Friends and Writers
by Karen E. Rigley
Where did the myth of lonely writers come from? Real life. Probably mine. The weird hours, concentration and total submersion into our craft, take a heavy toll on our social lives.
Friends are very annoying when they interrupt a creative roll, so we tend to brush them aside. It’s hard for them to understand why we rarely return their calls, why we decide not to attend that new movie we’ve been waiting to open, or why we forget to come over when promised.
“But I’m writing,” we plea.
“You can write later,” they reply.
It’s especially difficult to sustain friendships with nonwriters, let alone nurture those friendships. Here’s a quiz to see what kind of a friend a writer makes. Take it and see how you rate.
1. Your friends ask you to go to a concert with them. Do you:
(a) attend the concert
(b) beg off to meet a deadline
(c) buy ink cartridges instead of a concert ticket
2. You invited a few friends over on the evening of the fifteenth. At eight P.M. you are:
(a) putting the last minute touches on the hors d`oerves
(b) scooping papers and manuscripts off the furniture
(c) still in your robe, fingers flying over the computer keyboard as you swear at the doorbell
3. Your best friend calls to cry on your shoulder. What do you do?
(a) say come on over
(b) make soothing sounds over the phone as you continue typing
(c) interrupt to brag about your latest sale
4. You’re meeting your friends for lunch at a cozy restaurant in the mall at noon. Noon finds you:
(a) greeting your friends and waiting for a table
(b) in the bookstore across the mall setting up a book signing
(c) home eating a tuna sandwich and editing your final draft
5. You’ve just emerged from a long writing binge and suddenly feel very lonely. Now you:
(a) go to a movie with a friend
(b) call a few friends and find they’ve moved away
(c) write an article on lonely writers
5 points for every (a) answer
2 points for every (b) answer
0 points for every (c) answer
22-25 points — TRUE FRIEND (obviously not a writer)
15-21 points — OKAY PAL (you must not have deadlines)
9-14 points — SOCIAL CATERPILLAR
0-8 points — LONELY WRITER