If you write for a living then you must learn to bear the whip of editorial criticism, and strive to improve your work accordingly. But you don't pass such lashings on to your nearest and dearest. Spare a thought for this poor woman - Evelyn Waugh's wife - on receiving the following letter from her husband on January 7, 1945:
Darling Laura, sweet whiskers, do try to write me better letters. Your last, dated December 19 received today, so eagerly expected, was a bitter disappointment. Do realize that a letter need not be a bald chronicle of events; I know you lead a dull life now, my heart bleeds for it, though I believe you could make it more interesting if you had the will. But that is no reason to make your letters as dull as your life. I am simply not interested in Bridget’s children. Do grasp that. A letter should be in a form of conversation; write as though you were talking to me.