What friends are for

Writers need good friends.  They need them to buy their books (someone has to!), flatter their egos and tell them to stop worrying and just get on with it.  They also need them to read their manuscripts before the book gets sent to the publishers and for this special friends are required.  Actually, I wouldn’t even describe these people as friends – they are more work mates, colleagues, fellow book lovers and word crafters.  Because the worst thing a writer wants as feedback is “it’s great” and nothing else.  It’s not helpful.  There are very few books that are completely great, even of those that are published, and most books at the manuscript stage are down right horrific.  Writers need someone to tell them what is really awful about their particular book – something which friends aren’t necessarily very good at.  My storyAbsorbed is being read by a good friend who I met years ago as a work colleague.  We were both reporters/subeditors for the same newspaper at the time and she is also a book reviewer so I know she will take her “friend” hat off and put her “reviewer” hat on (and also fix some my appalling grammar).  It’s just I haven’t heard from her since I gave her the manuscript in the middle of last week and I’m sure she’s read it by now  . . .

I quick email saying “it’s great” would really cheer me up right about now.

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1 Comment

Filed under The process of writing

One response to “What friends are for

  1. Pen

    Ella, I couldn’t agree more.

    We writers need as many “friends” as we can get.

    The problem with being new (as yet unpublished) to the whole business is that many of us are still making these necessary connections and have too few writing friends to call on and too many who will only say, “Nice story. I liked it.”
    Which is nice, but not much help. It leaves you wanting to scream. “But I know it’s not great! Tell me where I messed up. Tell me what jars. Tell which bit are ugly as hell. PLEASE!”

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