Bridging the Gap: When friends move away.

Life is full of chance encounters with other people on different paths in life. Sometimes you meet someone along the way and your paths run the exact same direction for a while. You bond, you laugh, you grow together…and then somewhere something causes their path to veer in a slightly different direction than yours is headed. They move away to another city, planet, country…or just another state.

Does this mean your tribe of writers falls apart and you have to find a new one?

No.

Do you have to find a new bookstore buddy?

Maybe.

Do the coffee shops involve conversing in a silent language with yourself?

Sometimes.

Do the adventures and travels together end or become few and far between?

Not necessarily.

So, how does it work when your team finds a couple hundred or thousand miles shoved between you?

You bridge the gap!

It can be tough to keep connections strong as time begins to pass. Setting aside time each week or month to hop on Skype or Facetime and have some “face to face” conversation can be beneficial. Grab some coffee or tea, have a small snack and spend time as you would when you spend time together all the time…joke, laugh, talk about work or writing and plan your next trip!

Group messages are a great way to keep conversations going on a daily basis. While not as fulfilling as face to face conversations, an ongoing text allows you to share the funny things as they pop in your head without having to worry about someone else’s schedule or interrupting their work day. Just a few moments every day or other day to reconnect with lighthearted conversation can help to maintain the connection and avoid anyone feeling “left out” or “ignored” when time and life gets complicated. Send a gif, respond with an LOL or a high five….it doesn’t take much. (Be sure to reach out first every once in a while though, you don’t want to seem complacent when you only ever respond with one word or emoji.)

Schedule workshop time! Your writer tribe doesn’t have to meet face to face. Although it is easier to have your marathon writing sessions across the table and simply hand your laptop to your “sister of words” to check for flow or context, you can still have the same connection. Uploading your in-progress chapter or work to an email or Google Docs file that you share with them will allow your partner-in-books to review and give feedback when they are available and you can return the favor!

Traveling doesn’t have to end with your preferred companion, it just takes a little extra planning! There are advantages to being in different states though! Flights are sometimes cheaper out of hubs other than your usual departure port. Catching a train, driving or even flying a day or so early to your friend so you can take a cheaper flight from a major hub together also allows for a few extra days together!

It can be a rough change when you are used to seeing that crazy face across the table, in the passenger seat and wearing their onesie making snickering noises when they read ahead of you in the same book and drive you crazy…but the fun doesn’t have to end, it just changes venues and becomes more precious.

“Keep your heart open, a suitcase packed and travel often, for the world is wide and adventure awaits!” ~Emylee

As Katie embarks on her next great adventure in Boston, I will miss our weekend bookstore and Starbucks visits, our crazy and random crack-ups until we cannot breathe as we sit around my kitchen table and comparing notes on where we are in our reading and in our own writing, face to face at least. Our visits will be less spontaneous, less frequent and longer than a day, but they definitely will not end. Here’s to whatever the next chapter holds for her! ::Raising a glass:: Knock ’em dead, Kid!

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