Cover Photo: via Piixabay
via Piixabay

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.

Ashley P. Taylor is a Brooklyn-based writer and journalist. Her essays have appeared in LUMINA Online Journal, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, The Brooklyn Rail, Entropy Magazine, and Catapult. Her essay, "Crying: An Exploration" (BrainDecoder, December, 2015) was listed among the "Notable Essays and Literary Nonfiction of 2015" in BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS 2016.