A fake unknown lie to writers

“Your stories are amazing,” Jacob texts me one afternoon. “There’s no way it can get better. I tried to find a way and I couldn’t.” Liar. “Send some more stories my way!”

I bite the inside of my bottom lip, trying not to show too much emotion. Even if he’s not in the room to see, I don’t want even the vibes of my irritation to come off. Because I shouldn’t get upset over some praise, right? Being praised should be a good thing.

But, right now, it’s not great anymore. The praise comes off like a script. I could write the worse novel ever and he’d never notice. I found a few grammar mistakes after I sent the story to him, but he doesn’t notice them at all. He’s too fascinated by me. I know he means well, but I hesitate every time.

I guess this is another reason why friends shouldn’t edit my work. Their words sound false; they say everything I want to hear. But that’s not what I need to hear, so I resent it.

As writers, we need a mixture between praise and criticism to grow. People shouldn’t tell us that we’re amazing all the time. We also don’t need to get ripped apart like we’re nothing. I prefer a healthy middle—a gray area.

But that’s almost unrealistic. If I can find someone who gives me that gray area, I found someone worth keeping.

11 thoughts on “A fake unknown lie to writers

  1. I totally understand. I sometimes write for certain online magazines and one in particular….gah….here is a standard note at the end of an email communication—“I can’t wait to read more of your articles”.

    I read that canned message and I’m totally deflated.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, those types of messages suck. I mostly get them in my college writing classes when we’re graded on giving critiques. But sometimes I’ll just get a scribbled note at the bottom that says: “Couldn’t find anything to critique. Great writing!”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Shoot. I don’t trust a critic of my work unless they find at least one typo per page or they offer at least three huge points of improvement. I’m a pretty good writer, but I know I’ve got room to grow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I had critique partners in high school who would never critique me. They knew I could write, so they brushed my paper off. It was like being a writer made me invalid for a good critique.


  3. I’m so with you here! This is so frustrating. I know they don’t want to hurt my feelings. But I really want to know their thoughts. It’s hard to find people who edit well. When you find them, hold on tight!!! Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

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