Writers: Don’t let “Them” read it!

Writers: Don’t let “Them” read it!

I’m so mad, I could spit liquid smoke. Not because I couldn’t get it together this morning–. I feel completely disheveled and I’m quite certain I look like a hot mess today. Not because it might snow four inches tonight and I don’t want to miss work tomorrow. And not just because I dropped a big section of my homemade banana bread on the floor (although the loss of food was the tipping point–). I’m mad because,…I’m mad…well, I guess I’m not really angry at all. I’m disappointed.

I did something I adamantly said I would NOT do: I let a few people read a chapter of my book. Referred to as “They” from here on–they said, “Oooo, can I read a chapter? I’d really love to see what you’ve been working on,” or words to that affect. I countered by saying, “Do you know what kind of responsibility comes with reading a bit of my draft novel? I will want feedback and comments,” I said. “I’ll expect discussion about the characters, etc., and not just you saying you liked it or hated it.” They gasped, seemingly offended. “Nooo, I promise I’ll give you lots of feedback! Hurry send it! I can’t wait to read it,” they said. Riiiiight.

As you might guess, I didn’t get my feedback. Well, I’ll be more exact and say, they gave me the “I liked it” comment and that was the end of that. I mean…C’mon!!! Are you kidding me!? [Gasp!] Okay, to get over my disappointment, I’m going to do the following. You might benefit from these tips, too. But remember, these lessons are primarily for me.

1: Keep your story close and keep them at arm’s length. Don’t let them read your unfinished work. Humph. When it’s published, they can download it onto their E-readers.
2: Manage your expectations. Remember, they are not analysts or literary PhD’s. You shouldn’t expect a lot from folks who aren’t writers.
3: Toughen up! Try not to be so ultra sensitive about your writing. You know if your work is good or not. So, skip the casual validation and seek a professional opinion from an agent or professional editor.
4: Stay active with a healthy Writers’ Group. Those like-minded folks will provide you with the depth of discussion and analysis you need to improve.

Write on!

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3 thoughts on “Writers: Don’t let “Them” read it!

  1. Very good!! I’m glad I wasn’t one of “them” yet. 😉 And I’m sorry you dropped your delicious banana bread…I’m sure it was tastily made from the silicone pan!

  2. Thank you! Yes, THEY know who they are. 🙂 I’m really making progress and I’m excited about it. The end is coming!

    Yes, that silicone baking pan is the bomb diggity! The banana bread should have been on the cover of some cooking magazine for looking so good! 🙂

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