View Full Version : Do you share your writing with your loved ones?

10-22-2006, 02:07 AM
I usually don't, for a variety of reasons. There are one or two people who have a negative reaction to anything I accomplish (for reasons beyond my comprehension.) Another reason is that issues in my writing often are ones not to their taste, another being that I'm simply a very private person.

Are other people similarly quiet, or do you share your work/publishing credits with your family and friends?

10-22-2006, 02:20 AM
No. They can read the published version if they want. I don't want to put them in an uncomfortable situation and I couldn't depend on them for an impartial opinion. Especially as none of them read my genre.

10-22-2006, 03:16 AM
I don't like to let any family members see my work until it's published. I'm so self-conscious about what I write for some odd reason.

10-22-2006, 03:28 AM
I usually share after it's published, and show them the article, poem, essay, short story or whatever, in the magazine. Then again, once or twice it's not something I'd want a certain person to read, since it's sort of about them. :D

When I first was published, I wanted to shout if from the rooftops and show everyone everywhere that I was a writer. After awhile, people kind of got tired of it. Their eyes glazed over. Their feet did some tapping. One even hummed a tune. :gone:

Ol' Fashioned Girl
10-22-2006, 03:34 AM
I've got some friends who read my stuff, just for the reading - no crits, etc. But my family has never read any of it. They could if they asked, but they've never asked.

Alan Yee
10-22-2006, 03:55 AM
Let's put it this way: If my mom read what I'm writing right now, she would think something's wrong with me and go tell my doctor I'm emotionally disturbed. So I'm not letting any of them read it, due to some of the subject matter and the darkness. I don't like sharing my writing with my family, because they tend to be TOO interested, and I feel like they're reading my personal diary or something. I like keeping it to myself and other writers who can do crits for it.

10-22-2006, 03:56 AM
I don't like to let anybody see my work (in progress - I'm not published).

I find it difficult to write when my wife is around. I don't want her to see my work, because she laughs at my ideas. I don't try to talk to her about it either anymore, because she changes the subject or ignores me.

My family are supportive of my work, but I wouldn't want them to read it either. From time to time they just ask me how it's going, and I say that it's fine.

I do have one friend who I can talk to who is interested, so I can discuss ideas with him when he comes to visit (which is not often).

But for now, my work is secret. When it's published, I'll rub it in their faces. :D

10-22-2006, 04:13 AM
I show my stuff to my wife when I'm done (never before). She's pretty bright, and definitely not afraid to point out flaws. However, she knows I've written some shorts lately and submitted some of them, but she never asked to read any of it, so I didn't bother shoving it at her.

10-22-2006, 04:18 AM
My husband has read nearly everything I've written. We share a love of books and have been married nearly 20 years. He admitted just recently though, that it is easier reading and being critical now that I have an agent. Before he did not want to discourage me.
He has helped me enormously with editing (grammar etc.).
My father read my third novel and enjoyed it (he is not a reader) but he had helped in the research for this one and was interested. He said he liked it but maybe I used the F-word too much - I just laughed!
I dearly would love to have had my mother read my work. She was an avid reader but passed away after several years with dementia. She never read any of my novels.
One of my sisters reads and enjoys my work but the other two do not. I have many beta readers that I have gathered over the years - they are extraordinarily useful and have read all of my novels.
My point is (I guess) if your family will not read or enjoy your work you can find other people who will.
Don't let your family's attitudes discourage you.

10-22-2006, 05:40 AM
I show my mum and my friend who also writes as I'm going along. I find feedback useful as I'm writing - it means I can catch some weaknesses early, rather than once the thing's finished.

10-22-2006, 07:30 AM
I share my work with my friends, and most of the time I get a positive reaction. The only issue is that none of them have a clue about writing, so I can't be sure that there praise means anything. As for my family, I very rarely share my work with them. It's not because I'm shy, or because they're not supportive, it's just because I rarely see them in a situation where I would actually be carrying any of my writings with me. When they do read my stuff, I always get a positive reaction, but with my family, I'm not sure they'd actually tell me if they didn't like it.

