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Who are Your Best Friends Online?

What about you? Do you have writing friends? Blogging friends? Online friends? How has the experience been?
I met one of my online writing friends last week, the wise and gentle Sudeepa Nair, who took the time to come and meet me as I wrestled with edits. It felt as if we’d met before, because of course we had, over dozens of exchanges on social media and our blogs. We spent a happy hour chatting about the writing life, and her delightful books, which you should check out, here.
 
And it occurred to me that my online community is just as real as any offline friends I have, the communication meaningful and reassuring.
 
I’ve been so grateful to my online writing friends, especially those I made on this blog–I often feel guilty of not being supportive enough. In a small way, I’d like to change that, by introducing you to bloggers and writers who have made my online life absolutely worthwhile.
 
Here are five of the many (MANY!) writing and blogging friends I’ve made during my online journey:
 
Jemi Fraser: Jemi and I have commented on each other’s blogs for over a decade. I’ve loved checking out her romance novels and her non fiction–check them out if you haven’t already–and she’s read You Beneath Your Skin. We’ve spoken on twitter, commiserated on mishaps and cheered each others’ successes. Follow her on her social media and her blog–I promise you you’ll love it.
 
Hilary Melton-Butcher: Hilary is the blogging friend we all aspire to be. She’s relentlessly supportive–with her comments on others’ blogs and social media. Her blog itself is a wellspring of positivity and wonderful little travels along distant corridors of geography and time. I’ve received hundreds of comments in the last ten years, all of them cheerful and kind. She’s read both my books, and her reviews are insightful, balanced, and I keep coming back to that word: kind. Look her up if you don’t know her already (chances are you do!).
 
Daniel Antion: I’ve visited Dan’s blog for the past 9 years, and in that period, its growth has been nothing short of phenomenal. I love his Thursday Doors and SoCS posts, and have been blown away by his wonderfully chatty, yet knowledgeable voice. And I’m not the only one. He’s created quite the community around his blogs, and has been a huge source of support for me, personally–having read both my books, and commented on so many of my flash fiction posts. He’s now writing the Dreamer’s Alliance series. I’ve read the first book: Knuckleheads, and have The Evil You Choose on my Kindle. If you’re not already following him, consider this your invite to do so.
 
Inderpreet Kaur Uppal: I think I found Inderpreet’s blog in 2014, so it’s been 8 years! She’s an author, editor, and again, a loyal and compassionate supporter of other writers. She’s read and reviewed my books with openness and insight, and I couldn’t be more grateful. Check out her books, and her editing services. You’ll love both. She’d traveled to Singapore a few years ago, and I’ll forever regret losing the opportunity to meet her. I’ll have another one soon, I hope.
 
Denise Covey: Denise and I have been chatting for about a decade on our blogs, and on social media. She’s reviewed my books, and I’ve loved hers. I’m in awe of her wonderful writing voice, and her ability to pour herself into creating a writing community. She’s one of the founders of WEP –Write..Edit..Publish, the online writing community that’s been so inspirational to me personally, and I’m sure, to so many others.( I’m sorry I missed the latest edition of WEP, Denise–it was my genre, too!) Check out her blog, her books, and her writing community if you haven’t. You’ll find many riches, I promise you.
What about you? Do you have writing friends? Blogging friends? Online friends? How has the experience been? Do you cherish your online friendships?
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My lit crime novel, The Blue Bar will be out soon with Thomas & Mercer. It is already available for preorders. Add it to Goodreads or pre-order it to make my day.
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Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her forthcoming literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and will be published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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22 Comments

  • jlennidorner says:

    Jemi, Hilary, and Denise are all awesome! So are you. I’d add Alex, Jemima, Diane, Janet, Ronel, Nila, Chris, Olga, Christine, DL, Nick, Patsy… There are about 50 bloggers who I feel I’ve developed a relationship of some sort (friendship, more than acquaintance) with over the years. I’d like to feel closer to many of them, but I’m not sure how that’s done online. I don’t know if anyone knows how.
    🤔 Then again, I’ve got two main characters who find each other in a chatroom back in the early 2000’s. Maybe I need to ask my fictional characters for tips. 😆

    “I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I’m afraid of.” —Joss Whedon

    J Lenni Dorner (he/him 👨🏽 or 🧑🏽 they/them) ~ Reference& Speculative Fiction Author, OperationAwesome6 Debut Author Interviewer, and Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge

  • Sandra says:

    We all have a lot going on these days, Damyanti. There is so much information to process. Do the best you can to acknowledge those friends. However, if they are friends, there is an unspoken understanding.

  • dgkaye says:

    I’ve made so many wonderful friends blogging. But my tight tribe are: Sally Cronin, Colleen Chesebro, Tina Frisco and Jane Sturgeon 🙂

  • bikerchick57 says:

    Hi Damyanti! I consider you one of many blogging friends, even though I haven’t been doing a great job keeping up with everyone this year. I have to get back here more often as blogging has made a great mark on me – I found my writing voice and so many wonderful people around this planet. There are so many talented writers, such as yourself, and others who are funny, smart and delightful as bloggers and human beings.

  • Esha says:

    Oh absolutely, Damyanti! Ever so grateful for my online friends (and a few offline ones too!) who teach me so much about life, and how to face the many challenges that come now and then and about good writing and everything else in general, really! Honestly, I don;t know where I’d be without them—they are my angels! Such an interesting topic, Damyanti. I think I should write one too, some day soon. Will definitely tag you if and when I do. :))

  • DutchIl says:

    Thank you for sharing!!.. until they prove otherwise, everyone is my friend because each and everyone is unique with their own story to tell and their own dreams to be believing and a important piece of the puzzle called “life”….. 🙂

    Until we meet again..
    May the love that you give
    Always return to you,
    That family and friends are many
    And always remain true,
    May your mind only know peace
    No suffering or strife,
    May your heart only know love and happiness
    On your journey through life.
    (Larry “Dutch” Woller)

  • Jemi Fraser says:

    I’m so honoured to be included in this list! I don’t know a couple, but I’ll be heading over there soon!
    Online friends are definitely real friends. I’ve been so lucky over the years to get to know you and so many others. From my small corner of the world in Canada, I’ve become friends with people from so many fascinating corners of the world. The world is full of joy and kindness and thank you for spreading it!!

