April 24th, 2012 / 3:19 pm

You are friends with writers even if you don’t like respect their writing: true or false?


  1. Ryan Bradford

      Doesn’t this define all writer relationships?

  2. lily hoang


  3. Don


  4. lily hoang


  5. Ryan Bradford

      Nah, I was being facetious.

      Honestly, I think it’s not a matter of “like” but “respect.” I can not “like” a friend’s writing, but if I can’t “respect” it (and I think I’m talking mostly about ambition here), then we’re probably not friends to begin with.

  6. Ryan Bradford

        Nah, I was being facetious.

      Honestly, I think it’s not a matter of “like” but “respect.” I can
      not “like” a friend’s writing, but if I can’t “respect” it (and I think
      I’m talking mostly about ambition here), then we’re probably not friends
      to begin with.

  7. lorian long

      god i rlly hope people consider themselves ‘persons’ before ‘writers’ jesus fucking christ.

  8. M. Kitchell

      true, because of lorian’s comment above

      also, when i am drunk i love literally everyone in the world

  9. lily hoang

      Mike Kitchell, you’re awesome.

  10. Anonymous

      Honest to God, no, because I don’t befriend writers I don’t respect artistically (“like” seems like a bad word–“respect” is better). I have enough non-writer friends as it is, so it’s not like I need more friends anyway.

  11. Brooks Sterritt

      It would be weird to end or never start a friendship because you disliked someone’s writing. How would people have friends in grad school?

  12. Anonymous

      Would it? People avoid becoming “friends” with people all the time, for all sorts of reasons. “Like” isn’t the right word, though. 

  13. Roxane

      I don’t really think of people as writers first. I am not looking to populate my friendship circle with writers so it doesn’t come up. I do have friends who are writers but writing doesn’t come up much. Mostly we talk about the same shit we were talking about ten years ago–boys.

  14. Anonymous

      A lot probably depends on your personality. Some people don’t want/need a lot of friends period, especially introverts. I feel like I have a friend capacity that’s currently reached its maximum; there’s only so much room there…if it becomes too full, I’ll become suffocated. I already have to tell the friends I do have that I would rather spend more time alone than hang out with them. 

  15. Brooks Sterritt

      Well, “respect” changes everything! It’s hard for me to think of any writing that doesn’t deserve at least a modicum of respect. I guess not all relationships have to be about writing either.

  16. Ashley Ford

      I can definitely be friends with a writer even if I don’t like they’re writing. I’ll probably still buy their book, support their work. Not everything is for me and not everything will hold my interest. Especially if it’s a genre I don’t really get excited about. Doesn’t mean it’s bad. 

      I have to assume I have writer-friends who feel the same way about my work. They know it’s not bad, it’s just not the aesthetic that rocks them. I can’t really fault them for that. My question would be can writers be friends with writers who don’t like their work?

  17. Anonymous

      Sorry, but I don’t respect Jackie Collins or Nick Sparks, nor do I respect Nickelback or Kenny G, nor would I want to befriend any of these people. I also don’t respect or have time for non-artists, and there are plenty of writers who are non-artists, but that’s another topic for another day. 

  18. Ryan Bradford

       I think if any of you guys read my book of fart sounds*, this question would be a lot easier to answer.


  19. lily hoang

      Until recently, most of my real world friends weren’t writers either. (Although most of my virtual friends were and are.) Now, most of my real world friends are writers, but that’s just because I have all of four friends here. I like them, and I like their writing. I respect them, and I respect their writing. It’s nice. 

  20. Brooks Sterritt

      Fair enough, though it depends on what you mean by respect: respecting something’s right to exist doesn’t mean you deem it praiseworthy. (now expecting a follow-up stating Nickelback doesn’t have the right to exist. ok.)

  21. Anonymous

      I don’t have to be friends with someone in order to “respect their right to exist.” I thought the question was about friends, not whether or not people deserve to be dead or alive. 

  22. Brooks Sterritt

      i meant the right of a piece of writing to exist, even if you dislike it

  23. Anonymous

      Well, I never said writing I didn’t respect didn’t deserve to exist, either. 

  24. Bobby Dixon

      I think it’s okay to still be friendly and nice to those you know even if they write horrible  shit. 

      I know that every time I have been rejected — even when it was a kind and encouraging rejection — it’s hard not to feel like I have upset someone, like my rejection sprung from a hurt feeling. 

