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ad_lucem
05-20-2009, 08:05 PM
I let my husband read some of what I've been working on lately and he said he didn't get it.

This nearly drove me nuts.

I asked what he didn't get and really he couldn't follow what I was even talking about. None of the pieces came together. The beginning of my WIP, in particular, had him giving that WTF? look.

It made me feel like I was speaking in gibberish.

Now, I'll say this, my husband never reads anything (unless it's PC Gamer Monthly or a car care instruction manual). But, I have to say, it stung a bit that he just did. not. get. it.

Do you guys think it is a bad idea to let the hubby, wife, etc. read your WIP? Or do you think it is best to just keep all that separate?

spamwarrior
05-20-2009, 08:12 PM
I don't think it's a bad idea to let your spouse read it. They can have nice things to add... on the other hand, considering that your husband only reads PC Gamer and care care instruction manuals, maybe not such a good idea since he'd not understand and you'd feel hurt.

NeuroFizz
05-20-2009, 08:14 PM
It's always easier to dismiss the deliverer of bad news than to dismiss the news itself. If you are going to get upset about his comments, don't show him anything of yours ever again. It's not fair to him.

I let my wife read my stuff for the very reason that pissed you off. She won't pull any punches in telling me what, in her opinion, works and what doesn't, what makes sense and what doesn't, and what she likes and what she dislikes. Do I take all of her advice? No, but most of it does turn out to be useful. And I always make sure I let her know I'm grateful that she took the time to read and comment, and for her candor.

stormie
05-20-2009, 08:14 PM
I'd like my husband to read my work, but he's not a reader. Give him a book with photos (space, The Beatles) and he's a happy camper.

So I can write anything I want about him. :D

zanizh
05-20-2009, 08:15 PM
Sounds like we are married to similar guys. Blah. My husband reads cookbooks and newspapers. That's it. I hate that my husband doesn't even want to read anything I write. I could be writing a tell-all book about him and he wouldn't care. I would really love to have a spouse that cared about what I do.

Blah, again.

som1luvsmi
05-20-2009, 08:17 PM
I actually have to read it to my hubby. He says it sounds better coming from me. But, yeah, I pretty much always read what I've written to him. He's super supportive and very well read himself.He also tends to see things the same way that I do, like a movie being played out in my head. I've found it very helpful and a lot of the things he mentions after hearing my story help me move on to the next step.

At the same time, though, I know plenty of husbands, and wives, where if I were married to them, I would never read my stuff out loud to them. They wouldn't "get it" either.

So I guess it's really a case by case basis.

Bubastes
05-20-2009, 08:20 PM
I like to keep my writing and my personal life as separate as possible. There's simply too much baggage when you ask your SO to read what you've written, especially if he/she isn't able to give constructive criticism you can actually use to improve the WIP.

I write primarily women's fiction. SO reads computer manuals and the occasional sci-fi book. He's enthusiastic and supportive of my writing, but I don't expect him to read what I write, and that works fine for me.

Perks
05-20-2009, 08:20 PM
My husband does not read for entertainment, but it turns out he's a terrific first-line critic. He seems to genuinely enjoy my writing and has gotten really sharp on explaining where I've run off the rails and stopped making sense.

scarletpeaches
05-20-2009, 08:21 PM
I don't have a S/O - the only person who reads my stuff is thethinker42, although I'm training myself to 'branch out' by sending the odd chapter to Adzmodeus!

NeuroFizz
05-20-2009, 08:21 PM
Sounds like we are married to similar guys. Blah. My husband reads cookbooks and newspapers. That's it. I hate that my husband doesn't even want to read anything I write. I could be writing a tell-all book about him and he wouldn't care. I would really love to have a spouse that cared about what I do.

