I think a good friendship with another writer is so important because who understands you better than a fellow writer? Of course, writing tends to be such a solitary endeavor that friends that understand writing are a necessity. You need someone you can relate to and vice versa. So there are a few things I feel are super important when it comes to being a writer's friend whether you are a writer yourself or someone who knows a writer.
Nothing is more important to a writer than to have the support of family and friends. A little support is such a precious thing and it requires so little of you. Always offer encouragement, praise or sympathy depending on the situation because we all go through times when we need these things. At home, do your part to see that a writer has time alone to write. You can't imagine how much that will be appreciated.
Be a positive cheerleader. I have to say I have a small group of true friends who are great cheerleaders. They always lift me up. They have been there to congratulate me and console me when I needed it. Looking back, much of what I've learned and accomplished as a writer has not been without the help of fellow writers and fans. Some I have never met. But they willingly helped me by hosting me on their blogs, helping with promotion and sharing their knowledge of publishing.
Make suggestions rather than handing out advice. Don't be discouraging. Just because a writer isn't writing the kind of story you write or the kind you read doesn't make their work invalid or any less important or marketable. Don't be judgmental or jealous. All writers, regardless of how they have published their books or the success they've had, have worked long, hard hours completing their books and have spent even more time with the publishing and promoting process. Most of them have devoted a good part of their life to this endeavor. Always respect that sacrifice regardless if you think their books are crap or the best thing you've ever read.
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