For some reason, when people find out I’m a writer, they either treat me with scorn, or they want to read what I’ve written.
I have people nearly demanding to read my book, or any story I’ve ever crafted. While at times it’s flattering, at others it’s frustrating. And then folks get snippy or offended when I tell them, politely, ‘no.’
Does this happen to anyone else?
I feel like it is a way people express their supposed interest and support for my work, but it also shows a marked ignorance towards writers and artists in general.
To me, it equates to someone asking a painter or sculptor to expose their art to the world before it has been finished, while it is still a work in progress.
I often tell people this: that I’m not done with it.
They simply say, “Oh, I’ll read it anyways!” As if an unfinished story is somehow insignificant and there shouldn’t be any reason for me to be reticent for others to read it.
Am I wrong to be frustrated by this? I think I’m more frustrated by people being offended when I deny them access to my story.
But all you writers, safeguard your writing. Don’t send it out to everyone who asks, simply because you think they’d like it or because you don’t want to hurt their feelings. This is YOUR art, YOUR work, YOUR masterpiece and should be handled with as much care and safety as you can manage.
“I don’t care when people think I’m an antisocial, controlling bookworm because that’s what I am. It’s when they interpret me wrong that I have a problem.”
― Kasie West,
“We who make stories know that we tell lies for a living. But they are good lies that say true things, and we owe it to our readers to build them as best we can. Because somewhere out there is someone who needs that story. Someone who will grow up with a different landscape, who without that story will be a different person. And who with that story may have hope, or wisdom, or kindness, or comfort. And that is why we write.”
― Neil Gaiman,