But one other thing that writing gives is an immediate topic of conversation at writers' conferences and so on. I have found it incredibly helpful to break the ice with people by asking what they write, have they been published or are they working on it and so on, and before you know it, they are asking the same (and other questions of you and lo and behold you have a conversation going! This is the way long term writing friendships start.
Then there are the competitions and the thrilll you feel if you are shortlisted or win. (A little vindication goes a long way for most writers!). And when going out and about to events such as the recent Hiltingbury Extravaganza, you can talk about why writers group together to help each other, share news of creative writing classes in the area and so on. So write, have fun, talk about writing, love that too and in all these things, we spread stories, the value of literature of all kinds and so on. Quite a worthy thing to do really (and if we sell our books too, even better!).