10-22-2006, 11:33 AM
No. They aren't any help at all. They tell me how they would have written the story better or just flat out refuse to read my stuff. I get no support I tell you, none! Which is why when I get my first check I'm going to go out and get my nails and feet done and buy myself a shiny new outfit and go to the Olive Garden, with me. The rest of them can stay in the car and wish they were more supportive of my writing. But first they get to watch me laught all the way to the bank. Ungreatful little...

The above story is supposed to be truth mixed with humor, go ahead and laugh.

Are you on the computer again?


10-22-2006, 03:02 PM
I usually don't, for a variety of reasons. There are one or two people who have a negative reaction to anything I accomplish (for reasons beyond my comprehension.) Another reason is that issues in my writing often are ones not to their taste, another being that I'm simply a very private person.

Are other people similarly quiet, or do you share your work/publishing credits with your family and friends?

If I had any publishing credits, I would not be opposed to my family members and friends knowing about them. However, when I'm just in the process of writing a manuscript, I do not tell people--even my closest friends--what my work is about. My reason for this is that, when I tell someone what my work is about, there is this psychological problem I have, where I tell myself, "This is stupid" and quit working on my project before I even really get started on it.

So I have learned never to tell others what the work I'm presently working on, is about.

10-23-2006, 03:00 PM
I ask for a lot of feedback for my journalistic writing from my mother, and get it too (she is also a journalist so I actually value her input). But my "private" writing - no. My mother actually got a little upset when I told her that I had been accepted by a publisher - she didn't even know I was writing anything. Now I've let her read it even though it's not published yet, and that felt ok.

I gave my msc to hubby to read - and he didn't and lied and said he had... Which I sussed straight away. So I really don't try and make him anymore. He's strangely supportive on a general level though. And he does read some of my journalistic stuff.

10-23-2006, 05:00 PM
Absolutely I share. They are my first critics. They are often the inspiration. My brother was the one that suggested we pool our resources, one is a playwrite and also an English teacher/drama coach, and the other works for Del but he wants to write more and was the brainiac who came up with the idea. My sister writes philosophical and spiritual stuff and pretty good poetry. We collaborated on a piece for our Dad and I've kept writing ever since.

If they hate it, I know it stinks. They'll tell me if its rough, sentimental, or not up to par. My husband is my editor for pieces I submit. He is the best critic of all, he also writes.

10-23-2006, 05:20 PM
My BF and my daughter are my first readers. Sometimes I'll throw ideas to them just after I finish the outline. They love almost everything I write. I think I could give them a shopping list and tell them it is a poem and they'd applaud. But on the few occasions one of them doesn't like my work, I know that project is a real stinker!

My mother and my sister both think I'm a fool for trying to get published. They think I'm wasting my time in an overly competative field. They are both extremely critical, and they don't want to encourage my "pipe dream". So when they like something, it's probably pretty good.

10-23-2006, 06:04 PM
My loved one is just as impartial and incisive as any editor, so absolutely.

But I never show anything until several drafts are done. I've got to work my own way through it before I ask her to pick it apart.

I think, all in all, it has to depend on the loved one. I know Stephen King relies on his wife heavily as a 1st reader...

10-23-2006, 06:11 PM
No. I don't even let them know about my WIPs (insensitive comments kill projects faster than anything else). I sometimes share my publication credits with friends and loved ones, but not always. No one close to me reads in the genres I write.

10-23-2006, 06:11 PM
My wife is my prime reader.

I'm afraid to say that as I hand her pages/chapters to read, I sit there watching to see what kinda reaction I get.

Especially when I write humor. I wanna see if she laughs and what she's laughing at.

I know. I'm so sad and needy.

But she will always give me honest feedback, even when I don't wanna hear it. Inevitably I go away, filled with righteous indignance, and make changes based on what she said. Always improves what I had.

