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The Beauty of Writing Friends

They don’t teach you how to be a friend in college. But they should. Hopefully, at some point, you do learn.


Probably it takes root in childhood and begins sprouting as we learn to care for each other.

It took me a while to learn and value friends. As a kid, I had trouble connecting for the usual selfish reasons. But I also felt unable to love everyone the way they needed. So I often didn’t try.

With the new independence in early adulthood a bit, I began to realize the importance of friends to everything I really wanted in life.

The writing life requires friends. No matter what happens, wherever you go or whatever you end up doing, the value of having people you can rely on is immeasurable, people who will go to bat for you, vouch for your skills and character, and believe in you even when you don’t believe in yourself.

Nothing but real friends makes life worth living. God knows we need real arms, real eyes to hold us. He designed us. He knows.

And for his called writers, he knows writing friends are more precious than diamonds.


They are the ones who will go through the fires with you. They know the ropes. The pitfalls. They know what you’re up against. They know what you’re doing is the hardest thing you could do. They get the whole self-doubt and feeling crazy thing. They know the daily struggle to commit despite the lack of talent, the headaches and all it takes out of you, how it makes you disconnected and weird. And they don’t judge you for all the oddities, the weight gain or the hair loss.

And they know you’ve got to have an imperfect confidant and advocate if you’re going to have one here at all. And that makes them just about perfect.

And they don’t care if you don’t call back because you’re in the middle of getting chapter 81 finally fleshed out after 2 months of cold pizza and not cleaning the house (and thank God for my wife, yet again!). And they don’t blame you for all you miss because you’re reliving pain to put it into pages carved out of real, bloody experience.

They know you just gotta do what you gotta do. They get all that.

They prove it’s true: he who has friends is truly rich.


But sometimes, we have to overcome the hurt that’s been done before we can engage. Writing is a way to discover some of those broken places. But books come from books and writing requires reading too.

Dr. Merry Lin wrote a book about her journey to healing and becoming a “professional friend” in her book, The Fully Lived Life It’s an incredible story and full of hard-won truth about learning to feel our true feelings, deal with those unacknowledged places, and finally heal through writing, prayer, experiencing God in everyday life and in the friends he places around us.

She shared her story, but it was mine as well.

Some of us are held back by old wounds inflicted by church people. To you, I’d encourage you to read Merry’s book which talks about spiritual abuse and its influence in scaring us off of investing in closer, lasting relationships.

Some of us started writing because expressing ourselves, our true thoughts and feelings wasn’t encouraged in our homes growing up. Writing is a way to heal that and begin opening up and trusting others with our stories. Julia Cameron’s famous guide The Artist’s Way is subtitled Recovering Your Creative Self because that’s what the journey involves. We have to return to who we were before, like the story of Peter Pan, to re-member ourselves as Ann has said.

I am who I am because of my friends and I wouldn’t trade this church for anything. But I had to learn and get past my barriers, my selfish goals and dreams, and see the reality of treasure all around me before I could pick it up and treasure it.


To Merry and Larry and Mary and Merrie. Ann and Jan and Hannah. John and Ron and Don and Lon. To Jim.To Jeanette. To Tara and Sarah. To Lissa. To Glenna. To Dave. To Bill. To Liz and Elizabeth. To Jamie. To Rebecca. To Jenelle and Nathan. To Tina and Todd and Linda and Lynda. To Cec. To Brandy and Cathy and Kathy and Cathee and Susan and Suzee and Sue and Soo and Siouxsie, wherever you are. To Binsey. To Alice. To Jeanne. To Erik. To Michelle. To Nicole. Randy and Kimberlee and Hilarey and Ginni and Miriam and Kristen. To Peter and Dolly and Doug and Shannon. To Siri and Tony. To Patton. To Rob and Steve. To Luci and Dani and Sherri and Opal and to Christian. To Tom. To Emily.  To Tonia. To Rick.  To Jess and Jessie and Jeff. To Clarissa. To Jackie. Erin, Aly, Sandra, Carmen, Monica, Tim, Leah, Gena, Charise, Stacey, Steven, Gina, Mike, Rachelle, Blake, Chip, Vicki, Sandra, Wayne, Thank you. Thank you.

Thank you.

My heart is yours, for loving what mine does, and loving what yours loves.

My soul longs with that same fire.

And we will make it. And we will find our way.

And we already have.

34 Responses to “The Beauty of Writing Friends”

  1. Cathy West says:

    Truth here. Because we all need a safety net. And maybe, when it gets frayed and worn and you find holes in it, somehow you manage to repair it anyway.

    • Cathy West says:

      By the way that is quite a collection of Cathy, Cathee, Kathy’s … couldn’t help but notice, but if I am counted amongst them, then thank you. :) You are blessed to have so many friends. Right here, this is your community, your dream. And I know that feeling, where you just need someone to say, “I get it, I feel that way too!” and whether it’s crazy or not, we can’t do without, because it takes one to know one, right?

  2. Gayle Petersen says:

    That was beautiful Mick and true. You are so right that some have been hurt in Christian circles whether they be Christian schools , churches or just Christian ,”friends”. That’s where we must be wise to move on and know that there is a friend that sticks closer to us than a brother. May we overlook what we can and forgive where needed and stick with our closest friend Jesus always.

  3. tonia says:

    And to you, Mick. Thank you.

