1. Drusilla
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    Drusilla Active Member

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    I'm "sharing" my writings with my uncle. Please help me......

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Drusilla, Jan 28, 2012.

    I've "shared" my writings with my uncle for one and a half year now. I collected the courage to ask him if he could be the person I could share my writings with and we started talking on the phone once or twice every week. I read up what I have written to him and he reviews it/comments it. I have had many great phone conversations with him and I really want to continue talking to him about my project.

    The problem I have right now is that I feel that he has lost interest in my project and he isn't commenting as much on it as he used to. I love to discuss my fictional world and characters with him, and I love to hear his opinions of my writings.
    I have asked him why he isn't commenting on my writings and why he hasn't been very curious lately. He told me last Sunday that I must remember that it is my project and not his and that he will never share the same enthusiasm as me. He said that the reason he is interested in my project is because I am the one who made it and because I am interested in it. That upsets me very much. I really want him to be genuinly interested in my work. He denies that he talks with me about it because he pities me or because he wants to be kind to me. He says he does it because he is interested in me primarily (because I am his niece). He told me that "if you decide to put away your project, I will eventually forget it". That one bothers me really much. How can he forget something that I have shared with him three hours a week for a year and a half? I then asked him if he was looking forwards to what happened next, if he ever thought about my characters, if he ever thought about my fictional world and if he ever wondered about what turn I would take the next time. He said that he never thinks about my writings when we don't talk together in the phone.

    He was only interested in it when we were in the phone. How is it possible to totally block something when you are not on the phone and suddenly become interested when you are on the phone?
    He always denies that he is uninterested in my project, and no matter how many times I ask, he says he is interested. He is not a big fan of fantasy literature (I am writing fantasy). At the same time, he says yes to hear about and discuss my project.

    I have lost some of my want to write after he told me he would forget my project if I put it on the shelf. What should I do? Should I continue sharing it with him? (I find it hard to write all alone without anyone to talk to about my writings).

    Please help me!
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Writing is a solitary pursuit. You cannot lean on someone else forever.

    Writing requires a great deal of time, effort, and patience. Asking someone to read all the output, time and again, also requires time, effort, and patience. It's a lot to expect from someone else, to put as much into support as you put into your personal passion.

    You will have to write for yourself more, and not rely on your uncle to read all you produce. But if you work hard on your writing, you will come up with a piece of writing that puts everything you have shown him so far to shame. If you can be patient until them, maybe you can see his eyebrows launch to the top of his head someday.

    Especially when you show him your first published work.
     
  3. Kallithrix
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    Kallithrix Banned

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    As an author you have to accept that no one else is ever going to be as interested and enthusiastic about your works in progress as you are. While they may enjoy reading the finished product, you have to understand that discussing it for hours on end every week is eventually going to wear down their enthusiasm. Most people can take about half an hour of discussion about someone elses hobby/passion before they get bored, so your uncle has already shown you tremendous dedication and patience - be grateful for that, but accept that he may not always be able to offer that level of committment, epsecially if it is not a passion he paricularly shares. The fact that he has given up his time to your needs for 18 months shows what a loving and supportive uncle he is, but now you need to respect his needs and let him step back. Maybe you could find someone else to discuss it with, someone else who is interested in writing or reading fantasy. That way you can let your uncle off the hook while getting feedback and support from someone who may have different insight.

    Be thankful to your uncle though. You're very lucky to have him.
     
  4. twelveninetysix
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    twelveninetysix Member

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    I agree. Please don't let this detract from your love of writing. The fact that you've spent so long working on it shows that you have the dedication, and presumably, talent, to write an excellent novel. The reason you enjoy writing this book is that it is yours; it is you that creates it. For an outsider, the process of writing can be tiresome and dull. It doesn't mean they won't like, even love and reread the finished product.