Blah, again.
Caring about what you do and having different interests are two different things. Why do threads like this always turn into so much mate-bashing? If your mate criticizes you for what you do without even looking into it, that's one thing. But if he/she just isn't interested in what you write, that isn't a bad thing. Are you interested in discussing every thing he's into? Being dismissive is one thing, and worthy of complaint. Being uninterested is another and should be evaluated in reciprocal fairness. If the mate is dismissive, the solution is simple--don't show him/her any of your work.

ad_lucem
05-20-2009, 08:21 PM
Sounds like we are married to similar guys. Blah. My husband reads cookbooks and newspapers. That's it. I hate that my husband doesn't even want to read anything I write. I could be writing a tell-all book about him and he wouldn't care. I would really love to have a spouse that cared about what I do.

Blah, again.

Yeah, I have to be honest. It isn't just that he told me it made no sense. It's the overall effect of living with someone who really doesn't take an interest in anything I do...from writing onward.

The only time he really takes an interest is when he finds something I'm doing is going to get in the way of his plans. Then, he gets moody and complains about whatever it is.

I'll add that it probably didn't make sense because he skimmed it and tossed it aside, also.

Edit to add: I do feel dismissed. I hate being the "at-home" parent precisely for this reason. I get a lot of feedback that I'm just a know-nothing and one of the "silly women folk" sort. If I hear another "when you get out into the real world" from him, he's losing teeth.

YAwriter72
05-20-2009, 08:38 PM
My hubs reads and edits for me and more importantly, he lets me bounce ideas off him and is an awesome brainstorming partner!

scarletpeaches
05-20-2009, 08:43 PM
Yeah, I have to be honest. It isn't just that he told me it made no sense. It's the overall effect of living with someone who really doesn't take an interest in anything I do...from writing onward.

The only time he really takes an interest is when he finds something I'm doing is going to get in the way of his plans. Then, he gets moody and complains about whatever it is.

I'll add that it probably didn't make sense because he skimmed it and tossed it aside, also.

Edit to add: I do feel dismissed. I hate being the "at-home" parent precisely for this reason. I get a lot of feedback that I'm just a know-nothing and one of the "silly women folk" sort. If I hear another "when you get out into the real world" from him, he's losing teeth.

I know this is off topic, but, damn girl. As if you need me to tell you how disrespectful that is.

I feel for you, I really do. I want you to stand up to him. Failing that, I'll come round and kick him in the nutsack.

Uh...you don't want any kids, do you? 'Cause by the time I'm finished with Cro-Magnon there, he won't be capable...

Seriously though. I'm with the fizzy one on this. I can't imagine being married to a man who was so dismissive of what's important to me - which is why I wouldn't marry him in the first place.

You don't have to be experts in each other's fields, but respect is a must. Personally I wouldn't have a problem with "I don't understand this; it's your area of expertise but I'll take an interest as far as my brain lets me."

But rudeness? Don't let the door hit you on the arse on the way out, babe.

ad_lucem
05-20-2009, 08:52 PM
I know this is off topic, but, damn girl. As if you need me to tell you how disrespectful that is.

I feel for you, I really do. I want you to stand up to him. Failing that, I'll come round and kick him in the nutsack.

Uh...you don't want any kids, do you? 'Cause by the time I'm finished with Cro-Magnon there, he won't be capable...

Seriously though. I'm with the fizzy one on this. I can't imagine being married to a man who was so dismissive of what's important to me - which is why I wouldn't marry him in the first place.

You don't have to be experts in each other's fields, but respect is a must. Personally I wouldn't have a problem with "I don't understand this; it's your area of expertise but I'll take an interest as far as my brain lets me."

But rudeness? Don't let the door hit you on the arse on the way out, babe.

Eh, he's got his good moments, but this isn't one of them.

:D he's the sort that whines about women drivers as I'm driving us somewhere. (FYI, I loved that commercial a while back where the woman is driving. It is raining, her date says something derrogative about female drivers and she kicks him to the curb. Classic.)

I wasn't even on the bank account for a long time because it was, no joke, "his money" because "he was the one working".

Staying at home has been a journey of intestinal fortitude with him. But, worth it because I can't imagine the kids stuffed in some nasty daycare just for the sake of my own fulfillment.

