The Best and Worst Comments (About My Writing)

A lot of writers don't have great support systems.  Their spouses want them to spend more time together. Their mothers think it's a "cute" hobby.  Co-workers sarcastically ask about all the accolades when the first draft isn't finished.  It can be tough.

I'm lucky.  I have great support.

My husband constantly tells me I'm talented and amazing.  My mom takes me getting another publication credit with, "of course, congratulations" as though she never imagines a time where no one wants my stuff.  Other family members have been equally amazing.  The best things I've been told about my writing come from family (as it should be).

Here are some of my favorites:

"They rejected you because you're so far above them, they can't see your genius."

After saying I'm not famous the person responds, "Yet".

"I've loved your stuff for years."  (Can still name the first poem of mine he loved.)

"You are going to go far.  I'm just glad I'm going with you."

But what goes up, comes down.  Some of the most brutal, painful things said about my writing have come from the same people who are supposed to care.

After saying I could read the person my poetry for a while:  "Are you trying to punish me?"

"It's not like it will ever make you amount to anything."

After showing person a contributor copy:  "Oh, you're not mentioned on the cover, THAT would be impressive."

The worst thing I've ever been told came from an editor.  I suppose it's a great relief, after searching my memory, it didn't come from a relative.

"You shouldn't even be allowed to write a classified ad at twice the rate."
Is your family supportive of your endeavors?  What are some of the best/worst things that have been said to you over a job, hobby, or interest?


  1. That's an interesting topic to post on.

    The best things have come from family and friends, naturally. The most valued/useful critiques have, however come from writers/editors. The worst from an editor also, but it wasn't personal.

    Whoever said that 'you shouldn't be allowed..' needs a lesson in manners, and probably a ban from the publishing industry. No-one has the right to be rude!

    1. His literary magazine closed long ago. I still check every place I submit to for his name. Editors often end up working at different magazines after a time so...

  2. I once was in a critique group with a suspense writer. I wrote romantic comedy. She said, "This book isn't as shallow as your work normally is." I left that critique group soon after. I think people say things without realizing how much they hurt. I really do think a LOT of it comes from jealousy.

    1. Sounds like she was a genre snob. Comedy is extremely difficult to write well, many of us know this.