    Think of your very favorite book. I bet that, no matter how many times you have read it, it doesn't total anything near 3-4 hours a week for 18 months. I doubt anyone could read and re-read a book for that long, and the effect is even more dramatic when the book isn't even finished. So it doesn't mean he doesn't care about your book - rather, it means that the process isn't interesting him, which is totally understandable, and somewhat inevitable, no matter how good the novel is.

    As a side note, since I would assume that at least some of your novel is now at a stage you might be happy with some other close friends or enthusiasts reading it, you should really look into getting some other viewpoints. I'm sure your uncle's input was incredibly useful but it's also good to see what other people think could be improved, and at the end of the day, what you think feels right. Good luck!
     
  5. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    I tend to keep work and pleasure well away from my family.
    It is a bit like asking your mum or dad to teach you to drive. It is a total nightmare so I don't go there.
    Why don't you find a writing buddy. It is better and less harssle I find.
    You could ask here for someone to share your work with.
     
  6. Jared King
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    Jared King Member

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    Even if your uncle wasn't interested in your work in itself, from what you said about him I'm sure he wouldn't want to be the reason that you lost interest in writing. Perhaps find someone else to discuss it with, and when you have completed your novel/story you can show your uncle what you've accomplished.
     
  7. prettyprettyprettygood
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    prettyprettyprettygood Active Member

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    I agree with the others, you've got a great Uncle there. My suggestion would be to let him know how much you've appreciated his help so far, how insightful his feedback is, and maybe ask if you can send him an update of your work for his feedback, say, once a month instead of weekly. Above all, keep writing!

    For what it's worth, a friend of mine has been trying to get me to read drafts of her vampire-romance novella for goodness knows how long, and I'm still coming up with excuses not to - cherish your Uncle for taking such an interest in your work :)
     
  8. Drusilla
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    Drusilla Active Member

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    Just so you should know, I haven't finished my project and I haven't really started on the main book yet. I am still in the stage of exploring the characters, situations and plotlines. I'm only writing smaller texts and short stories right now. I am sharing them with my uncle. I have had this project on my mind for many years, but one of the problems have been that I haven't been able to find a plotline before a year ago. I've had my background universe ready for years without knowing what to write. Now I have some of the plotline inside my head, but I am not 100% sure what will happen or how it will end. I feel that I don't know my characters or fictional world 100% and it feels forced if I'm just deciding to write now.......
     
  9. Dragon Boy
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    Dragon Boy Member

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    I know where you're coming from. The solution would be to find another writer to share your work with ( perhaps on this forum). Not only is he more likely to be genuinely interested ( I assume most people who write also love to read), but the insights he can provide will help you develop your skills.
     
  10. Drusilla
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    Drusilla Active Member

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    It's not a bad idea, but I don't write in English. If I could talk to someone on Skype, I could translate it while I read it up to him/her. I speak it very well.
    But I think I would need to know that persn well. I would need to trust him/her. Maybe it would be easier if he/she shared his/her work with me and I shared my work with him/her?

    I still do want to share it with my uncle, but it's not easy for me when I don't know if he's interested or not....... He claims to be, but I'm not sure if he is being honest.
    But it would be nice if I had one second person to share it with. One who was genuinly interested. Maybe I wouldn't feel that need to share it with my uncle? But I would like to talk about my work and hear the person's voice. It's not just reviews I want. I want to discuss it.
     
  11. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Well, these are my two cents on this:

    The fact he's spent 18 months working on this thing with you tells me he sees somethng in you. He sees a potential writer, someone who'se clearly passionate about the whole thing.

    You shouldn't take his 'I may not read your story, I will forget about it' too personally (although he probably should've kept those opinions to himself.) Fantasy might not be his thing, yet he obviously loves you enough that he was willing to work with you for that long on a book in a genre he's not even interested in. Most would've immediately changed the subject the moment their neice/nephew mentioned the story to them.

    To be honest, if I had a neice/nephew who was like you, I'd think something like, I'm glad he/she wants to write this thing, but he/she needs to know that I can't write it for him/her. There's not a whole lot I can do without taking over the story. He wants you to write it, but he also wants you to know that it's your story and it's possible he's given you all the advice and feedback he can.