It is good to hear not all spouses are like this when it comes to the interests of their loved ones (gives me hope for my own daughter).

I think I need to just keep my interests to myself from here on. It's stupid trying to talk to a brick wall.

Clair Dickson
05-20-2009, 08:56 PM
My husband only cares if I'm happy. He doesn't read my writing, doesn't care what I'm writing, so long as I'm doing what makes me happy. It's kind of weird. But he'll always listen when I talk, and I've learned that he only has limited input regarding my stories.

I tried having him read my stories, but it didn't work out. Not because he did anything *wrong* but because we're just not aligned well enough. He'd say "This doesn't work" or "I didn't like this." And I'd either try to talk about how to change it or try to explain what I was thinking to see if that helped... but he'd just flee with a "It's your story." He wasn't interested in discussion. He offered his input and, with a shrug, moved on. But that is the man I married-- he may offer an opinion, but he doesn't want to talk much about it and will almost never defend it.

I can't imagine being with a person who doesn't seem to care about me. My hubby may not have any interest in, say, AbsoluteWrite, but he'll happily listen to me talk about it. Just as I'll happily listen to him talk about the things he reads on his websites of interest. We have different interests, because we are different people.

Let me be an ass here, ad lucem... which of your husband's interests are you involved in? Do you read PC Gamer and talk about the new first person shooter coming out that your Hubby is waiting for? Or does it only matter that he is not paying attention to you? (Which, granted, sucks, but are you giving as you would like to receive? Does HE feel like you are taking care of him? I know that when I feel like Hubby isn't paying enough attention to me, I tend to withdraw from him, which feeds an ugly spiral... at least knowing this I can try to fight it off.)

/ass
/derail

2old2pb
05-20-2009, 08:56 PM
I've told my wife about my writings but haven't shown her anything yet. Especially the poetry, it's more like therapy. I am a little embarassed about it, my dirty little secret so to speak.

scarletpeaches
05-20-2009, 08:58 PM
Eh, he's got his good moments, but this isn't one of them.

:D he's the sort that whines about women drivers as I'm driving us somewhere. (FYI, I loved that commercial a while back where the woman is driving. It is raining, her date says something derrogative about female drivers and she kicks him to the curb. Classic.)

I wasn't even on the bank account for a long time because it was, no joke, "his money" because "he was the one working".

Staying at home has been a journey of intestinal fortitude with him. But, worth it because I can't imagine the kids stuffed in some nasty daycare just for the sake of my own fulfillment.

It is good to hear not all spouses are like this when it comes to the interests of their loved ones (gives me hope for my own daughter).

I think I need to just keep my interests to myself from here on. It's stupid trying to talk to a brick wall.

Forgive a singleton who knows marriage not, speaking out of turn, but you better start giving her a better example if you want her to grow up and find a good relationship...

CaroGirl
05-20-2009, 09:01 PM
My husband's supportive of my writing, even if he still insists I go out in the world and make a dime.

I used to ask him to read my stuff and, even though he often claimed not to "understand" it, he usually gave me GREAT feedback. Alas, I've stopped asking for him to read my stuff. I have two IRL crit groups plus AW to talk about writing with. He makes sure I get to all my IRL meetings and is proud of my successes but I know he's not comfortable reading my work and giving me feedback. I realize I can be defensive when he provides his opinion, even though he's usually spot on.

ad_lucem
05-20-2009, 09:29 PM
Forgive a singleton who knows marriage not, speaking out of turn, but you better start giving her a better example if you want her to grow up and find a good relationship...

Oh, actually, I am. As a matter of fact, I'm thinking it might be a good time to call the counsellor up...again. :D And also a good time to just keep the manuscript to myself.

Trust me, three kids, financial stress of one parent at home, and two people from dysfunctional backgrounds...things get hairy at times. It's not a "bad relationship", but it's definitely not effortless.

