Philip Guston left NY for the ‘burbs because he just couldn’t take the networking.
My friends are friends first, and if they happen to be artists, then so be it. But it is important you don’t get these things confused. Work hard to understand if you like a person. Don’t let art get in the mix. It so happens some of my friends are artists. But we have life in common, then art.
And what if your friends create art you don’t like? It’s like them having children you cant stand. I think I am at war with all writers. This has to do with the dysfunction of why I write. The impossible aim is to be better that other writers – without understanding what “better” means.
God it hurts when someone writes well. Though this is mitigated by them either being dead or having one foot in the grave.
I have one or two writing friends, but it has always been a mistake to talk writing when we meet. Far better to discuss something in life and to boozily form opinions and attitudes. I wouldn’t want a proper conversation about, say a poem of mine, or theirs. Horrors! To reflect soberly, or take and weigh a judgment or criticism just doesn’t bear thinking about. My poems are conversations with myself, triangulated between a viciously complex network of viewpoints and influences; made-up rules and the black-hole-suck of perceived artistic disasters.
And what do you imagine might happen if you achieve success with your art? Imagine the bitterness that will be projected at you. Get and bend the corrugated iron roof for your artistic Anderson shelter and take cover. Sharpen your pencil. Punch your keyboard. Never meet your heroes. Invent other ways to praise.