My feed
Premium

Please
or
to access all these features

AIBU?

To feel this gutted about DH and my book

295 replies

Mrsaspiringauthor · 05/10/2022 07:08

I probably am. Just surprised by how hurt I feel.

I’m one of those people who has wanted to write a book for years but lacked the confidence. I loved writing as a child but had a bad experience when toxic mother (now NC) found some of my writing and was so sneery about it I didn’t write again.

I had an idea for a novel years ago and earlier this year found the confidence to start writing it. At first I felt really uncomfortable about it and just imagined my mum looking over my shoulder and sneering at it. But I kept going and after a few weeks and 10,000 words found that I was really enjoying it. I’m now 155000 words into a novel that will hopefully be 450k words (big sweeping saga) and have absolutely fallen in love with writing again, I get so much enjoyment from bot the writing and the research as well as plotting, developing characters etc. It’s so hard to judge your own writing but I think what I’ve written so far is ok.

Have talked to DH about the book as I write it and he’s been reasonably interested. He actually has more of a background in writing than I do in terms of what he studied at Uni and parts of his job. I haven’t told anyone else I’m writing and asked him if he’d read what I’ve written so far. It felt like a big deal to share my writing with someone else and I told him to only read it when he has time.

Anyway he was away for a few days with lots of free time (ended up being much more than expected) and he said he’d read it then.

He got back yesterday and I guess I was hoping he’d bring it up and tell me what he thought. Eventually I asked him if he’d read it and he said, oh yeah meant to say, yeah I really liked it. He’d read only about 40 pages (he is a fast reader so not much for him) and didn’t seem to have much else to say about it. I asked him what he thought of a few aspects of it and he was very positive but didn’t seem to have put much thought into it.

I guess I’m just thinking about how it would have been if the roles were reversed, I’d have made the time to read it all and would have had lots to say even if I thought it was crap. At the very least I’d have said well done for picking up your own again and writing 1/3 of a book.

He has always made me feel as if he always has something more important than me going on so I guess it’s just a sore point. There’s always work to be done (he’s very invested in his job), a cup of tea to make it a pot to watch or a task that needs finished. Even on our wedding day I felt I hardly saw him as he was ‘just going to speak to X Y or Z - a couple of people joked on the day that I’d lost my husband as he was always off with someone else.

No snark please as I just feel really sad, I guess I just wanted a bit more encouragement.

OP posts:
Report

Am I being unreasonable?

898 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
57%
You are NOT being unreasonable
43%
Pinkdelight3 · 05/10/2022 09:52

Great that you're going to join a group and start to open up to that side of things. As I say, the fact that you're enjoying it is the main thing. You need to hang onto that as the industry side can be rough. I remember a publisher talking about how what gets them excited is knowing they can sell something, and though historical sagas have an audience, they tend to be quite era-specific. Your idea sounds amazingly ambitious, but it could also sound like not really an idea, more the stories of people from early times until now, which is epic, but not what a lot of readers want out of their relationship with a novel, more like interlinked short (or in your case not so short) stories, which can be the hardest things to sell. If you absolutely knock it out of the park and find a supportive publisher, or publish it yourself, then you never know, it might find its readers. But as a PP said, it may just be the first novel that's all for you and goes in the drawer then you're onto the next one having learnt a lot. I've been earning my living as a writer for nearly 30 years now and it's a long, hard road, so gird your loins, this is just the start. All the best, keep enjoying the writing, don't expect to enjoy the notes side of things and as long as you keep improving, that's all that's really in your power.

Report
Doingprettywellthanks · 05/10/2022 09:52

KettrickenSmiled · 05/10/2022 09:51

Hello OP's mum!

What a horrible post. OP said she was feeling vulnerable about this topic, & asked for no snark - so you decide the best thing to do is to weigh in with some heavy personal criticism @RedHelenB ?

”mum”?

take it you don’t have a particularly pleasant mother and you don’t get on well with her?

Report
killthemall · 05/10/2022 09:54

I don't think it's clingy to want your husband to read your book.
my Dh doesn't read, but I'd still want his opinion if I was writing a book!

He is your husband not the guy from the local shop or a mum from the school gates where it would be inappropriate to ask ask to read and critique your work. Your husband should absolutely put more effort into the whole relationship, not just the book.

Report
WeepingSomnambulist · 05/10/2022 09:56

@Doingprettywellthanks

The OP's mum was snarky and nasty about her writing. Made fun of it.

She asked for no snark on this thread. Then that poster wrote something nasty. So, calling her OP's mum was a joke.

And OP, this is why I would be careful when going to random mumsnetters for help. You've no idea about their reading comprehension. A lot of people have very poor reading comprehension.

Join a writing critique group.

