Wednesday, December 16, 2015

How to be Friends With a Writer

Being friends with a writer can be frustrating because writing is a solitary experience. Friends and family may not understand the writer’s need to lock oneself away for hours on end with nothing but their thoughts and the desire to get words on paper. They may feel rejected, not understanding the writer choosing isolation, instead of spending time with them.

Many writers already start their day with a substantial scoop of guilt. Should they run errands with the spouse or friend, sign up to be a chaperon for the next school trip, be an active member of the PTA, attend every family birthday or BBQ and numerous other requests for their time or should they just say no.

Below are a few ways to incorporate your friend’s writing life into your friendship.Your writer friend will appreciate that you are interested in her passion and spending time together on other writing related activities is a win-win for both parties.

When you’re at a bookstore or library, stop at the community board and see if there are any events that would be of interest to your writer friend. Offer to go with her.

Ask her if she’d like you to read some of her work. I don’t believe you have to be an expert at critiquing to give some helpful advice. Be kind (no insults) and remember your friend is vulnerable. Putting words on paper is also putting parts of herself on paper. If the story or chapter had you confused or you didn’t understand why a character did what they did, that is helpful advice to a writer.

Ask her if she’d like to discuss problems with her current project. Hearing a different perspective may help her solve her problem.

Visit museums or art galleries. Exercise. These experiences and actions develop complex thought patterns and encourage creativity.

Visit author book signings with your friend or go to book fairs together.

These are just a few suggestions and some might even sound like work. Ugh! Exercise! But, if the friendship is worth having, so is the work. Trust me, the friendship is important to your writer friend, too.

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