10-23-2006, 07:00 PM
When I was about 12 and my parents snooped in my personal effects, I think they were expecting to find drugs or birth control pills, or something of that nature. Instead they found notebooks with my first novel in them. I had approximately 3,000 handwritten pages.

I thought the yelling would never stop. In fact it never really did. I finally ran away from home; I did this at my first opportunity, when I was 16. I get along with Mom and Dad ok now, but we don't talk about my writing. We don't really talk about much of anything, in fact. My parents are very hard to talk to. I just mostly listen.

Over the last few years since I started participating in discussion forums on the internet, I've gotten a lot of really good feedback about my writing. That has been a valuable experience for me overall.

My friends try to be complimentary when I show them things that I have written, but I usually don't go that route anymore. I've found that some personal friends will often beg to read one's writing-- then you finally show it to em, and they get angry for some reason. End of friendship. So I don't do that anymore.

10-23-2006, 07:21 PM
I have spent most of my life writing, but I never wrote anything personal for anyone else to read until just about 4 years ago. I wrote a book without telling anyone, then let my mom read it because she found out about it and asked if she could. I was extremely nervous about it, but she was very encouraging and supportive. She and a couple of close friends are the only ones who read my unpublished writing--their feedback helps me hone it. My published writing I share only with family (2 sisters are also published writers), and a couple of writing friends. (Oh, and the poor souls my mom sends copies to! :D .) My husband is very emotionally supportive, though he hasn't read everything I've had published. My son is pretty disinterested, but my 14-yr. old daughter is fairly interested, and she'll read and even critique it. (She is an outstanding writer, and I've been saving her writing for years so she can write that 'famous author' memoir someday :) !)

10-23-2006, 08:50 PM
Sometimes yes, sometimes no. But here is an emabarassing story. When I first moved out here, I became ridiculously attracted to a male friend of mine. However, I was, and still am madly in love with my husband, so nothing ever came of it (so to speak!;)).

Nonetheless, I decided that it would be carthartic to use my attraction as the premise for a fiction piece. which contained details about things that I fantasized happening, even though they never did.

Unfortunately, my husband is a techno geek, and when night when he was updating my computer...you guessed it. At first, it was a mess, because he started accusing the guy of things that never happened. Eventually, we worked it out, and my husband started to write a male's version of the story, which is rather humorous. I seriously doubt we will ever publish it!

10-23-2006, 10:13 PM
I am glad that ended up ok...
My mother found a manuscript of mine once on the computer (I was no longer living at home but had used her computer to print it. Not computer-savvy enough to delete all traces of it though...) and read it. I felt incredibly betrayed, even though there was nothing embarrassing about it (it was a children's book). It felt like someone reading my diary.
It is the only time I've hung up on my mom.

10-24-2006, 02:16 AM
I do share with my husband...but it can backfire.
He is the persnickety type that goes line by line by freaking line and deconstructs every paragraph until I am ready to rip his anal head off.

That said, he's usually right in his analysis.


10-24-2006, 08:20 PM
I always share my writing with my father. If he hates it, or sees a mistake- I can be assured that there is something wrong. I have always said he would make a great film editor. And trust me, pleasing him is very difficult.

10-24-2006, 10:12 PM
I share my children's book manuscripts with my wife but I don't expect much useful feedback. She looks beyond the words and evaluates the idea or the feeling that the story gives her. She will think something is great because it's a "cute story", even if the writing is poor and sloppy. The same goes double for two of my daughters (both in their thirties).

That said, I do value two things about their comments:
-- when they all said one of the stories was too long and had too much detail, they were right
-- when they say I tell a good story, it makes me want to write more.

10-25-2006, 09:40 AM
Nope. None of my family read.

In my 20s, I showed my first novel to a great-aunt and an aqaintance. The aquaintance's wife complained he wouldn't go to bed because he was too busy reading it. My great-aunt said she read it in two days. When my mum found out, she asked me why I was wasting Aunti Betty's time with such nonsense.

