Crafty Arts & That Indescribable Connection

I spent a large part of last weekend working on my best friend’s wedding invitations. She had the basic design figured out when I arrived Friday evening, and by 11pm Sunday night we had ribbons cut and glued, hundreds of pieces of paper trimmed and stuffed into envelopes, and at least 100 labels adhered to envelopes.

We went through countless X-acto blades, several rolls of double-sided adhesive (that stuff is COOL!), and more paper than I care to reveal. The best part was spending so much time with my best friend — who is also a graphic designer. She’s living with her sister right now and SHE’S a designer too, so we had some awesome conversations that wouldn’t be interesting to anyone but another designer.

Something I find that also happens with writing.

It’s strange how you could be sitting next to someone for hours (like on a plane) and suddenly you realize that person is also a writer and it’s like a switch has been flipped. That happened to me once in Mexico when Ibis and I went out with a couple who were staying at the hotel where he worked. I didn’t realize until we were saying goodbye that the wife is a writer, and as we chatted at warp speed I heard her husband tell Ibis “We could be here awhile. They just discovered they both write.”

And we were.

I’m sure this happens no matter what field of study you may occupy your time with, but since writing and design are the only specialities I know, those connections feel… well… special. I love being able to talk about my passions without having to explain every little thing and seeing that relief in the other person’s eyes as well. Like we both know a secret and only we know the intricate handshake that gets us past the velvet rope. Or hidden entrance. Or yellow tape.

Have you had a connection like that recently?

About Melanie Hooyenga

Writer. Designer. Jock. Reader. Wife. Puppy-Mama.
SCBWI member since 2015.

20 Comments

  1. So glad you had such a good weekend! And I bet you were due for some great time with her, weren’t you? 🙂

    I love that. When another person just gets it, without much effort from you.

  2. Can’t say I have. I’ve yet to meet another writer, here. Not to say there aren’t any; I just haven’t stumbled into one. I’ve thought about writers groups, but every time I look one up the members are all around retiree age and write memoirs and–at the most shocking–mainstream fiction. I can’t really see skipping in there with my book filled with blood, torture, rape, and–the horror–punk rock. ; ) So, I wait for my own connection moment.

    I remember helping my friend do her wedding invitations. The Architect had printed images on card stock and the text on vellum, and my friend and I spent about five hours sewing the two together via teeny, tiny buttons. It was awful.

    • Avery, I think you may be right about them not getting you. I’ve yet to meet anyone who writes the same thing as me (in person anyway) but it is nice talking about the query process with someone who’s been through it.

      Tiny buttons? Good god woman, you’re a saint.

  3. I’m jealous! 😉

    I’ve never met another writer in person, only via the intertubes. 🙁

    I’m taking a flight in a couple of months, so fingers crossed that the person next to me writes.

    (Don’t tell me the odds of that happening!)

    Adam

  4. Penguin

    Yep, mine are Jeeps, Snowboarding.

    Although with me getting old snowboarding is starting to get out dated, well I shouldn’t say outdated but the younger generation is doing more and more things on a snowboard we would not have thought of, so they tend to leave me in the dust about the new moves being done.

    But Jeeps, that is a topic that is in my blood.

  5. JLC

    I completely understand what you are saying.

    My only writing friends are online. The ones I physically hang-out with are supportive, but don’t ‘get’ writing. Most of them aren’t even into reading books very much so those friends REALLY don’t ‘get’ writing. So I’ve learned that some friends are ‘camping’ friends, some are ‘parenting’ friends, and others are ‘writing’ friends. Its all good by me. 🙂

    • I have groups of friends like that too: salsa friends, writing friends, volleyball friends, work friends… it’s always fun when those groups cross, like when the year before we moved we suddenly had a group of salsa dancing volleyball friends!

  6. I know what you mean. In the mall industry when we get around each other it’s the same thing. I use acronyms no one else would know… LOL

    Same with the writing too ;o) That’s so cool that you are all graphic designers.

  7. I feel that connection in the blogging world. It’s so funny – in real life I’m pretty good friends with maybe 10 writers. But once I go to the blog, everybody I know is a writer! Instantly you have something huge in common. Something to build a friendship on. For me it’s the bright side of self-promotion.

  8. Nadine

    Sounds like a wonderful weekend!

    I haven’t run into any writers here and usually when I tell people I write, they say “Oh, I have the best idea for you.” *roll*

    And one actually said, “Stop writing what you are doing and write childrens’ books. Those are easy and that’s how you should break into the business.” Sorry buddy, childrens’ books are just as hard as everything else.

    • Nadine, fortunately I don’t get that too often, although I’m usually pretty vague if I tell people that I write.

      I can’t believe someone said that about children’s books. As if those are any easier than anything else!

  9. ab

    tee hee… I did just the opposite. MIL’s boyfriend asked where I got my ideas… I don’t think he’ll ask me about writing anymore :}

  10. robinaltman

    I got back from Boston today, where Adam had a conference and I got to see my family. We went out with a bunch of ophthalmologists one night. Can I describe boring? It’s bad enough that they fractioned off a tiny little organ into a zillion stupid specialties, but then they babble on about those little teeny surgeries all night long. It’s beyond boring. I wanted to shove a fork in my eye and see if they could all save my sight at the table.

  11. Military connections like this are instant. I love that. Language, circumstance and experience all get immediately plugged in and, save whichever branch you served, there is no lag in understanding.

    Physically bumping into people with similar tastes in hobbies, sports or other things is rare. You almost have to will yourself to ask the question of someone you meet to satiate your own need to bond. Via the Internet, it’s almost overload. There are hundreds of stops via Web sites or Facebook. So, I’m always grateful when I can find the *right* connection, as Janna said above. I’d bet the encounter in Mexico felt like a shot of Adreneline simply because it didn’t happen very often. My sense is that its easier to become cathartic about it in the states because the opportunities are greater to meet peers.

    Let’s all meet up in DC in June. I’m buying. 🙂

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