
As always, Happy Writing!