PDA

View Full Version : Identifying with your Writing



CoriSCapnSkip
06-27-2007, 01:07 PM
How "love me, love my dog" are writers? Are your books your babies? If a person said, "Hey, you're really neat and I like you as a person, but your writing is not worthwhile," "I can't read it," (when you know they read other things, it's just your writing they say they can't read) or "it sucks" what would your reaction be to that person? Would you keep them as a friend, dump them, do violence to them, or whatever else? :D

What I'm asking is, do writers separate their identity as writers from anything else in life, or would denying your identity as a writer be like asking you to amputate a body part? Thanks for any input or insight on this.

travelgal
06-27-2007, 01:17 PM
I wouldn't let my friends read my stuff. I they wanna read my stuff, they can go buy it. Wait a minute, I have to be published first. OK, if I'm published and someone says it is crap, I'll be hurt for awhile, but not everybody likes the same stuff or the same style or the same genre or the same themes. But I'm published, so somebody has to like my stuff, so I'll just let it hang and chill out.

At least, I think I'll react that way. I tend to separate my writer's life from everyday life; might talk about it to a couple of buddies, but that's as far as it would go.

What's private stays private. Until it's published.:D

seun
06-27-2007, 02:07 PM
Hard to say. Identifying myself as a writer makes me sound pretentious, but I probably do that.
If a reader (friend, family or whoever) didn't like my stuff, I wouldn't be crushed. I'd ask them why and see what I could learn from that.

Then I would kill them slowly.

Ama
06-27-2007, 02:58 PM
Some of my friends do not read my writings at all.
Others don't like them. But prefer if someone doesn't like that he or she will tell it. Because when they say nothing ot lie - it is worse. musch worse.

drachin8
06-27-2007, 03:34 PM
I recently had a friend tell me she hated one of my stories. Did it hurt our friendship? Nope. Our friendship is based off of more than liking each other's writing.


:)

-Michelle

Claudia Gray
06-27-2007, 04:43 PM
It would depend on what they said, and why. Nothing I've written is "my baby" in terms of my not being able to hear it criticized, etc.; my friends who do read my work in progress feel very free to make suggestions for changes, and thank goodness, because they have some great questions and points. I have other friends who don't read my work and probably never will because vampires just aren't their thing -- and I totally get that. It's got nothing to do with me; it's their own personal taste.

If I had a friend who just across the board said, "You suck and your writing sucks," that would really hurt my feelings. However, I think that would be less a matter of "They don't like my writing!" and more a matter of the fact that a statement so sweeping and negative is meant to hurt. Fortunately this hasn't come up.

swvaughn
06-27-2007, 04:53 PM
Uh... well, my mom has a strong dislike for several of the books I've written (due to rather graphic violence and such), and I think she still loves me anyway. :D

Perks
06-27-2007, 05:08 PM
With the exception of my poetry, I think I generally write things that appeal to my closest friends. Sharing common interests is a strong element in most of my friendships. That said, I realize that not everyone will like everything. Can't do this job if you're not okay with that.

Of course, like a few have already stated, if comments are barbed to hurt, it throws the friendship in question.

drachin8
06-27-2007, 06:11 PM
If I had a friend who just across the board said, "You suck and your writing sucks," that would really hurt my feelings. However, I think that would be less a matter of "They don't like my writing!" and more a matter of the fact that a statement so sweeping and negative is meant to hurt. Fortunately this hasn't come up.

Yeah, I think that is less the case of a "friend" hating your writing and more the case of somebody tired of pretending to be a friend. I just can't imagine a real friend saying "You suck."

Ick. May none of us ever encounter that kind of "friend".


:)

-Michelle

MidnightMuse
06-27-2007, 06:19 PM
A "friend" would never tell you your writing sucks. They would find a polite way to let you know it's not in their tastes, or not something they enjoy, and the proper response to that is "I completely understand. Let's go see a movie." and you wouldn't think anything of it, or ask them to read anything again. Taste is subjective in all things, and not something that should offend anyone.

Anyone who says anything you do, or enjoy, or prefer sucks isn't, by definition, a friend.

Kudra
06-27-2007, 06:24 PM
Well, I'd have to get rid of them, no? It would mean they had no taste.

Seriously? I think it would hurt like hell. I think I'd find it hard to be in a relationship with someone who didn't like my work, because it would probably mean that our world view varied substantially. Then again, maybe not. Thankfully, I've never been in a position when someone I cared deeply about hated my work (and I hope I never am!).

ChaosTitan
06-27-2007, 06:50 PM
A "friend" would never tell you your writing sucks. They would find a polite way to let you know it's not in their tastes, or not something they enjoy, and the proper response to that is "I completely understand. Let's go see a movie." and you wouldn't think anything of it, or ask them to read anything again. Taste is subjective in all things, and not something that should offend anyone.

Anyone who says anything you do, or enjoy, or prefer sucks isn't, by definition, a friend.


Ditto.

