Navigating inter-writer relationships

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Meerkat

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I have one real-life friend who is a writer. (He is self-published, and his work is very good -- probably the best in his genre.) Now, if it weren't for this friend, I probably would never have started showing my work to anyone -- I honestly had never shown it to anyone IRL (I'd submitted stuff on occasion, but no one I knew IRL even knew I wrote).

Well . . . we have serious artistic differences.

Now this is just fine by me. I never, ever put another writer down for his or her artistic ideas. It's all good with me. But he, wow. He never misses an opportunity to tell me how much my artistic philosophy sucks. I usually deflect with a joke and whatnot, but I simply don't understand why he is doing this. I would be remiss not to mention that he is not exactly a fan of anything I've ever written -- sometimes he sends stuff back with "I hate everything about this" - type comments, and the last thing I sent to him, he said he quit halfway through.

It's odd to me, because he sends me all of his stuff, and I always attempt to give good, helpful feedback . . . why on earth is he going out of his way to be nasty to me? (I *seriously* doubt it's jealousy -- I'm just a beginner, and he's been writing for decades, and we write in different genres.)

The easy answer is "stop sending him your stuff!", and yeah, that IS the easy answer, but lately he's been nasty to me about EVERYTHING -- particularly since I got sick. I have no idea how to handle this guy.
 
Cut him loose? That's what I would do. Life is too short to surround yourself with people who make you feel like crap about everything you do and say.
 
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This person is not a friend to you, they are an acquaintance. I would never speak this harshly to any of my friends—unless they were doing something foolish and dangerous that would affect their welfare. There's a vast difference between offering constructive advice in a critique and being downright bitchy! If you allow things to continue, the situation will become increasingly toxic.

It sounds to me like a classic example of crab mentality. He realises he's stuck in the bucket, and he doesn't want anyone else clambering out to better things.

the-crab-mentality.jpg
 
Jesus, the guy sounds like a real bitch! And a attention-hungry drama queen, from what you write. I agree with Paul and Carol, let him go. It's one thing to be unsupportive of your friend in their creative exploits, nut to be nasty when they are sick? It seems to me, that there's nothing for you in this relationship...
 
He is 'Self-Validating' against you. It's very common, he doubts himself but 'At least I am not like Meerkat'.

Self Validatora always need someone to put down, they can only do this through a facade of friendliness because they need to sound off against you.
 
He is 'Self-Validating' against you. It's very common, he doubts himself but 'At least I am not like Meerkat'.

Self Validatora always need someone to put down, they can only do this through a facade of friendliness because they need to sound off against you.

Truer than you know.

The problem is that he is a client of mine -- a steady client. So .. . guessing I will reduce our interactions to just work stuff and quit exposing myself to nastiness.

Interesting, though, when he first started to read my stuff, I wasn't that great of a writer. Back then, he was always kind and gave constructive criticism. I've gotten steadily better over the last year, and conversely, his reactions have been nastier and nastier. So, yeah, maybe crab mentality.
 
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