  4. Lynda Meyers says:

    Thanks Max :) Stay gold, pony boy…

  5. Nicole says:

    You are loved. Deeply Forever-ly.

  6. Mary DeMuth says:

    I love this post! And I’m grateful we’re friends. So true how much we need each other in this sometimes insecure journey of writing.

  7. Jenelle. M says:

    I would not be where I’m at if weren’t for my writing friends. I’ve faced vulnerability head on, defeated my critics, and become brave when I didn’t think it possible. God knows how much I need people and being the patient God He is, He waited years for me to recognize this truth. Then Jesus guided me to work through the layers of my independence. I’m still a WIP, but with my writing friends, I’m much more grounded.

    3 cheers for friends!

    Hip hip hooray!
    Hip hip hooray!
    Hip hip hooray!

    Thank you, Jedi, you’re one of a kind :)

    Dang once this kid is out, I’ve got to get me one of those big ol’ glasses.

  8. Mick,
    Thank you for including me in your list of writing friends. Thank you for the incredible gift you were to all of us in your memoir writing class. And I’m excited to read you are writing Chap. 81 of your novel :-)

  9. This was much needed, Mick. This is a keeper.

    And I read this: “John and Ron and Don and Lon”
    and thought, ha! Nothing rhymes with Monica! ;-)

    Thank you so much.

  10. Mick, I truly FEEL connected to yo for eternity!!!

    Than you for mentioning me – YOU made all the difference for me.
    Praying your cup runneth over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    In His love and JOY!

  11. Truly, Mick, you are a treasure and you enrich the lives of so many, of mine. Emily Dickinson said it best in her August 1858 letter to Samuel Bowles: My friends are my estate. Forgive me then the avarice to hoard them.

    • Mick says:

      That is beautiful. Yes, I’m a hoarder too. Thank you for that thought, Jeanette.

  12. Jan ClineJ says:

    To sit and stare at my computer, or look at the stars or sunset and know that I have kindred spirits out there spinning the same poetry, being inspired by those things that others pass over, hearing the words whirl in my head…that is a treasure beyond other earthly friendships. There are a few special friends who keep the fire fanned. Mick, you are the gentle wind for all of us, blowing on the embers that sometimes cool from doubt and discouragement. For that, thanks isn’t enough. But thanks.

    • Beautifully said, Mick! Lovely, Jan and Jeanette! True, Cathy and Tonia! You bless many, Mick. Keep being the hands and arms, the voice that says what we’ve all been thinking.

  13. jeannedamoff says:

    Ah Mick, my favorite piano duet friend. You’ve always been the real deal. Thanks for the thanks. And for yummy left-over soup in your kitchen. And for encouraging me to stir again stories long slumbering. You make me feel celebrated. What a sweet gift that is (you are). Love you.

  14. Absolutely beautiful. I’m so grateful for you and hope one day I can tell you so in person.

  15. “I come and they come with me
    Finding words with my breath;
    From the wisdom of many life-times
    I hear them cry: “Forever
    Seek for Beauty, she only
    Fights with man against Death!” -Sara Teasdale

    Thank you Mick, for living it, for being a friend, for helping me find words with my own breath. And for being a fellow beauty seeker, even when it’s cloudy, and especially when it’s very, very, dark. :-)

    • Mick says:

      That’s such a great poem. Fighting against death for us. That’s right. Give all you have for beauty… So proud and grateful for you. -M

  16. Wow. Honored to be here Mick… you are such a blessing…

  17. Lucinda J says:

    Thank you, Mick. You are so right. We as people need other people, and that is beauty.

  18. Michelle says:

    Ahhhh! I read through this post the first time and got stopped from reading it all the way through (I’m sure one of my daughters had a CRISIS with having no clean socks or something- you know – a crisis only mom can resolve). But now I finally read it all the way through… From the very first phone call 6 years ago, Mick Silva has been a friend who understands… No pressures, no unreasonable expectations, no judgments… Just understanding. Priceless!!!
    And maybe, just maybe, at the end of life, we will find, it was about the relationships all along.

  19. suzee says:

    um, cathy w., just lettin’ ya know i’ll help you with that terribly demanding job of filling in for janelle on getting filled up…
    suzee B

  20. suzee says:

    you are one of a kind of your kind….
    thank YOU for saying thank you, so many never do.
    we belong to the same ‘church’ that’s fer sure.

    suzee ( one of ’em :-) )

  21. Elizabeth Bristol says:

    Love that!! Allll of that . . .

  22. suzee says:

    i cannot resist this next lil bit…”People, people who need people…are the luckiest people in the world…”
    well my nickname DOES have the word ‘cheese’ in it, see i caint help it.
    suzee creamcheese

    • Mick says:


      Maybe a bit of cheese, but you can’t deny the truth of that song.

    • suzee says:

      you got me inside and out with this one
      and that’s a wrap! so beautiful beautiful beautiful.
      and look at the procrastination i afforded you finding this stellar rendition for me and the rest of us
      would you say you pretty much hit a homer with this latest post?

  23. Marla says:

    Mick, I just came across this post and…wow. I couldn’t agree more. You said it so well.

    • Mick says:

      Marla, you are now included in the list, sister. Just warning ya. ;) I confess, I often come back to this post and remember where my heart longs to be, with my many writing friends. And I needed to return here again today! Thank you. https://Youtu.be/y6Sxv-sUYtM

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