  • Shilpa Gupte says:

    Thanks to blogging, I made some truly wonderful friends online. There’s you, Esha, Vinitha, Anamika…people who support me and give me much needed writing advice and encouragement when i need it. You all have become an important part of my life, for which I am very grateful. 😊

  • I too cherish my online and blogging friends. As it happens, this past weekend I met in person for the very first time a friend I met through our WordPress blogs a few years ago. Then, she invited me to join her writing group, which meets over Zoom. But this was the first time we got to chat face to face. It feels like we’ve known each other forever. Thank you for this post–it’s warmed my heart thinking of all the wonderful bloggers and writers I’ve met here over the years, you included!

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Rebecca, it’s indeed heartwarming to meet online friends offline. I’ve met so many lovely writers, and learned from their blogs, as I do from yours!

  • Lovely post, Damyanti. This online community is wonderful and I include so many bloggers as dear friends. Glad to meet some of yours!

  • Dan Antion says:

    Damyanti, I am truly honored to be in this group, and grateful to our friendship, your support and this post. Before I forget, I also want to thank you for mentioning Inderpreet’s blog because I had lost touch with that one.

    I echo your thoughts on Hilary. When I read her blog, I feel like I’m sitting at the feet of an oracle. It’s like she traveled through time, been everywhere, remembered everything and know what is important. I stopping there and being instantly removed from the distractions of the day.

    Blog friends are real friends. You have been, as have many of the bloggers I met when you pried me out of my shell and invited me to talk about writing with you and Cheryl, Peter, Sharukh, Mary and Kate. Your writing amazed and inspired me, and your confidence in my writing helped me to grow my blog into a fun place where I have met many more friends. I didn’t know Tina well, but I remember the your request for a blogfest in memory of her when she passed. You asked us to post pictures of sunflowers. In a remarkable coincidence, I had just discovered an entire, seemingly endless, field of sunflowers the week before.

    What I did know about Tina, I gleaned from her posts during the April A-to-Z Challenge. I had met you before that, but that is where I fell in love with your writing. That’s when I knew there were wonderful books in your future. I still wasn’t sure about mine, but you helped in more ways than I can count. The A-to-Z challenge, The Cherished Blogfest and We Are The World are places where I met many of the bloggers and writers I follow and consider friends. Thank you for this post and for all you’ve done for me.

  • hilarymb says:

    Honestly Damyanti – this is wonderful … I just enjoy being part of this brilliant group of bloggers (seeing I really don’t do any other social media). I’ve learnt so much from bloggers around the world and can appreciate so many more walks of life …

    We do so easily relate to each other and understand where we’re coming from in our writerly/blogging world – it’s always great to know there’s someone watching your back (helping out with links etc – or not being able to post comments) – particularly for me as I only blog … and struggle with the rest of ‘those things’ – FB, TW, et al!!!

    Talk about missing people … Tina was one special blogger – how she packed so much in with her family and her illness I’ll never know … then Jo and her Scent of Chocolate, Jeremy I didn’t know so well – but knew he was around. Jemi, Alex, Jacqui, Dan, Sandra Cox, David Gascoigne in Canada, Diane from Africa (now France), Joanne … gosh I could go on – Nila, now in Fiji (or is it Tonga?) … Elephant Child’s (Sue) … Denise – who opened my eyes to writing WEP posts …

    … and then Lenny – I met him when he was ill and very early on in our blogging careers … and wrote about Flanders and Swann’s poem on the Hippopotamus for him … he wasn’t even a teenager back then and had dealt with a lot, and is still dealing with the illness … for some reason he took to me and to my mother when she was still alive – amazing lad – now young man … his friendship inspired me beyond words. He inspired my mother and really helped her in those last years – and gave us something to talk about together … I was able to speak to him from Canada – when I was over there for that year.

    Oddly – so many from the beginning (almost) are still around … and you – I love reading your books and learning about Mumbai – oddly a friend of my brother’s is moving back there from the States to be near her brother and father … she is a Fulbright Scholar – so lots to learn from her letters she writes every month …

    Gosh I’d better stop now – I must get the review up for you … been busy with daydreaming et al – cheers and thanks for your support and friendship over the years – cheers Hilary

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      You’ve been such a source of inspiration and support, Hilary. Thanks for speaking about all these bloggers who have informed and inspired you–in a world of social media and dwindling attention spans, blogs are one of the few spaces that foster nuanced interaction.

      Thanks for reading The Blue Bar, and I look forward to your review. Sending you hugs.

  • Online friends are real. You are one of them. Sadly, some of my best online friends are gone – Tina, Jeremy…

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      And you’re one of mine.

      I miss Tina and Jeremy, too. Not until I lost Tina did I realize just how much she meant to me. I heard the terrible news from you and simply froze in disbelief.

  • Sudeepa says:

    It was a delightful catch up, Damyanti and like you said, makes the art of online friendships so real. Thank you for the lovely chat.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Likewise. Loved chatting with you–felt like an extension of our twitter chats!

  • I too have reached that surprising and unexpected epiphany, that my online writer friends are as real as my in-person ones. I know several that you mention–like Hilary. These folks are so interesting. I look forward to their posts!

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      You won’t regret following any of them! And yep, online friends are very real.

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