When a Loved One is Your Biggest Critic

Last night I asked my boyfriend to read the first chapter in my newest story, Saving Flight 926. After a lot of begging on my end, he finally caved and read up to chapter 3. When I asked him what he thought, he said, “It’s not very good honey. I’m sorry.” This has happened to me on several occasions. Out of everyone who has read my work, the person who I’m closest to is my biggest critic of all, nitpicking at my stories down to the repetition of a word. 

I’m sure this has happened to some of you fellow writers out there. The question is, when someone your close to is your biggest critic, how do you deal with it? Try remembering these 5 things. 

1. Everyone has their opinion. 

This is very true. Everyone who reads your work will have a different opinion about it. And at the end of the day, that’s all it is: their opinion. Unless of course they’re one of your beta readers, in which their opinion is extremely important. But if you’re just showing them your first draft, relax. Even we know that first drafts are never our best work. 

2. It won’t change their opinion of you. 

Loved ones will always support you, even when you have a bad day or write a story that just doesn’t have the potential to be something great. This is why we call them “loved ones”. At the end of the day you love eachother no matter what. So even if they are harsh, they only want to help. 

3. Don’t let is discourage you. 

Remember why you write: because it calms you down, because it makes you feel good, or because it’s just plain fun–it doesn’t matter! You write because it’s something you enjoy. I’m never going to stop writing just because my boyfriend isn’t a fan of most of my work. Just keep typing away. If they don’t like what you come up with, that’s their problem. Know that you’re never writing to impress a loved one. At the end of the day, it’s our work. Not theirs. 

I need to start trying some of these things out for myself. 

3 Comments

  1. Good post thanks. Certainly we will never be able to please everyone. I would hope that if someone did not like what we have written, they would be able to give us some helpful tips about what they think would improve the story (from their perspective). These ideas may or may not work with what we are trying to do, but it at least gives some guidance as to areas to potentially improve/develop. Having said that, there will also be people who will want something different from what we want to write. I had one beta-reader suggest that my books weren’t funny enough for her. I guess, given I am not particularly funny, that means she would be better off reading a different author. We can’t do things that aren’t natural to us (and forced humour is dreadful :).

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  2. Thanks for the post! For some reason, I would absolutely have a complete stranger read my writing than someone I know. That way, if they don’t like it, I don’t have it lingering in my mind every time I talk to them haha

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