Here are 9 initial reactions from loved ones, after you have asked them if they could do you a quick favour and have a look at what you have just written….
1. “Do I have to?” – basically this means they want to carry on watching the sport on TV / reading the newspaper.
2. After a quick glance “yea it’s ok“ – this can be very annoying especially if you have spent hours slaving over something. In your head your work of art deserves more than a ‘yea it’s ok’ – you were thinking of something along the lines of ‘OMG you are like the female version of Charles Dickens‘. This response ‘yea it’s ok’ normally means your loved one is just going through the motions so that you will go away and let them get back to watching sport on TV. Try asking them a question about the text and watch them squirm.
3. “Can’t you ask someone else to read it?” – cue your frustrated scream at loved one “I don’t have anyone else!”
4. “I will look at it later“ – not what you want to hear if you have just emerged from writing corner with your literary masterpiece and are desperate for someone else to say ‘yes it’s a work of art.’ Depends on what ‘later’ means as you can go quickly off the boil with your work of art. By the time they get round to reading it you will have lost all your writing enthusiasm and be sat happily nibbling cheese and drinking wine.
5. “Why don’t you show it to all your online writing buddies?“ – infuriating! Basically your loved one is ‘passing the buck.’ If you had wanted to show it to your ‘online writing buddies‘ then you would have put it on your blog and be sat waiting patiently for comments.
6. “Why?” – simple but infuriating! Cue their blank look at you and your response “because you are the only person I have to look at my pile of literary manure and it would mean a lot to me if you just took the time from your busy schedule (reading newspaper / watching sport on TV) to have a look at it” – you will end up walking away muttering under your breath.
7. “Email it to your mother and get her to look at it” – this a good example of a loved one ‘passing the buck.’ You can’t do this because there are scenes in your story which could make your mother change her opinion of you.
8. “I looked at it last week“ – infuriating as they clearly don’t understand how many revisions a busy writer can make in a week! Some busy writers can make sweeping changes to a story in ten minutes given their mood and hormonal state.
9. Loud groan from loved one.
The moral of this tale is to persuade someone who is vaguely interested in writing to be your writing buddy.
Loved ones are good for other things…like in my case car issues, DIY, taking out the bins, picking good TV box sets to watch, telling off children who stopped listening to me years ago and handing me a glass of wine when I am a bit teary….
Happy Writing 🙂
“Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there’s no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic.”
― Laini Taylor,
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