      How many of us write because we want to make perfect strangers happy or “happy”? That’s a weird feeling but a true desire. 
      I have friends and acquaintances that have, what I guess could be called, a fan-base and it seems like a real human relationship. That’s like having one friend that is a bunch of people. 

      I work best when I can imagine my best friend enjoying what I’m working on instead of what I think would be accepted for publication. 

  25. Michael J Seidlinger

      Naw, got to respect the personage behind the writer. Same thing as dating – you can date someone dull as dirt for a long time but in the end you’re going to want to bash the person’s head-in if you can’t find one redeeming quality outside of physical looks. 

  26. Anonymous

      I guess not, though I’d define ‘don’t respect’ pretty
      narrowly, like writing that is deliberately hateful.

  27. Trey

      I think if I was friends with someone and saw some of their writing after being their friend and I didn’t respect it I would stay their friend.

      I think if I was not friends with someone and knew their writing and didn’t respect it, but they were still friendly to me and I liked them I would be friends with them.

      I think if I was not friends with someone and knew their writing and didn’t respect it, and didn’t know much about them and didn’t interact with them much I wouldn’t fret about it. You can only have so many meaningful relationships, and I guess in an ideal world I would form most of those relationships with people I respect on many levels (although this is flawed and I certainly can have and have had very meaningful relationships with people whose writing I didn’t like at all—and I mean of course people who were actively trying to “be writers” and not just like my mom who I love very much and who can’t write a lick).

  28. Anonymous

      I probably don’t think of myself as being friends with a ‘writer’ when I’m friendly with someone whose writing  fails to interest me.

  29. Frank Tas, the Raptor

      It’s tough. It’s tough because my closest friends I’m not afraid of saying anything to, and when it comes to a writer, if that writer takes his or her shit really seriously but all I see in their work is Not Good, inevitably we’ll have a falling out in some way or another, even though we might continue to be friends, superficially.

      Also that’s another reason why I feel some anxiety toward being friends with writers.

  30. Nick Antosca

      There are degrees of “like” and “respect.”  There are probably a few writers who I just couldn’t be friends with because their writing bothers me too much, but for the most part when you get to know a writer whose work you don’t think much of, you quickly realize they’re just trying to make a life/living just like you, and they care about their work just like you do, etc etc, and it’s hard to feel superior then.

  31. Nick Antosca

      I certainly don’t expect all my friends to like MY writing.

  32. Guest

      My husband was always disappointed when I was doing my PhD that me and my writer friends talked about basketball, Tim Riggins’ junk, how to make a michelada. If we didn’t do that we wouldn’t have been friends.

  33. Anonymous

      My husband was always bummed when I was doing my Ph.D. in English & CW and my friends (many were my colleagues) and I would mostly talk about basketball, Tim Riggins’ junk, and how to make a michelada.

  34. Anonymous

      I don’t know many people who aren’t willing to lend a modicum of respect or a “good on ya” to anyone busting their ass to make something new in the world.  A writer I knew posted on facebook (and then quickly deleted it) that s/he didn’t give a shit about a bad review s/he got because the reviewer got his/her MFA from a certain program.  I don’t care what you write, if you arbitrarily shit on everything, fuck your well-reviewed books or your work that I respect.  It’s rarely the writing I don’t respect, it’s the goddamn attitude.

  35. Anonymous

      I knew I shouldn’t have bothered answering this question about FRIENDS, because the definition of FRIEND today is so screwed-up now, no one knows what the hell it means. I’m pretty certain that I could easily pat someone on the head or say, “good job!” without considering that person my FRIEND, as in, someone I actually spend time with face-to-face, someone who knows a good deal about me, someone I share some sort of history with beyond fucking Facebook likes.

  36. Mike James

      No. I find what one writes to be a direct extension of their overall energy. It is very likely that if I do not respect your writing, I’m not going to like you. Benefit of the doubt is in effect, but the chances are not favorable. I can dislike/like aspects of the writing, but if what they are doing — such as, what are their literary motivations (which affect your creative choices and, once again, are all an extensions of your general self) — is something I just do not respect. Forget it.

      If answering the originally phrased question, then yes. Because I’ve had friends who did mad drugs or ended up getting locked down. I didn’t like what they were doing. Still loved the bitches.

      Now, if I did not respect the work of an intelligent fine, fine (no, I mean fine) poet/writer — most of the above doesn’t matter. Because I’ll find a reason to stick around.

