There's a reason people tend to socialize with folks who do the same thing they do. Writers, like other artists, have their collectives, their guilds and groups, their gaggles and congregations. A lot of people will claim that we gather for practical purposes. We are advised to "network" and to build a creative circle for many business reasons.
Actually, this is good advice, but I'm feeling humorous today, and I want to talk about an even more important reason to have a group of authors with whom you can socialize. So let's put aside all those valuable and valid reasons to seek out a writing circle and talk about something else: the safety and well-being of your friends and family.
By this I mean that you need people who "get" you...at least I do. I need someone that will give me the correct responses to my complaints and cheers, my bitching and whining, and who will appreciate any hard-won celebrations. For instance, when I tell my husband that I have to write a one page synopsis of my 300 page book and he says, "shouldn't be too hard" or "that sounds like fun," I need to be able to NOT beat him to death with our toaster. Having someone who I know will say, "ah shit," and then throw chocolate at me goes a long way toward keeping HIS forehead toaster free.
You get what I'm saying, I'm sure. But just for fun, here are a few more.
Writer: I think I may be stuck on this book. I haven't written in three days.
Well-meaning family member: You should take a break. Take some time off and give it a rest.
Writing Buddy: Oh, is the poor author feeling lazy today? Books don't write themselves, you weenie, get back to work.
Writer: I'm thinking of making the villain a robot monkey.
Mom: I never get tired of those.
Writing Buddy: Another monkey? Why not, right? I mean, you wouldn't want to actually put something original in this one.
Writer: I just got a partial request from an agent.
Family Member: When they make the movie, can you get me a part in it?
Author friend: Here, have this big ol' glass of tequila.
Your author friends will mock you when necessary, encourage you when it's absolutely mandatory, and understand your insane babbling about plot arcs and motivation without needing an interpreter.
Just remember that your family is trying their best, and that you probably don't get the responses to their comments right either. Because I've seen the toaster look in his eyes too, and I can only hope he has someone he can tell about lures and flies and the difference between hatchery raised and wild salmon who will give him the right reaction. My forehead hurts just thinking about it.
Play safe. :)