Tuesday, September 27, 2016

When a Friend Reads Your Book...

The hardest part is the wait. When will he open the file? How long will it take for him to finish? He might be putting it off. He's got a ton of other things to do besides scrolling through another mess of a draft-- something he's read once already

or twice.

You won't know exactly when he begins. What his thoughts are as he reads the labored-over sentences and the thrown together junk, the stuff you suspect might be awesome, the massive clunkers that blaze out like a neon sign flashing: THIS IS CRAPPY!!!!

"Tell me the truth," you tell him. "I can take it."

But what you mean is Only tell me the truth if you love it. 

No. I'm joking. Really. Tell me the truth.

Sometimes you get lucky. He'll text you somewhere in the middle. This is great! I'm really enjoying it so far. 


There's nearly always a but--

The but is the key word here because you know it leads to more work.

But the first three chapters are kinda slow...
But I don't understand what's happening in the middle...
But the ending is little confusing...

The worst response is the Meh kind. I liked it. Or,  yeah it was good. You can tell a meh response is coming because it's not easily offered. You have to ask for it, like asking someone what they think of your radically different haircut.

Hint: if he really liked it, he'd tell you.

And this isn't a haircut we're talking about. This is a book you worked on for a year, a book filled with funny lines that you hope are funny and sad stuff that you hope will break people's hearts. Words and images that churned up from some dark weird recess of your brain, your past. Secrets. Fears. Things you wouldn't dare to speak aloud in public.

But now it's all out in the open, laid bare on the page, a snatched butterfly splayed and pinned.

So what do you think of it? you are dying to ask.

What do you think of me?


  1. This is exactly true! "Please read my book and tell me how brilliant and wonderful I am!"

  2. Replies
    1. Aw shucks, Tom. I think you are pretty awesome too. And I'm not only saying that because you've read every single thing I've ever written since we were eighteen :)

  3. This is so true, not only for drafts, but even after a book is published and out in the world.