Dream killer or fantasy enabler?: Perils of being a writer’s friend

Posted in Writing by Ashley Franklin on October 16, 2010
Tags: , , ,

If I couldn’t write, would you tell me? What is your role as a friend, confidant, or loved one? If you knew that I wanted to be a writer more than anything in the world but didn’t have a lick of talent, would you tell me? Would it be easier if you were a stranger?

It’s a tricky position, isn’t it? On one hand, do you want to be a dream killer? Should you put me out of my misery and suggest I get a real job? You could be blunt and tell me that I have no talent. You could say that you are actually amazed that I can string together complete, comprehensive sentences. You could, essentially, kill my lifelong dream.

On the other hand, what if you offer me your unconditional support despite believing that I’ll never make it as a writer? You see me struggle as a freelancer, bury myself in scraps of plot-bearing papers, and grasp at any writing gig I can get my hands on. You are always ready with a smile and encouraging word. You are undeniably supportive of my dream, but are you enabling me to fail at reality so I can pursue my fantasy?

I’m really not sure if one position is any better than the other. The variable in both scenarios is how I will receive your criticism. As an aspiring writer, I should expect criticism. Because of all the English classes I have taken over the years, I have become accustomed to criticism. Does this mean that I like it? Of course not! I can, however, differentiate between constructive criticism and flat-out meanness.

Everyone takes pride in something, even if the reason why is not clear to others. I am not foolish enough to think that I can be good at writing in every  genre. Will I try a few of them out and fail miserably? Probably. Will I know it? Most likely. Do I hope you will be willing to go on this journey with me? You bet.


2 Responses to 'Dream killer or fantasy enabler?: Perils of being a writer’s friend'

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  1. Tricia said,

    Writing is one of those things that I think people sometimes wonder if they can accurately judge. Particularly because there’s so many different genres, and ways of making money writing (well..hypothetically. I mean, blogs are different than books which are different than magazines, but we both know getting paid to write is hard). I also think that if you can amuse people, or paint a great picture or inspire people with your writing they will tell you.

    I agree though, either way support is a very large piece of the puzzle.

    P.S. I like your writing. You are honest and funny and engaging in a way that makes me want to read your stuff (whenever I’m not trying to avoid the internet).

    • transego said,

      Aww, thanks Tricia. People like different things. If you set out to inspire or paint a picture, there’s always the chance that it won’t be well received. I guess that’s the case with any creative profession though, huh?

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