I knew there was a really good reason not to share my novelist tendencies with anyone else - apart from not wanting friends and colleagues to judge my writing and find it wanting, or the embarrassment of knowing that someone I work with has just read the sex scene I have written and is wondering if that's an accurate reflection of my own love life! - advice.
Yep, advice. That's the reason. Often a good thing, but sometimes, not so much. I recently gave my mother Two in a Bed to read because she said she wanted to read one of my novels, and I thought that as been as vampires were not really her scene, a woman murdering her husband might be more up her street.
She duly read it and said, 'Yes, it was good,' when I asked for her opinion. Then she proceeded to give advice about what I should be writing about: Agatha Christie was bandied about, and was another detective writing author. 'You want to write whodunits,' she said. 'People always like whodunits.'
That's as may be, but that's not what I write. Neither is a story about 'two brothers, one of them...' This was from my husband and at that point I switched off, although I did hear something about aliens.
Neither my mum nor my husband could understand that writing comes from within and if the subject matter doesn't strike that chord inside, then I just ain't gonna write it.