How To Befriend A Writer

So you’ve always wanted to be friends with a writer. But you’re a bit intimidated. You’re worried we’ll be all sneery because you only got an E on your English GSCE or we'll insist you’re outrageously well read before looking your way. You’re thinking we spout words which require constant thumbing through a dictionary or demand you listen to every plot we’ve ever come up with. Well you couldn’t be more wrong. I’m here to tell you we make the very best friends you can get. So it’s in your interest to find one of us, tempt us into your life with juicy little treats and foster a loyal and potentially lifelong buddy.

A writer is a person of many parts. All these can be nurtured and brought to the fore for which ever situation demands it. So here’s what you need to know.

Sometimes we’re off with our heads in the clouds and don’t appear to be listening. It’s not true. We’re multi-tasking, taking in your every word, storing it away for a rainy day writing session in which you or the people you’re talking about may be forever immortalised in print. Naturally we will preface the work with the italicised words:

This is a work of fiction and any names or characters bearing a likeness to anyone you know is mere coincidence.

When we’re not doing the whole multi-tasking thing we’re fully there with you. We’re great listeners even if our motives may be entirely self-serving. So listen to our little spiels then marvel at our skill in listening to all you have to say. Your confidences will be considered sacrosanct.

We’re always up for adventure. If there’s a new thing to be tried be sure you’ve got a writer in tow. We’ll absolutely give it a go. To ensure our writing has a visceral quality we like to step right into situations, participate, experience them in full. We’re all about wild abandon. Our job spec demands it. Next time you're off out or heading into the woods - give a writer an invite.

Now you introverts out there needn’t feel left out. Just want a quiet winter afternoon or evening sat by the fire or hugging the radiator? Then writers are definitely the way to go. We love nothing more than an intimate setting with books, drinks, the gogglebox and food close at hand. Nor are we averse to the joys of sunny afternoons on the balcony or brunch on the patio.  Speaking for myself, if you’re willing to feed me and provide libation I’ll be more loyal than a puppy. In case you haven't quite got the message - ask us home for lunch, invite us out to tea. Feed us people. Feed us.

Us writers are a varied bunch. Yes, of course our main enjoyment involves prolonged stretches of time in garrets, reading rooms, libraries and book shops but we’ll also do a multitude of activities everyone else is out there doing. A recent survey concluded writers are more active than anyone would ever assume. Exercise in its many forms is their number 1 activity after a spot of Extreme Writing. This activity is undertaken in many forms. Some writers work at standing desks, others tap away madly at keyboards or use the latest technology to keep tabs on their daily word count. There are those who firmly advocate the old school approach and write using pen and paper. Who knew? Well now you do.

We can teach you the true art of doing without doing. This usually involves stretching out on a sofa or lounger in a seemingly non active pose. However, this is a total ruse. What’s actually happening in such a situation is deep cogitation. As you can see, the benefits of befriending a writer are endless. So I urge you to get out there and find a writer near you as soon as possible. Then using my suggestions, forge that friendship.

Already have a writer friend? What are their best and worst qualities?

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