My pride is temporarily giving me permission to be awkward and embarrassingly forward in a public forum so that I can do something I badly need to: reach out to people I might just have something in common with, introduce myself, and perhaps strike up a friendship or two. Here goes. Be warned that this has not been well edited. I’m superficially easy to hate. I have an almost perfect life, one many writers dream of having, but I mostly squander it in directionless indulgence. I’m an Australian and I am 33 years old, so it has been a while since I reached the magical age of 30, when I’ve heard you become qualified to write something that is not puerile. I have seen a lot of the world - I’ve spent most of my young adulthood travelling. I live on a beautiful tropical island with my wonderful husband, who supports me in everything I do, and I have a skill that lets me work just 1-2 days each month and the rest of my time is my own. I have a pretty, quiet little house in a beautiful garden. My housekeeper and gardener keep them beautiful for me. Today everything smells like frangipanis and vanilla. I don’t have friends. Where I live people drop in for 2 weeks to lie in the sun and drink a lot in beach bars and then they go home. I love the local people, but the cultural and economic gap between us is HUGE (and even if I try to make it not matter, it does). My husband is amazing, and he stands in for all the girlfriends I might have if we lived at home, but that’s not really fair to a man, is it? There are writers groups for tourists and expatriates here, but I wouldn’t read Eat Pray Love if you stapled it to my face, so I don’t really fit in there either... I’ve never sat down and finished a novel. I write a lot of short stories, but that’s not what I want to do. I still think of myself as belonging to “that other career” - the one I loathe, that I struggled for a decade to extricate myself from - because that’s where the money is. That’s mostly my excuse for not committing to writing. It’s also one of the reasons I have so few friends. I spent so long surrounded by people I had few interests in common with. I certainly don’t expect anyone to feel sorry for me. I’m grateful every day for the incredible easiness of my life. It hasn’t always been that way - not even close. I’m not really a forums person to be honest. A big pool of anonymous responses just makes me feel lonely. I want to connect with individuals, I want to listen to you, and discuss writing as often as possible and try to form a connection of trust and understanding - a friendship. I couldn’t share my writing in progress with anyone but a friend. For me writing is a skill, a difficult one, but one that is intimately linked to emotions. If I let all the emotional charge that writing brings fall on my husband’s ears and talk to him non-stop about everything that happens for me when I write, well, he’ll probably put up with it and try to look interested, that’s the kind of guy he is. But if you could help him share the load and you want someone to dump stuff on too, then contact me, I’d love to hear from you. Truthfully, I’m just sitting around waiting for you to email. Recently, (well, yesterday,) I decided I’m going to write every day and that I will dedicate the next 6 months of my life to finishing a novel “come hell or high water”. I’ve started reading books on writing again and I’m so excited about all the ideas they give me and I just want to share... and I look around, and my cat looks blinks back at me, and I shut my mouth and keep typing. Sorry if that was a bit personal for this kind of thing - I’m socially out of touch! (PS: In the first part of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ memoirs he says that the greatest early improvement he made to his writing was to remove the Spanish equivalent of all words ending in “ly”. So you can just pretend I didn’t use them in my subject AND first sentence).