I don't enjoy every kind of writing, so I don't expect my friends to enjoy everything, including mine. If they do, I'm thrilled. If not, that's okay. They don't have to like it (but they still have to buy a copy, even if it's just for use as a dust collector :D ).

reenkam
06-27-2007, 09:03 PM
Most of my friends don't read...so they've never read my stuff. I've given works to family to read (my mom didn't say anything, my one aunt liked the end, my other aunt never opened it after 6+months...) but that lead to nothing. I did have one friend read something once and she marked up the whole first page with changes I was supposed to make...I wasn't hurt, though, since her changes really didn't go with the story...which she would have found out had she read more. :Shrug:

but, in any case, my books are definitely my babies...but I'd still listen to critiques :)

.....and maybe attack mean critics at a later time.....

Perks
06-27-2007, 09:06 PM
Well, I'd have to get rid of them, no? It would mean they had no taste.

I can find no fault in this logic.

TrainofThought
06-27-2007, 09:30 PM
How "love me, love my dog" are writers? Are your books your babies? If a person said, "Hey, you're really neat and I like you as a person, but your writing is not worthwhile," "I can't read it," (when you know they read other things, it's just your writing they say they can't read) or "it sucks" what would your reaction be to that person? Would you keep them as a friend, dump them, do violence to them, or whatever else? :D

What I'm asking is, do writers separate their identity as writers from anything else in life, or would denying your identity as a writer be like asking you to amputate a body part? Thanks for any input or insight on this.Yes, my book is my baby, but my family and friends won't say it sucks because they would be afraid of my revenge. :D Since I’m new at writing, my identity is in my characters, yet the only people who will see it are those close to me. It will bother me if family and friends dislike my work rather than someone I don’t know.

Shady Lane
06-27-2007, 10:11 PM
I get a little pissed off when someone doesn't like it, but it doesn't take me over.

But I'm careful who reads my stuff: One of my best friends does. The other one doesn't. My boyfriend doesn't. My sister reads some. My parents don't. This kid at school who's a really good editor but that I'm not great friends with...he reads 'em.

Spiny Norman
06-27-2007, 11:10 PM
If you let it sit for a while and then go back and look at it, it becomes a lot easier to A. Edit and B. Distance yourself. It stops being your baby if you ignore it/forget about it for a while.

At least, this is what I'm hoping, but it'll probably start again once you start editing.

But yeah, I let a friend read my stuff and when she criticized one person it hurt. That was because I was still in love with the thing. It takes a bit to stop being starstruck.

Danger Jane
06-28-2007, 12:12 AM
I let a few friends read my stuff, and that's about it. I prefer to use AW for real crit because my friends...they aren't writers. They don't read like that. I like to know what they did and didn't like, but if there's an issue beyond that they may not pick up on it.

I don't deny that I am a writer, but I am so many other things that I can't identify myself only as a writer, not now. Nobody's ever told me my writing sucks...certainly not my friends, they know how important it is to me.

BlueTexas
06-28-2007, 01:00 AM
The only people with whom I share my work is my writer's group, and when they don't like something, they tell me why, which is valuable, so it doesn't upset me. That must mean I don't take it personally, I think.

My friends and family don't read what I've written, with the exception of my mother, who loves everything so much she doesn't see anything anymore until it's in print. My husband has no interest, my closest friend is dyslexic, and my other friends don't read much and wouldn't want to be put on the spot.

I love my IRL writing group - they, and AW, keep me out of the vacuum :)

CoriSCapnSkip
06-28-2007, 12:02 PM
Well, I'd have to get rid of them, no? It would mean they had no taste.

Seriously? I think it would hurt like hell. I think I'd find it hard to be in a relationship with someone who didn't like my work, because it would probably mean that our world view varied substantially. Then again, maybe not. Thankfully, I've never been in a position when someone I cared deeply about hated my work (and I hope I never am!).

This reminds me of a Writer's Digest article by a woman who divorced her husband because he didn't read her book and faced the difficulty of explaining this to her children! Not long after, she was married to a man who had read the book! I can't say I completely don't identify with this!

CoriSCapnSkip
06-28-2007, 12:09 PM
There's the equally horrid possiblity your writing will be adored by somebody you can't stand, but I am nowhere near thinking about that yet.

Gigi Sahi
06-28-2007, 04:54 PM
I believe what we read, what we write is an extension of ourselves. Just as the clothes we wear are an extension of ourselves. For that reason, I think it's impossible to totally, completely sever ourselves from our writing. At the same time, if we're not ready, willing, and able to listen to and accept constructive criticism of our writing then there's little to no hope that we'll ever develop our craft and grow as writers/artists.

Does it suck to be told "your writing sucks"? Of course. But I think being told such can be a catalyst in any TRUE writer's path to greatness, as it were; especially when "your writing sucks" is paired with specifics to help the writer see where they've gone wrong.

CoriSCapnSkip
06-29-2007, 07:59 AM
Yes, it's when they don't give specifics that it kills ya.