One of the big problems with blogging is that most of your fellow bloggers are so nice. Don't deny it. You know who you are. Okay, there's a couple of you I'll exempt from that description, but you're the exception that proves the rule.
It's a problem because your collective niceness makes it hard to get critically objective feedback when you want it. After all, if you read this blog for a while you begin to believe that you know me, hell, some of you even think of me as a friend. Don't try and deny it - I've got e-mails to prove it. And no-one likes to hurt a friend, do they. Okay, JTA, apart from you. (It's a joke, JTA, don't get upset. See, you've got me doing it now. Niceness is catching. Dammit.)
It's worse than that though. Because of this virtual friendship, this sort of cosy little world of like-minded people that we've constructed, this extended family barricaded against the horrors of the nuclear age, it would be a crime almost akin to incest to turn on one of our own.
Okay, deny it, as I know you will. But at least ensure that your critical faculties haven't in any way been blunted before you accede to my request. If anything, go the other way. Just don't kill me with kindness.
Here's my problem. I'm at work on my next novel. I'm about a quarter of the way through and I'm at that point familiar to all writers where I'm wondering if the whole thing isn't a big mistake. I need you to tell me whether it is or not. I may not listen to you - I probably won't - but I would like to hear your thoughts, which may at least signpost me on my way.
The book is called Mummy's Boy and it's really about me and my mother and my attempts to get free of her malign influence as I grow up. So it's a sort of family saga. I haven't got anywhere near the end yet but already I know that it's not going to have a happy ending - you never get free of your parents' influence do you? They fuck you up...and all that. Besides, it wouldn't be me if it had a happy ending.
I've posted a few chapters already on the blog. The titles are mostly in the form of a month and a year. I'll post another chapter up tomorrow which I think illustrates rather well why I'm having second thoughts.
I really would appreciate your feedback before I waste any more of my time. Or yours, for that matter.