My father often tells me I can’t trust my friends when it comes to their opinion on my writing. He says it’s because they either want me to feel good about myself or they don’t know what they’re talking about.
He holds this opinion because as a young man he was in a band. After playing a show, his sister tells him that he is the best guitar player she’s ever seen.
He played the bass.
I think his sentiment is correct, to a certain degree.
First, I don’t think a writer should depend solely on people that know them well for opinions on their work.
When it comes to family and friends there are two tiers of readers. The first are the people who you simply want a first impression from, like “This is beautiful,” or “It sounds cool but I didn’t understand at all.”
The second tier will most likely consist of one person (okay, maybe two). This person that’s in the family or friend category isn’t going to worry about hurting your feelings. They might not be trained in writing, but they’re interested enough in the craft that they can help you iron out a stanza or paragraph you’re having trouble on.
Just don’t fall into the trap of having the first tier read your writing and believing them when they say you’re the best writer ever.
While often it’s nigh on impossible to actually have another group, or just one person, outside of family and friends read your writing consistently, it’s essential to breaking out of your comfort zone.
The way I found this group is by taking a workshop hosted by a local literary society. After the workshop was over a few of us decided to continue meeting and created our own group.
(Though, I’m a cynic so I often don’t believe even strangers when they say they enjoyed my writing.)
The point is, don’t believe what everyone says about your work – especially if it’s only positive. Find the one friend you can really trust and then go meet some strangers.
Hellooo! Is this really me back blogging?! It’s been months since I’ve sincerely published anything other than a poem or quote. Well, I’ll just say – hopefully I am back. I’ve made a blogging schedule that is a lot less than what I was attempting (attempting because I never fully accomplished the schedules I made.) So, I’ll see ya about twice a week. One quote of the week and one normal post that has something to do with writing or books. (Or me.)