Report
Bookerly · 05/10/2022 09:57

Really don't take it personally. I write for a living and I've given up asking dh you read my stuff. He can never even finish a shirt article as the subject bores him.

He's lovely but it's my job and I can't expect him to feign interest.

Report
TheYearOfSmallThings · 05/10/2022 09:58

I die inside when anyone I know wants me to read their writing. I love to read, and people know that, so I am an obvious choice but OH MY GOD it is uncomfortable getting that insight into their minds. And it is never the kind of book I would choose to read, so even if it isn't bad I don't really enjoy it.

Maybe join a writers' group or class or online forum...that way you can get feedback without it feeling personal.

Report
Bookerly · 05/10/2022 09:58

After all I fond his job quite boring 😆

Report
Bookerly · 05/10/2022 09:58

I am a writer honest, despite the typos!! Just coming off a migraine!

Report
mam0918 · 05/10/2022 10:00

It a hard position to be in.

I use to run a writers union and people would send me stuff, they where so excited and to be honest a lot of the time it wasn't very good. Some where even insufferably bad (one guy had an entire chapter on leaves turning brown in autumn, added NOTHING to his story which was already seemingly about nothing more than someones generally uneventful day to day life including things like 3 pages on riding his bike to work and a page on making a cup of tea etc... but had been working on it for 4 YEARS) but you feel you can't be honest and crush them like that so you dig out the few positives to try and stear them in that direction then try to avoid talking about the rest.

Most of writing isn't actually writing its the editing do AFTER finishing that refines it all and editing while going is usually a bad idea, any unfinished piece is not going to be its best and a whole lot will likely end up on the cutting room floor before its an excitable readible story.

I never ask or even let DH see my work, our relationship is seperate to my hobbies and I wouldnt put him in that position.

Have you joined NaNoWRIMo?

Its free and they have forums that are very supportive and they even do camps where you can be paired with like minded writers.

Report
WhileMyGuitarGentlyWeeps · 05/10/2022 10:00

I second what people have said @Mrsaspiringauthor . Getting a friend or family member to critique your book is a terrible idea because they can't really be objective. I wanted to be a writer many years ago (like MANY people,) and I wrote a few short stories, as well as a couple of short novels.

A couple of the short stories were 'twist in the tale. Like 2000 words long. I asked DH to read these two 'twist in the tail' ones, and he said 'I knew exactly what was going to happen at the end.' Didn't say anything else about it. Good, bad or indifferent.. Nothing like 'yeah, that's good, but you could try this, you could try that' or 'hmm I think it's this, I think it's that...' Just a flat criticism with nothing constructive or helpful Just 'I knew what was going to happen. It was obvious.'

I mean he isn't a writer or even particularly very good at English, but I was actually little bit crushed and it put me off a bit. This was like 15 years ago and I'm quite annoyed that I let him put me off.

You know what? I think I might start writing again. You've encouraged me. Smile

Well done. I really hope you do well with your book. As previous posters have said though, don't take your husband's criticism to heart - lots of people have had lots of shit said about their writing, and have gone on to be massively successful writers.

Report
mam0918 · 05/10/2022 10:01

Bookerly · 05/10/2022 09:58

I am a writer honest, despite the typos!! Just coming off a migraine!

Dont worry, I'm a dyslexic writer... there a reason proof readers exist lol.

Report
KettrickenSmiled · 05/10/2022 10:01

This reply has been deleted

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

WhileMyGuitarGentlyWeeps · 05/10/2022 10:02

@marvik

I imagine your husband is torn between a) being busy and perhaps reluctant to do what he does for work in his leisure time, b) wanting to support you and c) wanting to give you honest constructive criticism which you might find it hard to receive.

Totally agree with this. ^

Report
Doingprettywellthanks · 05/10/2022 10:02

WeepingSomnambulist · 05/10/2022 09:56

@Doingprettywellthanks

The OP's mum was snarky and nasty about her writing. Made fun of it.

She asked for no snark on this thread. Then that poster wrote something nasty. So, calling her OP's mum was a joke.

And OP, this is why I would be careful when going to random mumsnetters for help. You've no idea about their reading comprehension. A lot of people have very poor reading comprehension.

Join a writing critique group.

Ah I missed that sorry

Report
Doingprettywellthanks · 05/10/2022 10:02

WhileMyGuitarGentlyWeeps · 05/10/2022 10:02

@marvik

I imagine your husband is torn between a) being busy and perhaps reluctant to do what he does for work in his leisure time, b) wanting to support you and c) wanting to give you honest constructive criticism which you might find it hard to receive.

Totally agree with this. ^

D) and perhaps very long sweeping sagas just not being something that engages him

Report
WhileMyGuitarGentlyWeeps · 05/10/2022 10:03

Blimey @KettrickenSmiled Calm down! No need to THAT tirade that you aimed at @Summerfun54321 Good grief!

