When you can’t gauge your own work, ask someone else to look at it.

I’ve spoken about this on Twitter before. The best thing I did for my writing career is to have an editor-friend. My college-mate — and life-time bestie — Anjana reads everything I write.

Well not everything. It’ll be practically impossible for her to read everything I write, it’ll be 6000-8000 words a week. But there are times when a review of a big film or an e-book I’m launching that would make me very nervous. So, before filing that, I’ll send it to Anjana for validation.

Most of the time, she’ll say “this sounds so like you” and that’ll give me a boost of confidence. Sometimes, she’ll point out idiocies I may have missed. I had once written, “he is as gay as he’s a smoker — reluctant and always giving up after a single puff”. She said, “you’re making it sound like being gay is a choice”. Bah, how didn’t I notice that!

I’m just a fortunate person that my bestie happens to be a writer / editor. But it really doesn’t matter. It could be your friend, parent, sibling, spouse, partner — just about anyone who follows your work, has some context and knows the mistakes you regularly make.

Don’t fret about this person. Just show your work and ask for an opinion. The relationship will grow over time. Make sure you don’t make a big deal of it is all.