Deb Joanne emerges from the warm waters of denial.

Wait…my family and friends are going to read my book?

I’ve been so focused on the darn thing selling, that I may have overlooked that fact.  But now that this week’s theme is friends and family reading your book, it’s right in my face:

This photo intended to represent a friend or family member reading my book. And enjoying it. She will tell her friends.

PEOPLE I KNOW ARE GOING TO READ MY BOOK.  Oy.

I’ve had people read my work before; I wouldn’t be where I am without awesome critique partners and other writer-industry types (agents and editors) who read and critiqued my work.  That’s never scared me, because those people know what writing is like and generally deliver criticism with an honest, yet gentle touch.

But not a lot of people have read SMALL MEDIUM AT LARGE in its current form.  Actually, since I edited the thing about fifty-seven thousand times, the only non-publishing person who has read the current version (save a few minor copy-edits) is my mom, and only because she kept nagging asking me nicely until I put it on her Kindle and made her swear not to share it with anyone (except my dad, who is reading it right now).

My husband hasn’t even read it, which may come as a surprise to some people who know him and just how incredibly supportive he is, but seriously, he’s not exactly my target demographic.  I don’t really expect him to get all the stuff about developing boobs and having crushes on boys and helping your dead grandmother find your divorced dad a new wife.  These things are likely outside his experience and interest.  But I made him a deal a long time ago that if when I ever sell a book, THEN he needs to read it.  He thought that was very fair and gets first crack at an ARC when they arrive.

I do kind of worry if he’ll love the book, though.  Just as I worried a little if my parents would like it.  But of course they will, because they love me and are proud of me and how hard I worked to get published.  They can’t exactly be objective readers, but that’s okay—I don’t really want them to be. It’s this kind of unconditional support and love that forms my bedrock of security and confidence.

But for everyone else, who may be a bit more objective, who may be able to forget that their friend/relative/co-worker wrote the book, well yeah, I’m a little scared they won’t like the book.  But also, and more importantly, I’m pretty eager for them to read it.  You know why?  Because I’m pretty darn proud of my book.  Even though my eyes start to bleed when I have to read it, because I’ve read it SO MANY TIMES (for editing), it’s still a cute and funny story that a group of strangers liked so much, they paid money for it.  That’s something to be proud of.

And damn it, I am proud.

So, dear friends/family/strangers/ex-boyfriends/co-workers/whoever: go ahead and read my book. I really hope you like it and if you do, please tell me (and maybe tell your friends, too) and if you don’t like it, that’s okay, too.  Just please still tell your friends you did.

Now, how about you? I’m not just talking writing here, either—writing, art, a knitted sweater, whatever your work is—how do you feel when you share with loved ones?

13 thoughts on “Deb Joanne emerges from the warm waters of denial.

  1. I’m excited to read it too!

    I’m pretty sure that no one in my family ever read my dissertation. I’m actually wondering if my committee read it! Who could blame them? Technical writing is BORING. I hope that I will want them to read my non-technical writing.

  2. Hi I am early this morning surprise.
    Well let me tell you, no one will be disappointed in reading Small, Medium at Large. (No I am not saying this because I am your Mother, well maybe a little) Fammily, Friends and Strangers all have different views on books, movies, life etc. and we can’t worry about everyones opinion.
    I know that it will be a hit Joanne not only because it is well written, funny and full of surprises. You should be very proud, as we are. So Family, Friends and Strangers when you read this book let us know that you really really liked it by passing on the title to all (that way a lot get sold, funny how that happens ah, for the Americans that ah is a Canadian expression). Keep writing all my Debs as I can not wait to read all your books, and the word denial does not exist for you all.

  3. I totally agree with the sentiment that I don’t WANT my family and friends to be unbiased opinions. I want them to tell me they love it! As you say, we need those totally biased opinions to help us feel good about our work. There will be enough unbiased opinions down the line. And probably enough haters. I expect my friends to love it, or at least say they do. That’s why they get early cracks at it!

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