January 31, 2014

Hang Out With Writer Friends

Dear M,

One of the limitations I have faced in my writerly life is the lack of close writer friends. Think of your school friends with whom you discuss pretty much anything and still not feel bad about saying or listening to things - that's the level of friendship I am talking about. One cannot expect that kind of candour or understanding from "new" friends, all the time. And with something as sensitive as your own piece of writing, you need someone who can handle it carefully for you.

Not everyone can appreciate feedback the way it should be. Not everyone can deliver feedback the way it should be.

Even a negative point delivered kindly could be misconstrued. It's like a mother taking offence at someone pointing out her child's bad behaviour. And many of us writerly folks unfortunately cannot boast of a placid temperament - hence the term, "artistic temperament".

And it's not only about feedback; it is about healthy discussions that could bring out interesting points to think about. Talks about famous authors' styles, their strengths, their limitations, the depth or shallowness of their writing: there is so much to learn. And discussions are the best way to expand upon thoughts, explore writing, bounce ideas, meet other writers. You can never tell where all this could lead to.


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