The final judgment was invariably the same. “It’s beautiful, sweetheart.” After all, what self-respecting person would tell a four-year old that they’re never going to make it in the biz then drop their creation into the shredder? No, your masterpiece always ended up on the fridge. (I’ll be sure to add one of the masterpieces of my youth as soon as I get home from vacation.)
But is unconditional love what you want for the novel you hope to publish?
Hopefully it isn’t. Unconditional love didn’t paint the Mona Lisa or build the pyramids, and it won’t do your WIP any good. What all writers or artists of any type need are objective opinions and discerning eyes. You can’t usually get that from family or even close friends.
It doesn’t even faze my critique partners. We all do it. They listen to me rattle on about my characters problems and how they’re doing things I didn’t expect they to do and messing up an entire scene because of it. They invite me in on the laughs they have with their characters and turn to me when they need to get their imaginary friends of a jam.
Family and friends sometimes don’t get your dreams. They can be as loving and supportive as the day is long, but they don’t always understand you or what you want. One of my critters, The Magazinista, recently had an experience that goes to the heart of this problem.
She has been a writer for years, but now she’s trying to break into the fiction business. After watching a news report a few nights ago about a 40-something woman who’d recently started a fiction-writing career with great success, her mother had precisely the right thing to say.
“Of course she writes things people want to read, not weird things no one can understand.”
The Magazinista replied, “It's because they aren't smart enough to understand it.”
And that’s why relatives aren’t good critters. There’s really not any more to say.
Tune in tomorrow to learn my thoughts on finding the right critter for you and read about how the dating process went horribly wrong for me.