There's no way I'll share my second, third (unfinished) or fourth novels with family. They're too dark.

If ever I get published, I'll probably won't tell 'em. I'll tell some of my friends, though.

10-25-2006, 04:41 PM
Generally, no. Because (1) I don't think they'd give me an honest opinion (they'd be too nice) and (2) sometimes I use artifacts from their lives and if they recognize them, they might make me take them out.

I'm a big believer in the concept of asking for forgiveness instead of permission:)

Momento Mori
10-25-2006, 04:46 PM
I generally share my work my dad (as he's a journalist) and with a close friend who gives me honest feedback and good suggestions. I don't make a secret of the fact that I write in my spare time, but I've never tried to share it with other people (unless they've specifically asked to see something).

10-25-2006, 09:20 PM
I started out sharing my writing with family and friends, but now I keep quiet. It is a goal of mine and something I talked about with them like they talk about their families. In a sense, it is my baby. After a while, I realized it was the wrong thing to do with family, so I normally donít bring it up.

10-26-2006, 01:01 AM
Good god no. If I want opinions I go to other editors, my creative writing tutors, but certainly not my mum or my partner! If they want to read the published whatever-it-is then of course they can. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't!

10-26-2006, 01:01 AM
I'm a big believer in the concept of asking for forgiveness instead of permission:)

I love that!

Cat Scratch
10-26-2006, 01:52 AM
Sometimes. I wait for them to ask, because I don't wish for people to read stuff they arent' interested in. And I generally don't ask for feedback, because the nature of the relationship could make it difficult/unhelpful. My husband gives me great feedback, but he is also a writer. If I'm stuck on something I'll make him help. Other than that, I leave the loved ones out of it!

10-26-2006, 02:20 AM
not since i was eight (they accused me of plagiarizing a famous poet and laughed when i said 'no, i wrote this!' :( )

10-26-2006, 02:32 AM
Absolutely! My Dad was a huge help in editing my first novel. Granted, he told me he doesn't even want to look at the second one until I think it's finished (I think reading the initial trainwrecks. . .I mean drafts gave him a headache). Cool thing is, my friends and family are the type that will tell you how it is, not just what they think you want to hear. I think I was more prone to get a lot of feedback on my first book, because at the time I wasn't sure if I had genuine talent, or just had what I thought was a great story in my head.

10-26-2006, 03:35 AM
I have to add that no one in my family or friends has read my novel. They donít even know what it is about other than it being a romance novel.

10-26-2006, 05:22 AM
People are so quick to complain these days, family especially, so it's not much of a treat to show them anything. Seems there's no interest there anyway. I know friends and family who will watch hours and hours of whatever crap's on TV, but if I show them a magazine with my work in it, they grumble and make it sound like I'm asking them to unclog the toilet. doesn't make any sense, but there it is.

10-26-2006, 05:23 AM
I'm very self conscious and won't share my writing with anyone until it's published. Even then it depends on what it is. Many times I'll get an email from my sister saying, "Hey I Googled your name and found this..."

10-26-2006, 09:42 PM
I only write non-fiction, and the situation in relation to loved ones (and friends) is slightly different.

My GF helps me out operationally with my articles, and in the process, she learns about each article's subject matter. But, as she can't read the level of English I write (English is a second language for her),
I don't show her the finished article.

As for my native English speaking friends, I discuss my latest article with one friend when we go out to dinner/lunch. He is polite enough to ask and show interest, and for the most part, he is interested. But, he is 28, and generally pretty much concerned/absorbed with his own life, so he is interested for all of about 5 minutes before we return to conversation about his work and life.

My closer Asian friends, both female, one a translator, and the other an academic, have seen samples of my work. They have commented favourably on that they had read.

I haven't shown my parents any of my articles, but they both know about my work as an independent operator/journalist. And both are too old to use computers and the Internet to examine my material.

Hmmm...I think that I should photocopy and send a set to each of them (none of my parents own a computer) - there's a good chance that my mother and father would read the set of articles sent to each of them.