Someone once told me, whatever you do, never ask your friends to read your work. They’ll tell you it’s brilliant and all of them will wonder why on earth you’re not on the top shelf alongside Dan Brown.

‘What’s wrong with that,’ I said. ‘Problem?’

‘Splutter, splutter, gasp,’ they replied. ‘Don’t you want the truth?’

‘Hell no! Who needs that?’

So here’s my point, for what it’s worth.

I’ve had reviews off people, who have put me into the doldrums, beneath the floorboards, at the lowest level of the basement. What I need (underlined in bold) is someone to tell me what a great writer I am. Sod the critics. Give me my mates any day.

I remember Karen (she knows who she is). I gave her the M.S of my autobiography. ‘Fabulous,’ she said. ‘Loved every minute!’

Sure winner then, I pondered, as I hung up the phone.

And then there was Pauline (she knows who she is too). ‘I love your stuff,’ she said. ‘Send me more. Love love love…!!!’

Who needs the critics when you’ve got such sensible, well-read friends? I thought.

Ahem!

Okay, so here’s the deal.

Ask your friends to read your work when you need a big dose of ego boosting back-patting and get a pro when you need harsh reality served up on an ice cold platter.

If you want to get ahead in the ever-so competitive publishing field, take the criticism on the chin, edit your work and up your game.  

You can still love your friends.

As I love mine.

7/5/2011

Got it in one!

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