Anonymous asked: What should I do about friends who ask to read my work? I send my novel to them, but none of them end up reading it, or read a chapter or two and then stop, saying they’re too busy to read further or they keep forgetting about it. And that kinda hurts more than them saying it sucks or it needs a lot of work. How do I keep reminding them about it without seeming pushy/needy? This has happened with multiple people and it just makes me think it’s so bad that they can’t even give encouraging lies.
My advice would be to stop internalizing the weakness of others. If your friends can’t muster the effort required to read your book, that is on them, not you. It says nothing about the quality of your work or even how much that person values your friendship.
It’s pretty common to skive off reading a friend’s work because there is no preconceived value to it. No one has validated that work as “good”, so your friends unconsciously weigh it differently than, say, something by Dickens. There’s also that “the longer you wait to do something, the less likely it is that it’ll be done” thing. Whether because of guilt or forgetfulness or just plain laziness, your friends are hurting you, and they can’t even apologize because that would be an admission of their unconscious undervaluing of your work on the sole basis of “it ain’t famous”. Not cool, but still not your fault. And it still has nothing to do with the quality of your work.
So again I say to you: Try not to internalize the weakness of others. Most people will not read your work. Your friends just get to be the first people not to do it. Try not to take it too personally.
These are just my opinions based on my experiences on both sides of this issue. Who knows why people do what they do? I don’t even know why I do what I do half the time.