What are friends for?

emily gould
Emily Gould at the Brooklyn book festival


In a previous post I mentioned a book by Emily Gould that I was planning to read called Friendship, so I thought I’d report back and say that I did read this book and it was quite different to what I expected, but very enjoyable.

Written for a target audience of thirty-somethings, it explores the friendship between two women who are caught up in their own lives and in trying to make their way in the world. They are trying to work out what they really want and what they really stand for. Ultimately it’s about the choices we all make and how much we truly value our friendships.

It’s both funny and sad in places, and it made me think a lot about my friends and whether or not I’ve been a good friend. I’m sure that I’ve probably failed on a few occasions, but the lovely thing about real friends is that forgive you when you fail and they accept you for who you are.

My friends are incredibly important to me, so if any of you are reading this blog, this message is for you. Thanks for being part of my life.

I’m not sure how this post fits with the general theme of this blog, but they say that if you want to improve your writing, you should read well-written books and this book certainly fits into that category. It’s a nice read.

Learn new skills for next to nothing

English: Writer Emily Gould at the 2009 Brookl...
English: Writer Emily Gould at the 2009 Brooklyn Book Festival. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are many places to find inspiration and learn new things that are either free or very inexpensive. If you are interested in digital design, writing, illustration or crafty things, you can sign up for a three month trial at Skillshare for about $2. If you decide that you like it and can afford it, you can sign up for a monthly fee of about $10 US which seems pretty reasonable to me. You get unlimited access to all the courses for the monthly fee so if you have lots of time (which I don’t) you could entertain yourself and learn heaps for a relatively small amount of money. A pretty good deal I think. If only I had more spare time!

Because I’m interested in writing, I’ve enrolled in course about writing personal essays that I’m really enjoying. The classes consist of a series of short videos which are nicely presented and not too didactic. In other words, I don’t feel like I’m back at school. The course leader is Emily Gould and she just sort of chats about different ways to approach writing personal essays, but she also gives some good concrete examples which is helpful. She’s pretty famous apparently but I haven’t been able to track down a copy of her book of personal essays in my local library as yet. I know that I’m a cheapskate, but they do have a copy of her latest book on order which is called Friendship, so I’m looking forward to reading that when it comes in. I’ll let you know what I think when I’ve finished it. Apart from discussing her own approach, she also recommends other writers and in particular another essay called ‘the last photograph of cat‘ which I have every intention of reading, except that it sounds incredibly sad. I’ve got that one on hold for now but I’m hoping to be brave enough to read it soon. Perhaps you could read it for me and let me know what you think? In the meantime I had better start writing my own personal essay and stop putting it off.