  37. leapsloth14

      Man, what a fucked up question. My friendship is based on my perception of you, beers, nuanced observations, your general wit, lack of self righteousness, “feel” (I know that’s a vague term–but I go by feel). Fuck you if you can write or not. Writing? Ha, ho, guffaw, ha. That’s not how I deal with people. Fuck no.  

  38. Noah Cicero

      I think people, with friends have a criteria.

      like mine would be

      1. Likes talking books
      2. Likes talking about politics
      3. likes talking music
      4. likes to party on the weekend but responsible during the week.

      1. Loves crazy republican ideology
      2. says racist shit
      3. talks about sitcoms (two and a half men) and Family Guy
      things like that
      4. doesn’t believe that the buying of corporate goods is the apex of the human experience.

      Feel like we all have a built criteria we develop on life’s way.
      Regardless if they are writers or not.

      My two closest real life friends are a nurse and a guy who works in the office of a factory.


  39. lily hoang

      Hi Noah. You’re so far away.

  40. William VanDenBerg

      “I also don’t respect or have time for non-artists…”

      Really? Plenty of non-artists are good people. Hell, plenty of shitty artists are good people. The quality of art a person produces has no bearing on their decency.

  41. Mike Woods

      I might respect their work but i wouldn’t ‘Like’ it on facebook

  42. Anonymous

      Way to misrepresent and/or take what I wrote out of its larger context. 

  43. William VanDenBerg

      You’re welcome! Kisses!

  44. Anonymous

      Sure thing, dumbass. 

  45. A D Jameson

      True. I don’t base my friendships on what people like, art-wise. Or what they do, either.

      Friendship has more to do with personality interaction stuff for me.

  46. Anonymous

      I pick friends because we like each other. It’s like a romantic relationship. I wouldn’t ask to see their work before I dated the person. We have chemistry. It has very little to do with art, and more to do with molecules and shit. I’m a little tipsy. But you understand.

  47. deadgod

      Way to construe a dumbassed remark exactly as it was written.

  48. Taylor Napolsky

      I’m pretty sure none of my writer friends like my work, but I think they respect it, and also I don’t give a damn if they like it!

  49. Anonymous

      You’re right–common sense wouldn’t tell you that the first sentence in the paragraph is an antecedent to the second sentence, and that “non-artist” is obviously referencing “Kenny G, Nickleback, Jackie Collins, and Nick Sparks.” 

  50. shaun gannon

      i don’t respect nuthin

  51. deadgod

      “Sorry, but I don’t respect Collins or Sparks, nor do I respect Nickelback or Kenny G.  I also don’t respect or have time for non-artists [like Kenny G, Nickleback, Collins, and Sparks], and there are plenty of writers who are non-artists.”

      Keep digging!

  52. Anonymous

      There’s nothing to dig, troll. Spend less time trolling comment sections and more time writing, though I doubt you actually write. This site is probably your only connection to your own failed ambitions, which is why posting here is so important to you. Yes, I could’ve done without the “also,” but the point should still be clear, based on previous posts. The “and” makes perfect sense in a second clause related to the first.

  53. deadgod

      The sky bluely vaults horizon to horizon up here today, and I can just hear your jacket padlocks rattling sweetly as you tunnel backwards to bridge from bridge.

      Happy trails, aft and fore!

  54. Don

      Because I don’t choose my friends based on their writing.

  55. Anonymous

      I would definitely be friends with Jackie Collins, Nick Sparks, Nickelback and Kenny G if given the opportunity. Sounds awesome.

  56. Anonymous

      Sometimes I like a person because they like me. 

  57. Helen DeWitt

      Not sure I follow. I have lots of friends who are not writers. I meet people I like, we meet for a coffee or a beer, sometimes it turns out they’re writing stories, a novel… And sometimes they send what they’re writing. If I admire the work, this is a friend who’s a writer.  If I don’t, this is a friend who is not a writer.

  58. Anonymous

      Yes! Might as well be friends with horrible writers who give you trophies. While you’re at it make pals with those you’re pretending to yourself to like.
      Change never stops occurring to including these:tastes, taste buds, writers, humans, artists, art, eyes, ears, faces, panties, keyboardsWhy dislike or nonfriend any person unless for cathartic reasons?This is silly like the string. 
      Does Lily make these inane posts on purpose? Remember the hipster one? Where’s dead god the superhero?