New Friends vs. Old Friends

After returning home last night from a visit with relatives  I thought about how easy it is to visit with people whom you’ve shared a long relationship with; someone you have a history with. And how much more work it is with strangers or new friends.

We spent the evening with my hubby’s brother and sister-in-law. They only live about fifteen miles away but we don’t get together often because our lives and children so often take us in different directions. It was a nice comfortable visit –dinner at a restaurant so nobody had to cook, and  good conversation afterward over strawberry shortcake and coffee at their kitchen table.

Meeting strangers and making new friends can be exciting (or maybe not so much for introverts). Sharing facts about yourself and learning new information about someone — looking for areas of similarity in personality, background, likes and dislikes, — is always interesting. But it’s a lot of work mentally and emotionally. This factor causes some people to avoid meeting new people altogether.

Spending time with relatives or old friends, while perhaps less exciting, is a lot less work. All the background information is already known. You know what is safe to talk about and what isn’t. You pretty much already know an old friend’s views on politics, religion, family and most other aspects of life. Even after months or years of separation, visits of this type usually consist more in catching up on what was missed while apart and on current events. Such visits are more relaxed than sharing your life with a stranger.

Because of the influence of Carol Garvin (see link to ‘Careann’s Musings’ in Blogroll at right) I began to ponder how this difference between new and old relationships might relate to writing. I realized that though I joined a writing group to explore creating fiction, a previously unpursued genre, I have drifted back to non-fiction essays. This blog is an example. My fictional writing is on hold. For me, creating fiction is more work. It requires more mental energy and more time. Essays are familiar and comfortable and relatively easy for me to write. One thought leading to another I wonder if other writers find themselves drifting back to writing in genres that are familiar.

Tell me:

Do you write in genres that you have little previous experience in?

Do you find yourself being drawn back into writing in genres that are more familiar and comfortable?


About torimcrae

Tori is a good writer aspiring to be a great writer. The mother of four adult kids she is currently pursuing postponed dreams. She enjoys her grandkids, traveling with hubby, spinning fiber, weaving, and raising Shih Tzus. Currently Tori posts to this blog on Mondays and Fridays.
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2 Responses to New Friends vs. Old Friends

  1. Carol says:

    Interesting questions, Tori. I began writing poetry as a child, and only drifted into magazine articles and devotionals a couple decades ago. I didn’t so much change genres as add to them. When I began writing novels I still continued writing the occasional poem and selling to magazines. I think I probably do my best writing in non-fiction, but I like the experience of creating fictional worlds. Learning about correct structure and how to apply it in non-fiction as well as fiction is a challenge I enjoy. I think it’s good to push out of our comfort zones sometimes and stretch our abilities.

    • torimcrae says:

      Thanks for the comments Carol. I always enjoy your input. I saw on your Monday post at Careann’s Musings that you read John Grisham too. I think writing fiction is ever so much easier when there are such great authors as examples. But creating fiction is still unfamiliar territory and I know I have a lot to learn.

      Thanks, too, for your good wishes for my anniversary. The 4th of July celebration was more than I expected.

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