Family and friends often love everything you do and cheer you on enthusiastically with hyperbolic praise.
Or they don’t.
Getting my family and friends to read my first novel was a year long chore. And not all of them finished. Some have yet to give feedback another year later.
Now, I could get all depressed and feel sorry for myself. Or think unkindly of them. But none of that would matter because their reactions boil down to a very simple matter which is out of my control (and theirs).
They simply don’t like to read fantasy fiction. Period. It’s not their thing.
They prefer nonfiction. Self-improvement, news, history…anything with lots of facts and very few adjectives. They don’t want to have to imagine anything in their heads or keep straight a winding plot line that can’t be summed up in a single-page bullet point review.
So, duh. They don’t like reading stuff with weird names, imaginary locations, and bizarre mystical happenings.
And you know what? I feel the same way about the stuff they read. Snoozer! Who gives a diddly? What a waste of time. Does that mean the writers of their favorite books are bad? Of course not!
It means that you have to get your book to readers who like your genre. Otherwise, they won’t be able to give you feedback that will improve your work within its style context. The changes they would make would alter the whole flavor of the writing. And…as with a recipe…some ingredients are to be added “to taste”.
You have to like the way the final product feels. Because it has your name on it.
So don’t sweat it if your true crime mystery-reading cousin slashes your romantic comedy. Don’t get mad if your gardening how-to aficionado friend thinks your historical fiction is too flowery. Shrug it off when your sci-fi geek of a brother takes a laser to your personal memoir.
Let it go.
And keep writing! Those for whom your words mean the most will respond with vigorous approbation. That’s your target audience, and you will hit a bulls-eye for them.