Unfortunately, the vast majority of the friendships I have had with a variety of writers thus far has rarely led to anything worthwhile or valuable. I am not referring to the lack any sort tangible support - contacts, recommendations, promotion, and the like, though these have also been scant - but rather to the more intangible aspects I had hoped friendships with other writers could yield such as comradery, mentorship, trust, guidance, fellowship, motivation, and solidarity.
It has been my experience that most obscure writers - of which I am certainly one - only wish to secure writer friendships for the sole purpose of promoting themselves. This is understandable, but certainly not admirable as it amounts to little more than self-aggrandizing narcissism.
Forever on the lookout for their big break, unknown writers also tend to be ruthlessly ambitious and opportunistic and treat their so-called friendships with other writers as rungs on some imaginary ladder. Most writers are also pathologically self-absorbed. They are keen to have you read and review their work, but show little interest in returning the favor.
Insecurity also is a common issue in writer friendships. Very few writers possess the nobility to admit that another's work might be better than their own. When faced with a situation like that, most writers sink into a strange state of passive-aggression or become bitter with resentment and either make efforts to sabotage their so-called friend, or do everything they can to sever the friendship entirely. Many writers also struggle to deal with alternative viewpoints, especially political ones. I cannot tell you how many writer friends I lost merely by admitting to something as simple as being a Christian, or revealing my disagreement with whatever manufactured controversy happened to be dominating the headlines.
Forming connections with established writers carries its own set of pitfalls. The points mentioned above apply to friendships with established writers as well, but tendencies such as condecension, scorn, flippancy, and snobbery also come into play. Most established writers are not particularly interested in forming connections with unestablished writers. After all, what advantage does that give them? On the other hand, unestablished writers are extremely interested in forming connections with established writers both as a sign of validation and as an opportunity to gain prestige and recognition.
As I mentioned earlier, my experiences with other writers, both established and unestablished, could be at best described at mixed with a fairly negative slant. My attempts to establish lasting friendships with writers usually degenerated into tangled webs of mild disappointment, mistrust, envy, and resentment. Much of this is due to the simple fact that writing was the only thing I had in common with the writers I befriended in the past, and I have since learned that sharing an interest in writing is not an adequately solid foundation upon which to build a friendship. On the contrary, having nothing but writing in common is positively poisonous because it hinders each party's ability to see the other as a subject rather than an object.
Though I appreciate all the writer friendships I have had in the past and learned something from each one of them, I no longer actively seek out writers as friends simply because they are writers. I am also quite cautious when other writers approach me with their hands extended. It is not so much that I have closed the door on the possibility of having other writers as friends, but the realization that writer friendships must be based on the same stuff regular friendships are.