My Journey as a Writer on Friendship
The "how" of writing about the "how" of making friends 🔘
This is Étienne and you’re reading issue #7 of Light Gray Matters.
Today’s issue actually coincides with an essay on my blog. It is the second part (I call it part 2.1) of a series about leveling up the skill of friendship. This essay focusses on the skill of making new friends, i.e. increasing the sizes of the of inner circles in this incredible hand-drawn graphic from the text:
(Yeah, not my best visual work. Oh well. I only had two pens and a pale pink highlighter.)
I’m pretty happy that the essay is finally published! I’ve been writing it — and telling everyone about it — for two months. And parts 2.2 (on friendship maintenance and deepening) and 2.3 (on conflict and the end of friendship) are coming up. I initially meant to publish them all at once before the end of the year (i.e. tomorrow), but yeah. That was not even close to happening.
This series really did grow into something much bigger than anticipated.
I suppose it’s not surprising. Friendship is a gigantic topic, after all. But it’s worth taking stock of how the process went.
Why did I even write about friendship to begin with?
The true answer is that when I started the On Deck Writing fellowship, I didn’t really know what to write about on my brand-new English blog. So I picked a topic that seemed interesting enough, and I wrote what I expected would be a quick personal essay, framing friendship as a skill you can improve.
The people I asked for feedback from liked it. Some of feedback said it focused too much on the “why” when they expected more of the “how.” So after the essay was published in late October, I decided to write a followup.
I quickly made an outline (I never write with outlines, but there’s a first time to everything!) and embarked onto this… way too ambitious quest to compile ALL the advice about EVERY part of the friendship cycle.
It was a bit foolish. The task was enormous, and I was guaranteed to do an imperfect job at it. Especially since I’m… not an expert at all? I wrote the essay in large part because I want to get better at friendship myself. Predictably, I suffered from a mild case of the impostor syndrome.
Yet I’m happy now. Just writing about friendship has made me better at it, I think. And it may help others. If it does, if it helps even a single reader, then my work is done.
With this, I remain
Happy new yearly yours,
P.S. The customary buttons: