Monday, 10 January 2011

Getting feedback on my latest attempt

to write something is proving more difficult than I anticipated. I don't know whether to ask whether those who were "volunteered" by their parents have actually looked at it or not - or whether they are trying to be nice by not telling me.
But something curious happened to me yesterday. I went out to lunch with a small group of friends. This has been going on for a number of years now. We each take a plate of food to share and sit and knit. There is an unwritten rule that we do not gossip about other people so the group has survived. Television inevitably gets discussed so I remain largely silent at those points. Films get discussed, occasionally I have seen one. Books get discussed more rarely. Only three of us do any serious reading and our tastes are very different. We talk knitting, knitting techniques, plans for projects, design points. We talk about other crafty things.
Occasionally we ask each other what we have been doing outside work and our usual activities.
This question usually comes up over the Christmas and New Year period. Yesterday, for the first time, I mentioned that I had finished writing a book and passed it out to be read. All I said was, "I finished writing a novel for children and I have passed it on to a couple of children to see what they think."
The announcement was met with silence. Nobody seemed sure what to say to me. Nobody asked what it was about or indeed made any comment at all. After a moment someone said something else. Conversation was resumed.
I do not normally talk about the fact I write. I definitely do not talk about a work in progress. Once something is finished then I will, if asked, mention it. I am well aware that nobody else in my immediate social circle writes.
The silence puzzled me. The lack of a single question or comment seems strange. Did I shock them? Were they bored? Did they think I was boasting? Were they embarrassed? I just do not know. I will not mention it to them again.


Old Kitty said...

I'd be upset. If these were my friends, I'd be upset. I'd ask why this silence because I tend to say things before I think and I'd immediately burst out crying (cos that's me!!) and ask very loudly why and won't let it go until someone tells me. And it has to be the truth - none of this patronising stuff.

If my friend had announced this to me, I'd have been jumping up and down and screaming "amazing" and "wow" and "may I read it too and may my children read it to - if I had children that is!".

I'm as stumped as you are as to why you were greeted with silence when you told them about your book.

All I can say is YAY!!!!! You've finished your book and I wish you all the best with it!!
Take care

Allison said...

Totally bewildering. My feelings would certainly be hurt.

Sheep Rustler said...

What a shame. I would have been excited for you (I AM excited for you!) and probably have asked shyly if I could read it too :)

Kate said...

That does seem like a very strange reaction. At the very least I would have thought they'd ask whether it was a picture book or a novel, where you thought you might publish it? The sort of interested questions you'd expect. Maybe, if they're not readers at all, they were just too shocked that someone in the group was actually capable of writing one.

Congratulations, and I hope the kids you've given it to give you positive feedback. All the best for the next stage!

Anonymous said...


My friends are a mixed bunch ... some read the same kind of books as me, some make quilts, some share the same sense of fun, some share history .... some of my best friends are creative, though few of them are quilters, and it is this creative lot who provide support, encouragement and appreciation of what I do.

I have learned that I don't mention certain things in certain company .... it means I need a big circle of friends, and on the few occasions I have brought a heap of them together I have been amazed at how well they got on together. But on those occasions there wasn't any conversations about what some of us create.

If creativity had come up I wonder if it would have spoiled the moment? We need a variety of friends, and we have to choose not to share everything with all of them. Just share knitting with the knitting friends! Though I think they could have said something ... anything ... before they continued!

Judy B

catdownunder said...

Thanks gang. was not upset so much as puzzled...because they were asking what I had done!