When you have time, watch this movie if you haven't yet.
This movie taught me a few lessons on writing.
First, you can find support from a fellow writer, but the story gives the message that support from others can only go so far, after which you and your support group will still have to face writing separately.
Second, you and a friend may have the same topic to begin with. The way you write the same stories will be different. Danny De Vito's character wrote a children's book about Momma, while Billy Crystal's character wrote a novel about the same person, even after hanging out, attending the same writing class, and getting the same lessons from the same teacher.
Third, we should all support each other and be understanding of our limitations and personal progress. Envy, jealousy and conflicts can set in. Expect it and hope to be positive and supportive of each other, but don't hold each other back, and there will come the time when you have to face the keyboard alone.
Finally, I always remember the word that Momma said. "Sultry." She sarcastically explained that the night was sultry and not moist, stupid!! One single word made the main character finally decide that Momma should be killed and thrown off the train.
The message this gave me, was that as we write, we should forgive ourselves for not using the best words and terms. Sometimes the better words come later, during editing. Sometimes it just would not.
I have to tell you a real story. I knew someone who used the word "moist" while describing a sultry evening, exactly like in the movie. We were a group of artists from the theatre group I was in for decades. This guy asked for us to hear and critique his essay. I had just recently seen the movie Throw Momma from the Train.
I still felt inadequate as a writer then. I already had a monthly column in a free community paper in Chicago, but in my mind, I had a VHS copy of Dead Poet's Society in my movie collection which I just seemed to not care to watch. My creative friends including him had been raving about Dead Poets Society while I had just enjoyed Throw Momma from the Train.
I made a suggestion, "What about 'sultry'? The night was sultry?" I never told him I just watched Throw Momma from the Train. In my mind, I was surprised he hadn't. No one would use the word "moist" to describe an evening's ambience after watching that movie.
His story described being in Paris at a cafe and observing a woman who looked classy. When his story ended, I suggested the word "sultry." I saw his face get sour. He hated my suggestion! I stopped at that. My next suggestion was that he missed leading us to the lesson to be learned. What he succeeded in telling us was that he was in Paris at a cafe. It sounded like he was just showing off, waiting for us to get envious.
If there's a lesson to be learned here, publish your work, even if it stinks. Your goal is to publish a book. Only get a critique once it's published. Do not trust friends, do not trust anyone who has nothing to gain from your progress.