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Backhanded Comments from Friends and Family

Recently, I had my second round at the Writer's Arena, and made a greater effort than previously to tell my friends and family about it. More than once, I heard this:

"I'll vote for your story, but I won't read it."

That kinda stung, not gonna lie. The contest doesn't matter to me if I can't even rely on my friends and family to read my stuff and give me their honest opinions. I'd rather they just said they wouldn't vote at all.

What do you think? Do you ever have a problem with those close to you being less than sincere about their support for your aspirations? 

Views: 35

Comment by Angie_Fayre on June 28, 2015 at 17:53

Personally, I think I might have preferred your family and friends' responses. I have folks that say they're my biggest fans, but I can't always get them to give my work a glance. That especially hurt when I sent one a copy of my nearly completed WIP, only to have them never open the email. They said they were just too busy. I've since abandoned the project for a new one.

I've also tried blogging once or twice and have been told by friends and family that my webpage was "pretty", "professional looking" and "cool". A stranger told me that my writing voice/style was weird and couldn't be understood. They made me feel like I spoke English as a second language or something. I wondered if that was why I couldn't get anyone I knew to comment on the stuff I'd actually written. I can't bring myself to write articles now--under any circumstance.

In order to continue writing my fiction, I've stopped sharing my work and most info about it altogether. That helps, but I don't know how I'm going to get any better without critique. I've tried critique exchanges (you know, when writers look over another's work in exchange for a read), but I don't trust my own opinions. How can I tell someone how to fix their work if I can't even figure out how to fix my own? It's frustrating, to say the least, and seems to say I'll have to pay for help if I'm ever to get any. Not sure how I'll accomplish that at the moment, though. However, since I'll have to pay strangers regardless, I'd have preferred going through life without suspecting my loved ones of coddling me to be nice. That's the most paranoia-inducing feeling in the world.

Comment by Naomi Rawle on July 18, 2015 at 8:51

Ah those loved ones are harsh in their indifference sometimes! Writing is a lonely road. I think you just have to read and re-read until you know you can't do any better.

After having read Stephen King's "On Writing" I tried to persuade my husband to read over my stuff (as King's wife does) he gave it a go but English is a second language to him so it was tough going. I'm not too perturbed! I don't write the kind of stuff my friends/family read really so their comments are, as you say, a little off putting. I have two die hard friends who are very good at and willing to edit my work but they aren't always polite. Don't expect back-patting - that will not help you anyway!

By far the most frustrating are the (rare) comments made in rejection letters if you are lucky enough to get something more than the standard rejection slip. Saying that, the site Everyday Fiction makes very constructive comments on the stuff they reject and if you are published the comments you receive will be very honest! (Brutally so sometimes!)

On the subject of blogging...I think it is an art form that I haven't begun to comprehend let alone master! I had my first comment this month! (After a year or more of blogging!) One word but it was the beginning so I'm very pleased! Yippee!!

Keep your chin up and just keep plugging away that's my advice!

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