Report
KosherDill · 05/10/2022 10:04

He's not an editor and it's really awkward to put him in that position.

I am a professional writer / editor and it's beyond cringeworthy when friends/relatives ask me to read and critique their fiction. I hate it.

Our domestic/romantic partners cannot, and should not be expected to, meet every single one of our needs. You need to find fellow writers for feedback and idea sharing.

Report
WhileMyGuitarGentlyWeeps · 05/10/2022 10:05

Doingprettywellthanks · 05/10/2022 10:02

D) and perhaps very long sweeping sagas just not being something that engages him

Well yeah, as a poster said earlier ( @ThunderstomsAreComing ) there are some well-respected novels that are hugely popular worldwide, that I am not fond of and actually get bored stiff reading. Jane Eyre anyone. zzzzzzz

Report
BeanyBops · 05/10/2022 10:06

Quite often, I have to be very clear to my husband about what I want him to give back to me. So in a scenario like this I'd have asked whether he thought he could read the whole thing, and if agreed, I'd tell him id appreciate his thoughts on it overall and specifically regarding xyz.


I think you should have a nice chat with your husband and basically tell him what you told us. He probably doesn't realise.

Report
YellowTreeHouse · 05/10/2022 10:07

YABU. He said he likes it.

Report
WhileMyGuitarGentlyWeeps · 05/10/2022 10:08

I also agree with some other posters, that the comment by @rookiemere that 'writing is a hobby' is rather rude and offensive and hugely inaccurate. Why do people put certain jobs and careers down? Hmm

Report
Bumpsadaisie · 05/10/2022 10:09

I can relate.

It is very challenging to really take ownership of one's creativity and ambition. Because doing that means accepting the risks of failure and the responsibility for it. Its all so stressful that it is very easy to slip into looking around for someone else to blame - I would have done THIS if YOU had been more supportive ... Of course I would be X now if YOU hadn't held me back.

I think you are feeling the anxiety inherent in trying to make something creative and you are casting around for someone to attribute those difficult feelings to.

You hit upon your DH - he didn't respond in the right way, or quickly enough, or whatever.

But the reality is, your DH is going to respond how he is going respond.

But if YOU want to take this forward then only YOU can do that, in acceptance of all the risks and rewards that potentially come from sticking your neck out in this way.

So rather than get sidetracked by whether he responded in the right way or not, take ownership of the anxiety - it's yours, because you are taking a risk, it is not caused by him nor is it something he has "done" to you.

Not easy I know!

Good luck.

Report

Don’t want to miss threads like this?

Weekly

Sign up to our weekly round up and get all the best threads sent straight to your inbox!

Log in to update your newsletter preferences.

You've subscribed!

awomanofthecuntytype · 05/10/2022 10:11

OP, part of my job is reading and critique-ing novels. Doing it properly takes hours. I have had endless people asking me whether I could "just read through" the novels they are writing; I have to say no. I don't think that amateur writers appreciate that reading properly and offering constructive comments isn't something you can just do in a spare half hour while you're on the train. Plus your husband is in a no-win situation: he has to give you positive feedback because you'll be upset if he doesn't. Even if he were a professional editor, he wouldn't be the right person to read your novel.

If you want someone to give you proper feedback, it would be worth paying a professional. That will also remove it a bit from your feelings/upsetness about your mother. Or join a writing group?

Report
LadyHalesBroach · 05/10/2022 10:12

TV writer here 👋🏻

don’t ask your husband to be your editor or taster, it’ll never work and you won’t get what you need. I used to get my H to read scripts and at best he’d say ‘yeah it’s great’ and at worst he wouldn’t get it and then I’d be disappointed and question myself.

if you’re new, I’d also suggest writing some short stories so you can develop your skills in terms of character, voices, structure etc. It’ll be easier to get a publisher interested if they can get a flavour of you from something much shorter than a 450k manuscript.

also read ‘no I won’t read your fucking script’ - it’s a funny article online and will probably give you a bit of perspective from your H.

Report
ScrawlyEmbroidery · 05/10/2022 10:12

I've been asked to read friend's novels before and I hate it. More often than not it's just simply not a genre I'm interested in, so even if it was complete genius I wouldn't really appreciate it.
On top of that - it's incredibly difficult to critique a friend's work.
It's art, which of course is subjective, but writing can also be assessed objectively and the combination of those two things make it a minefield of sensitivity.

I read a friends book recently and it was appallingly badly written - too bad for me even to offer some corrections, because it just wasn't an easy fix. Instead I praised them, gave it back and vowed to never get roped into it again!

Report
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.