I have two friends who are writers. Well, more than two, actually. Many of us exchange our writing with one another. But for the sake of this post, I’m only going to discuss two different types.
Friend number one always responds to what I send with comments. I always reciprocate by reading and sharing my thoughts about what he’s written. Each of us appreciates the other’s attention to this creative reciprocity. We often talk on the phone about gnarly situations which clearly are the bedrock of the writing profession. These times are often a mix: commiseration about how difficult it is, this writer’s life, as well as thoughts on how to turn a particular lemon into lemonade.
My relationship with writer number two is just the opposite. He sends me every scrap of his writing, regardless if it is a first draft or something he’s worked on. Doesn’t matter; he wants me to read it and let him know what I thought of it. Whatever comments I write back usually go unacknowledged. Ditto when I send him something I’ve written. He’s relatively new to the writing game, which I am not by a long shot, and that makes me think he seeks my professional perspective – praise, that is – or my editorial help, but he is either unwilling to provide comments or is disinterested in what I write, so he does not reciprocate. I don’t even know if he reads what I send him.
I have many more writer friends who are like writer number one than of the writer number two persuasion. They are not only askers, sharing their work to see what I think of it, but givers, too, who understand the importance of creative reciprocity. I recommend many of these writers to the editors at the Fictional Café to consider for publication. When their work is accepted, it makes both of us happy as clams.
All of us, writers and everyday people, need to give as good as we get. It’s the universal standard for human behavior. I’m always reminded of the Beatles’ song, “The End”:
“And in the end
the love you take
is equal to the love you make.”