Between his knuckle-dragging cave-dweller moments and my PTSD/Clinical-Depressive/Borderline moments, neither one of us can claim to be the most thrilling folks to live with at times.

On the bright side, we're aware of it and seek the advice of healthcare professionals.

Work through it, that's all there is to do.

Not to say there aren't times I don't look at the single side of the fence and admire the grass.

zanizh
05-20-2009, 09:56 PM
Caring about what you do and having different interests are two different things. Why do threads like this always turn into so much mate-bashing? If your mate criticizes you for what you do without even looking into it, that's one thing. But if he/she just isn't interested in what you write, that isn't a bad thing. Are you interested in discussing every thing he's into? Being dismissive is one thing, and worthy of complaint. Being uninterested is another and should be evaluated in reciprocal fairness. If the mate is dismissive, the solution is simple--don't show him/her any of your work.

Listen, I didn't mean to make it sound like I was bashing him... but, to be completely honest, I do take offense to his refusal to care about what I do because before we married, he was more than interested. I am totally with the op on this one. If we want to talk about reciprocal fairness, my hubby is like hers to such a point that I can completely relate. But he also gets moody and ill-tempered when I'm not full of high enthusiasm for what he cares about.

If it was just a matter of him being uninterested, I could deal with that and what you said would be true. However, knowing the details as I do, I can completely say that I'm warranted for posting my little complaint.

He's not a bad man by any means but it's so funny how his interests and such dramatically changed the minute we said, "I do." It was like, "Now I got ya to marry me, I can be myself."

That's not the full story, either, but I'll save the full one for the autobiography I plan to publish when I'm 70. :)

Mela
05-20-2009, 10:06 PM
Husband will be very attentive if there's MONEY involved - as in, I'm getting paid for what I've written. I half joke.
I filter what I give him to read, knowing that not everything is his particular cup of tea. He's generally given good feedback.

But as far as husband not interested in what you do: It sounds as though it really bums you and that, perhaps, your pursuits aren't as important as his, in his view. That's what I get from your posts.

Things might change for you in the future, as kids grow and you are freer to do what you want. For now all I can say is, don't give him anything to read. It will only bum you more - and one more rejection in this business is what you don't want.

ad_lucem
05-20-2009, 10:17 PM
Listen, I didn't mean to make it sound like I was bashing him... but, to be completely honest, I do take offense to his refusal to care about what I do because before we married, he was more than interested. I am totally with the op on this one. If we want to talk about reciprocal fairness, my hubby is like hers to such a point that I can completely relate. But he also gets moody and ill-tempered when I'm not full of high enthusiasm for what he cares about.

If it was just a matter of him being uninterested, I could deal with that and what you said would be true. However, knowing the details as I do, I can completely say that I'm warranted for posting my little complaint.

He's not a bad man by any means but it's so funny how his interests and such dramatically changed the minute we said, "I do." It was like, "Now I got ya to marry me, I can be myself."

That's not the full story, either, but I'll save the full one for the autobiography I plan to publish when I'm 70. :)

My guy every bit the moody when I'm not paying attention sort of guy.

I'm sure he'd never see it that way :D I can't say he was ever "someone else before we married" because...well, that's a long story, but I took him as-is. And he took me as-is...I've said before and will say again, I was about as domestic as a ferral cat before we met.

Some guys aren't good communicators, either. My hubby just doesn't express himself well. So, tossing something of mine aside and being, let's face it, more than a little rude, can translate into a "you've spent more time on this lately than you have with me and my feelings are hurt" or a "I have so much on my mind, it is late, and I really don't want to look at anything but the TV".

I once tried to talk to him about some financial news I'd read on Ft.com and he told me, "I don't have time to worry about the things you do...I work for a living."

Which turned out to be the crappy-communicator's way of saying "yeah, don't remind me...let me just work and hold in there."

On the bright side, though, zanizh, you and I can each write tell-all autobiographies and never worry about the hubby reading it.

