Helen in Manchester has discovered why publishers no longer accept handwritten manuscripts:
Recently, a friend of mine wrote me a story, which was sealed in an envelope. Upon opening the envelope, I quickly realised that I could not read his handwriting! I brushed this issue aside by saying that I would read it later, and quickly changed the subject.
Two weeks later, he is still asking for feedback! So far, I have assured him how good I thought it was, however the lies are starting to wear thin!
So answer me this: how can I tell him that his handwriting is illegible, without hurting his feelings? Or should I simply say nothing, and continue to lie, hoping he never calls my bluff?
Because of course, the latter approach, of a valued friend constantly lying about something clearly very important to the scrawly-handed party, would be LESS hurtful than a short, sharp, “I’m sorry, I’m having trouble reading your handwriting – any chance you could type it up for me?” Have any of you readers ever really been wounded by your handwriting receiving negative reviews? Correct me if I’m wrong, but last time I checked, Manchester was not 12th-century China and therefore your friend is unlikely to lose his position in society if his calligraphy is a bit sub-par. Therefore, Helen in Manchester, stop making a piece of paper and ink into a problem, and start being honest.