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Top Six Ways Not to Get Along With Your Writer Friend

6. Tell him you missed his reading because you had to buy a book.

5. Ask him to pack one of his books the next time he comes east so you can check it out.

4. Admit you don’t read his books, but copy him with each of your never-to-be-published letters to "The New Yorker."

3. Ask him to critique your memoir and, after having received his four pages of notes, never mention it again, except to tell him each time one of your other readers says it will make a terrific movie.

2. Come to his book launch party, schmooze with his guests, eat his food, borrow his book from someone who bought it, and, when you receive an invitation to the party for his next book, remind him to invite that person, presumably so you can borrow the new one.

1. Never fail to tell him, each time the best selling author with whom you went to summer camp in 1958 releases a new novel, what a terrific guy he was – brilliant, funny, and a hellova point guard, despite having been only five-two.

Just a few personal favorites.  Feel free to add your own.

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1.  When you are done

1.  When you are done reading your friend's books, make sure you sell them back to a local used book store, close to your friend's house, one she frequents.  They should be there for her to see--with her personal inscription to you--right there in the stacks.  Make sure you've sell "all" of them back.  Not just one.

2.  Say things like "I wish I could have gone to your reading," when, in fact, you were at home writing something you will later ask her to read.

3.  Make sure you mention that "None of my friends really likes the kinds of books you write" as many times as possible.

4.  Walk up to her at a party and say, "I read your book at a book club and hated it."  That one really works.

That's enough negativity from my end!  Wow, I guess I needed to unload that. 

Okay, here's what we need to do.  Not take this stuff personally.  It's been happening to me for years, and now I kind of just laugh.  Number 4 happened to me just recently, and I ended up making it a joke, even though it was a bit upsetting at first.  But it was about her, and not me, really.

We need thick skins, lovely hides to wear out in the world!


Jessica Barksdale Inclan www.jessicabarksdaleinclan.com

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More Ways to Alienate your Writer Friend

1. Read your friend's book, admit that is is art but then say it is too autobiographical and that it made you too uncomfortable to really enjoy but explain no further. Then dismiss it outright.

2. Tell a Writer you have a couple of stories/poems/screenplays/essays/ sitting in a drawer somewhere JUST WAITING to get published!



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How Familiar!

When my first book was published, a friend who is a well-established author warned me that at least one person would say, "Send me one of your books and I'll read it." I thought she was kidding, right up until the day it happened! to me LOL


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Did you read the introduction?

I don't know how many people have said they enjoyed my book and then asked me a question that was answered in the introduction. But am I annoyed? Of course not! I love anyone who reads the book -- even the ones who only tell me what they disagree with.

Michael Lipsey