Greenify13
05-20-2009, 10:23 PM
No one in my life could care less about any of my writing. Not my poetry or novels. No one wants to read them or know about them. I offer and get put off, or I get the "one day" or just out-right "no". They are a waste of time, and will never be published. I should be doing something else with my time instead of wasting it on this. Well **** them all.

NeuroFizz
05-20-2009, 11:01 PM
Sorry if my post ruffled some feathers. We've seen threads like this before, and there has been a predictable progression of posts that I wanted to head off--because I'm interested in the original question here. In the past, here is what has happened in similar threads:

most (certainly not all) of the people posting are female and therefore talking about their male partners (check upthread to see if this trend is carrying through)
the comments are mixed, positive and negative, but the negative ones take the question from "do you let your partner read your work" into a rant about their partner's shortcomings (check upthread)
the comments about specific partner's shortcomings soon turn into a much more generalized "damn men do this and damn men don't do that" ranting (this is where I didn't want it to go)The original question is one that gives us a glimpse of our fellow writers and what they face in their personal writing situations, and this is probably why AW is so good for all of us. I just don't want to see this thread degenerate like others have.

And my two main points still stand from my original post:

being uninterested and being dismissive are two different animals*. The former isn't necessarily bad, but the latter is rude and inappropriate.
if a partner shows little interest, and certainly if he/she is dismissive, it's probably not a good idea to have him/her read your work. Let us read it here in our supportive community.* Mrs. Fizzy teaches Yoga, and for each 1 1/4 hr class she has to work out her pose progressions and a playlist of music to go with them. We quickly discovered I can not wrap my mind around (and into) that stuff the same way she does, so after one attempt, she no longer asks me to critique her playlist and pose sequences. I'm fully supportive, but I just can't provide any useful input nor do I want to try to find that same level of interest she has. On the flip side, while she is very helpful in reading and commenting on my fiction, she will not look at any of my poetry. She says she just doesn't get it (poetry in general), and she has no interest in diving into it to try to understand it. And neither of us get upset about the other's lack of interest in these aspects of each our lives. We don't always have to be neck deep in each other's business. There are plenty of "couple" activities and issues, but we are each individuals as well. It's important for each of us to be both a "we" and an "I." As writers, we have to see where our writing fits in the "we/I" dynamic in our relationships.

quickWit
05-20-2009, 11:13 PM
This thread is bumming me out.

In answer to the OP, my wife does read my writing whenever I'm ready to show it. And yes, I do welcome her insights. To all those that have posted about their SO's being buttheads, you have my sympathy.

:) Carry on.

NeuroFizz
05-20-2009, 11:17 PM
Yes, I know. I shouldn't jump to conclusions. But emotions are usually faster than logic in connecting to the fingers.
I'm tossing a softball here to anyone who wants to give me what I may well deserve in this thread...

ad_lucem
05-20-2009, 11:30 PM
Sorry if my post ruffled some feathers. We've seen threads like this before, and there has been a predictable progression of posts that I wanted to head off--because I'm interested in the original question here. In the past, here is what has happened in similar threads:

most (certainly not all) of the people posting are female and therefore talking about their male partners (check upthread to see if this trend is carrying through)
the comments are mixed, positive and negative, but the negative ones take the question from "do you let your partner read your work" into a rant about their partner's shortcomings (check upthread)
the comments about specific partner's shortcomings soon turn into a much more generalized "damn men do this and damn men don't do that" ranting (this is where I didn't want it to go)The original question is one that gives us a glimpse of our fellow writers and what they face in their personal writing situations, and this is probably why AW is so good for all of us. I just don't want to see this thread degenerate like others have.

And my two main points still stand from my original post:

being uninterested and being dismissive are two different animals*. The former isn't necessarily bad, but the latter is rude and inappropriate.
if a partner shows little interest, and certainly if he/she is dismissive, it's probably not a good idea to have him/her read your work. Let us read it here in our supportive community.*.... As writers, we have to see where our writing fits in the "we/I" dynamic in our relationships.

