The Wizard and the Friend
My philosophy on writing and life.
I recently picked up this novel that everyone — friends, critics, reader reviews — loved. (Before we go any further, I’m not going to say what it is, because my feelings are subjective, and I don’t want to speak ill of someone’s work.)
The writing was impressive, but distractingly so, like the author was trying to juggle fire and keep five plates spinning. It was the fiction equivalent of a work presentation featuring slide after complicated slide, where everyone speaks in acronyms and corporate jargon. The participants nod along, too afraid to ask a question or point out that none of it makes sense.
Anyway, I gave it my best, but I couldn’t get into it. I was in the mood for connection, for immersion into another world, and it felt like the author was keeping me at arm’s length.
That’s when I realized: I was dealing with a wizard.
I have a long-held theory that when it comes to art and writing, but also much of life, there are two approaches one can take: the wizard and the friend.
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