Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.  —Anais Nin

If you're a writer, it's essential to have writer friends. Friends who understand the highs and lows of your career, the joys and frustrations of the writing process, and most importantly, the need for coffee. (And lots of it!) But how do you find writer friends? It can be tough when you don't live in a big city or attend writer's conferences on a regular basis. Here are four tips to help connect with other writers and build lasting friendships.

Tip One: Join writer's groups or online forums.

There are plenty of them out there, and chances are you'll find one that's a good fit for you. Several years ago, I heard a brilliant speaker give a lecture at a writer's conference. After her speech, I struck up a conversation and discovered that she lived near my house...and that her writing group was looking for a new member. I've been in that writing group for over sixteen years.

Tip Two: Attend writer's conferences. 

Conferences provide an excellent opportunity to meet other writers, learn about the publishing industry, and get your work critiqued.

Tip Three: Start a writer's group of your own. 

This can be especially helpful if you don't live near other writers. You can meet online or in person, and the best part is that you get to choose the members.

Tip Four: Reach out to local authors. 

If there are any local authors in your area, reach out to them and see if they want to get together for coffee or a writing session. Chances are, they'll be happy to connect with another writer.

Building lasting friendships with other writers is essential. These friends will help you through the highs and lows, offer support when you need it, and most important, be there to understand the challenges of the writing life.