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Friend writes terrible stuff

Henrietta wrote:

I have a friend who writes fanfic-- she is an intelligent lady, but this stuff is just horrible. I think it is very poor and tasteless-- it actually shocks me how awful it is.

She posts it publicly under her own name. She has asked me a couple of times what I think of it. I can't find any way of saying anything good about it-- I even think she might be compromising herself by posting this stuff publicly, under her own name.

I can't dodge her forever. I actually am afraid she might do herself some damage by making this stuff public-- but I don't know how to tell her without hurting her and possibly losing her friendship.

Any suggestions?

Dear Henrietta,

So you don't want to lose her friendship, and yet she's obviously lost yours already. Selfish, aren't you?

She's writing; she's enjoying it, she may or may not be any good; she may or may not THINK she's any good. So what?

You seem to think being a critic is more important than being a friend. Wrong. Critics are two a penny; friends are priceless.

What are your credentials for being a critic? Why is your opinion more valuable than hers?

Of course, if you removed your head from your ass for a minute, you'd realise that you could do both. You could say "Because you're my friend, you'll understand that I must be honest; because I'm your friend, I understand that we might disagree and I might be wrong ... I hate your stuff."

But this isn't about her, is it? You're ashamed, and all you care about is that you might suffer for her hated work.

Once she makes her first million, and she might - bad or not, others may love her work, I hope she pays you thirty pieces of silver. Because that's the value of your kind of "friendship".

Wake up, wish her well, and choose. Friend or "critic"

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