Monday, July 27, 2009

Dear John or Catharsis, Part Two

Dear John,

It's not you. It's me.

No, wait. It's you. It's totally you.

What can I say? You had your shot. You had your opportunity to contribute to this relationship and you blew it. You said you wanted to be involved, but I can see you only wanted to be involved in theory. That you'd much rather squander your free time with your other fantasy writing friends. You know, the ones you don't know personally. The ones who have not spent an ultimately futile year awaiting your feedback.

Well, count me among their number because I am done. I am out. I've been nice. I've been really nice (the occasional bitchy blog notwithstanding, of course) but I just can't do it any longer. I can't pretend that it doesn't hurt like hell to know that I entrusted my work to your apathetic hands and got very little out of it apart from heartache and misery. Any further pretending is something I'm just not interested in doing.

So I'm drawing the line. The line, my so-called friend, has been drawn.

You may be saying to yourself right now, "Hey, didn't you tell me not to worry about it?"

And I did. I had to say that and here's why: I couldn't take it anymore but I was trying to be nice. Trying to be polite because my mother raised me to be polite. My mother did not raise me to write passive aggressive blogs but that's neither here nor there.

There's a saying that writing is easy. All one needs to do is open a vein and pour it all out onto the page. I'm paraphrasing but I find it to be accurate. Not to sound too overly dramatic or anything, but that's what I did with Effigy. It's long been the first thing I think about when I wake in the morning and the last thing I think about before I fall asleep. That is, if I do happen to sleep because it's also been the cause of many a sleepless night.

You, by the way, have also been a cause of many a sleepless night of late. And that irritates me. Thus the whole letter thing I'm writing here and now at three in the morning.

It would've been one thing if it turned out you just weren't that into the book. I've said it before but I know my book will not appeal to everyone. No book does. That I could've handled. That I could understand.

But you claimed to be interested. You claimed to like it. You claimed I had a talent and you were interested in finding out how the story ended. Just not interested enough, as it turns out, to actually read the book.

So I don't understand and I'm done trying to understand. It's also something I'm just not interested in doing anymore.

And one more thing: I'm kind of surprised I actually have to tell you this but do not, under any circumstances, send me any of the writing you've been working on in the brand spanking new writers' group you started with your co-worker. Thanks, I guess, for being interested in my opinion, but I'm not particularly interested in giving it. If you did send me something to read and critique, I would then be obliged to both read and critique your work and do so in a timely manner because I know how very hard it is to sit around and wait on someone to get back to you on a project into which you've put a lot of work. For a spiteful moment, I considered accepting anything you sent and sitting on it for at least a year and then telling you that I just didn't have time for it because my free time was instead being devoted to my passion of online gaming. But that just seems mean and, as irritated with you as I may be, I'm not that mean.

So the bottom line (the line which I have drawn) is, I am not interested in doing that for you. Perhaps I should be a bigger person about it but it doesn't look like that'll be happening any time soon. So, please, keep your work to yourself.

That said, I wish you all the very best on your future endeavors.

Sincerely yours,


  1. Can I tell you, your post made me feel better. I've been working on a critique for 20 days, and finished late last night. This is the longest I've taken, though I haven't done many, and I was beating myself up for letting so many things get in the way. I even emailed the author apologizing. I now feel as though I can let myself off the hook. At least I didn't sit on it for a year and still do nothing!

    And I didn't do much if any writing on my own wips, so it was all about getting hers done. *sigh* Now I have six days to make my writing goal for my writer's group. Doesn't look promising.

    Keep your head up. This too shall pass!

  2. Oh yeah, no, you can definitely let yourself off the hook! I would've been thrilled with a twenty day critique. Or forty. Or eighty. Or...well, you know, anything less than 365 days. =)

    Good luck with your own writing goal. If it makes you feel better, I can't imagine I'll be making my latest one either.