No feathers ruffled here. I just asked because I was curious a) how other writers live b) how other writers handle dismissive partners.

I'm really intrigued by the people who have their partners really getting into their work and doing crit/edit for them.

That sort of input would be great from a friend, but amazing from a spouse or significant other.

I think after reading others thoughts, my own path to "what works" will be one of NOT handing over something to read. It will only end badly. In this case, "I don't get it" translates to "I'm not interested, don't give this to me".

It isn't JUST men. I'm sure significant others of all genders can be either helpful/influential or moody/annoying.

I guess it really depends on the people involved whether or not writing becomes a "solo" act.

scarletpeaches
05-20-2009, 11:31 PM
Yes, I know. I shouldn't jump to conclusions. But emotions are usually faster than logic in connecting to the fingers.
I'm tossing a softball here to anyone who wants to give me what I may well deserve in this thread...

Any man with emotional fingers is welcome in my house. :e2brows:

Thanks for that one, Fizzy.

My friends are interested in my writing. If anything it's me who holds back from showing them my work.

This is why we're friends. Even if they're not writers, they take an interest in me and I take an interest in them.

Hopefully the man I marry will be my best friend.

That is all.

melaniehoo
05-20-2009, 11:59 PM
My husband doesn't read my work, even though I've asked him to. But to be fair, he doesn't read ANY fiction, so I don't take it too personally. However, he always says he'll read my stuff when it's published and since I just received my first acceptance for a short story, he read that this morning.

Verdict: he liked it. :)

Ol' Fashioned Girl
05-21-2009, 12:39 AM
Ol' Boy is the god of my idolatry... but he is not my beta reader. He likes military/spy/Tolkein and I write historical fiction. Except for the naughty bits, his taste is in another realm... and, come to think of it, he doesn't even read the naughty bits. He blushes prettily, however, when my fan club reads my stuff and comments on understanding why he's always smiling.

I do not begrudge him this... if he were into writing the type of fiction he reads, I'd pray he never asked me to read it. I'd be bored stiff!

It's okay he doesn't like the genre' I've chosen... but it would NOT be okay if he was dismissive or condescending about my chosen dream. He would wake up with a knot on his noggin' for that.

Matera the Mad
05-21-2009, 07:01 AM
I don't have one, but if I did, he would probably read the same things I did. If not, I wouldn't expect much of him as a beta :D

K. Taylor
05-21-2009, 09:17 AM
Hell, no. My writing has always felt personal to me, so I'll share it with strangers no problem, but only a couple trusted friends get to see anything. Plus, my boyfriend has a habit of putting his foot in his mouth, so now way am I giving him romance to read. He keeps bugging me to read my work, but nuh-uh. Not giving in.

Pepper
05-21-2009, 09:27 AM
Do you guys think it is a bad idea to let the hubby, wife, etc. read your WIP? Or do you think it is best to just keep all that separate?

It depends, in my opinion. I don't think people like your hubby make good beta readers, because they're simply not interested in reading. They will read your manuscript semi-reluctantly; interested because it's your hard work, but also bored because it's a lot of words.

My fiance LOVES reading. Years in university have made him a super-quick reader, and he gets through more novels in a year than I do. He reads all sorts of genres. He's not the slightest bit interested when I start talking to him about my plot holes or other writing issues, but he's more than happy to read what I put on the page when it's done. He's critiqued my writing plenty of times in the past. He offers a purely "reader" point of view, as he has no clue on how to write fiction himself. It's proved very helpful. My father is the same way. If I ever publish something, I'll dedicate my work to them. ^_^

BardSkye
05-21-2009, 07:02 PM
Hubby has zero interest in fiction of any kind, so no, he doesn't read my stuff. My dad will if it's science fiction or mystery but nothing else. Mom's liked some, disliked others. My brother, a published non-fiction writer, has said he liked all the work I've let him read but freely admits he's not sure if he liked it because of the work or because it's mine. In all cases, they simply let me know what worked and what didn't, nothing more.