The Writer As Imaginary Friend

To a reader, a writer one has never met can feel like a close friend. That’s an illusion. But recognizing that illusion need not leave one sad or lonely.


personal lives because they aren’t relevant to the writing. I wonder if for friendship, though, it’s the personal side of life that matters most. Perhaps when it comes to friendship, a writer’s work isn’t just a poor predictor of compatibility; maybe it’s irrelevant. If that’s true, one can see how difficult it would be to shift from reader to friend: as a reader relating to a writer, the subjects likely to lead to friendship are essentially off-limits.