    Thank him for his time, tell him you appreciate all the help he's given you.

    EDIT: You can talk about it with us. I wouldn't mind discussing your stories with you. God knows I've discussed my stories with various people here in the past, so I want to give a little bit of that back to folks like you.
     
  12. Drusilla
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    Drusilla Active Member

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    Link, thanks a lot for your kind words!
    My uncle hasn't said that he does not want to talk more about my project or that it is the end, but I feel that he is not that interested deep down. It's not fun to share something with someone who are not really interested. But I will try and find out more about his interest level......
    I would love to share my stories with you, Link, but I'm very against posting it openly on this forum. And it isn't in English. I really want to talk about it here, but I'm scared of revealing too much for the whole community. Do you want to pm/skype/msn? :)
     
  13. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    We can talk about it in PM. I won't be able to read any of your drafts, though, but you can share with me what you've got in mind, etc.
     
  14. Drusilla
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    Drusilla Active Member

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    Cool! I am really grateful (bows to Link!). If you want to, you can share what you write about with me too. It would be really fun to hear what you have in mind. XD But if you don't want to, I respect it.
     
  15. Dragon Boy
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    Dragon Boy Member

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    I'm a bit curious as English isn't my first language either. What language do you write in?
     
  16. Drusilla
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    Drusilla Active Member

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    Norwegian. I guess you speak French, right? I can get by in French, but nothing more than that. I really want to learn better French. So good that I can read French books. I can only read books in Norwegian and English.


    The reason why I guessed your language was French was because you're from Quebec.
     
  17. Dragon Boy
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    Dragon Boy Member

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    Good deduction ! ;) I might be a bit too transparent on this forum haha. I also love to learn other languages so if you want I could teach you a bit of French and you could show me a few words in Norwegian in return.
     
  18. Drusilla
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    Drusilla Active Member

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    That would be fab! I love to learn languages and I love to teach Norwegian to people! XD
     
  19. jc.
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    jc. Contributing Member

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    Sorry to hear you feel this way. As others have already stated, writing is the kind of thing where you're pretty much on your own. :( If it helps, your uncle has done a lot more than what most people would've done. My husband and best friend are super supportive and understanding when it comes to my writing, but if I asked them to read or proofread for me they'd probably only do it out of necessity. I doubt they'd genuinely enjoy proofreading thousands of words for me.

    Thank goodness for forums like these.
     
  20. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Everyone said it already, you were very lucky to have someone believe in you like that, but the fact is, nobody's work in progress is of that much interest to anyone. Certainly not for 3 hours every week. Maybe you can find other things to talk to your Uncle about, as you clearly have a very good relationship, but you'll have to get used to writing by yourself sooner or later. I am sure that as you finish whole chapters, say once a month, you can give him a chunk of the work to read and comment on, but that should be enough feedback.
     
  21. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    My uncle speaks to me perhaps twice a year, for a few minutes. So I think what you've had is quite special. :)

    Don't be discouraged, and keep on writing! You had some kind offers here from folk, and I hope this gives you incentive to keep on going with your work.

    Good luck
     
  22. Drusilla
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    Drusilla Active Member

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    Thank you all for your comments!
    I try to be rational and think that it's unreasonable that my uncle is just as interested as I am. It came as a bit of a shock to me. I knew he was not as interested as me, but I always thought he was more interested than what he has expressed lately.
    I know that he can't write it for me.........
     
  23. jc.
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    jc. Contributing Member

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    Drusilla, we all take our writing way too seriously. That's what writing is all about, so don't feel bad. :) Just sadly most people don't have time to read a book, and to regularly proofread/critique one is tough too.

    Like others have said, you've gotten a lot of really nice offers and feedback. Don't be discouraged. Best of luck!
     
  24. Drusilla
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    Drusilla Active Member

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    Yes, and I am grateful! XD
     
  25. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am having the same issue with my fraternal twin and actually it inspired me to work on a new piece
     

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