Monday, January 14, 2013

Author Friendships

Author Friendships
Guest post by Jason E. Maurer
The bond between true friends can never be broken. You may fight over something trivial or monumental, but eventually find your way back to each other because you’ve come so far in your relationship. So what if he slept with your brother behind your back? It’s just water under the bridge, right?
Maintaining a steady relationship with those we care about is part of who we are as a species. Most of us do not like being alone, and strive to create connections with everyone, lovers and friends alike.
Take my friends, for example. They are classified into two distinct groups: Those I can hang out with in real-life, and those I know online but have yet to meet.
My close circle of real-life friends is mainly the same people I knew in high school, with a few new faces added over the years.
The same can be said about my online friends. There are not many, but a few of the people I’m friends with through the vast expanse of web space seem as much a part of my inner circle as do the friends I have in person.  Some online friends have been in my life for a decade or more.
Does knowing someone that you’ve never met make them any less of a true friend? No, because we know each other’s secrets and are supportive of one another in spite of the vast distance between us.
Humans, as a whole, can have support in many ways, but in my personal experience friends are the ones who will stand by each other, through thick and thin.
If you are an author and have a friend who is also an author, this is equally important because they are your true supporters, the ones who tell you to push forward even when you think you will NEVER get that damn novel finished. They understand what it’s like to feel pressured.
You can talk to each other about your craft, and understand when she tells you the reason she didn’t clean her house today was because she just needed to get these thoughts out on paper. You accept this statement, because you know exactly how she feels.
Writing is a fickle thing, at least for me. I can wake up in the morning, have breakfast, sit down at my laptop and write a few thousand words in what seems like a few seconds. Other times, I can stare at a blank screen for HOURS and not write a single sentence. Our author friends know how it is, and can relate because they’ve been in the same boat. No matter how little we write, our friends are the ones sitting on the sidelines, pumping their fists in the air and screaming for us to reach the finish line.
One of my favorite quotes of all time found online many years ago pokes fun at the sincerity of friendship:  “If you and I were together on a sinking ship and there was only one life jacket, I’d miss you heaps and think of you often.”
What kind of friend would throw the other one ‘under the bus’, so to speak? Or in this case, out of the boat? A true friend would share the lifejacket, in the hopes of being rescued before you both drowned.
Why should the friends of an author be any different? If you have written something that another author friend doesn’t like, should she tell you truth or keep her mouth shut and allow you to shoot yourself in the foot, thereby pushing you out of the proverbial boat?
The simple answer is: She should tell you how she feels. A true friend will be honest, at all times. But, there is a difference between being honest and being cruel. You can be constructive in your criticism, judgmental without being harsh.
True friends are not afraid to tell you what they think. If you arrive dressed for a night on the town in a mumu and stilettos, your friend should laugh his ass off and tell you that you need to change your clothes because he will absolutely NOT be seen out in public next to you while you’re wearing such a ridiculous outfit!
Just because you are friends does not mean they need to coddle you and gush over how amazing your novel is.  In fact, your author friends should use their trained eyes and be the first to point out the flaws.
Remember that you cannot please every person, all of the time. Roll with the criticism, and strive to perfect your work. As authors, we need this validation and analysis of ourselves, for without it we are simply gliding along in a world of loneliness.  We need friends who will hold our hands and keep us grounded when shit gets crazy.
Also, expect some good-natured jealousy. If your novel sells a hundred copies, while your friend’s novel sells only ten, they may become envious. However, just because they have turned an ugly shade of green does not mean they want you to fail.
The important thing to remember is that true friends support each other, through the good AND the bad. We want the best for our comrades-in-arms, and to see our names in lights, side by side on the New York Times Bestseller list.
If she becomes successful while you are still struggling to get noticed, you simply need to try harder, push yourself more and work with a new outlook. And by all means, support each other!
Hold your friends close to your heart. This is important, because without them, we are alone. And no one likes or deserves to be without a companion, in love or otherwise. Be proud and treat each other with respect and honesty, and above all remain loyal and treasure them. With enough hard work, friendships can last a lifetime.
From quiet homes and first beginnings
Out to the undiscovered ends
There’s nothing worth the wear of winning
But laughter and the love of friends
---Hilaire Belloc

Author Bio:
Jason E. Maurer is the author of several short stories and novels that range in genre from romance to mystery, and everything in between. The work he produces is the result of a mind that can only be defined as ‘eclectic’.
His latest novel “Trust and Love” is a gay story that centers around the hope for a better future by advocating the “It Gets Better” Campaign, a cause that helps prevent teen suicide.
Jason lives in central Pennsylvania, and has chosen to dedicate his spare time [which at this point is anytime he is not sleeping] to the pursuit of the American dream on the road to happiness.
The links to his extensive list of social media can be found on the “About Me/Links” page of his website.
Where To Buy “Trust and Love”:

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