Monday, September 28, 2009

Support Systems

I'm going to dive right in and ask a question: Do you have friends or members of your family who don't "get" your writing? Treat it as a silly hobby? Or even mock you for spending hours upon hours on something that may or may not ever get published?

I think, sadly, all of us do.

Certainly, I have many family members and friends who are incredible supporters of my writing. They actually listen when I go on and on about my characters and plots - or, better yet, they READ what I write and seem to enjoy it (and no, I don't bribe them). But -- there are also those whose eyes glaze over when I talk about writing. Or worse, they never - I mean, never - ask about how my writing is going or what project I'm currently working on. In fact, I've had people who knew about an article I published in a national magazine, but never bothered to read it. It was 3 pages long and would've taken them 5 minutes' time. But they didn't really care.

Sure, it's frustrating and even hurtful when people seem not to care about our passion - our writing. But I guess I've learned to shrug my shoulders at them and feel sorry for them, for missing out on a VITAL part of who I am, of what's important to me. I understand that writing isn't everyone's cup of tea - that they might not share my level of interest in it. But I guess I hope for the same courtesy that I give to them, showing interest in things they are passionate about (whether I'm equally passionate about them or not). Is it really too much to ask for a mutual exchange?

Bottom line, writers need support and encouragement. It's why we go to conferences, log on to writer's messageboards, pour our thoughts into blogs (*wink*).

So, today, whoever's reading this - consider yourself encouraged. Know that for every person in your life who doesn't support your writing, there are dozens upon dozens of writers out there (like me) who DO.

3 comments:

  1. Family is the worst, but then, my mother doesn't understand what I do for a living (pilot). I have a brother whose a workaholic, but whose ventures usually fail. He informed me recently he had written a book. When I reminded him he'd asked to read my manuscript three years ago and never commented on it he shrugged it off. When I asked how he planned to get published I found out he knows nothing about queries, agents or anything else. He runs a website for syndicated columnists and said "I'm not just some guy who thought he could write a story you know." Like me. My brother sucks.

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  2. I agree with family being the worst. Some of them at least. I don't ever tell my father-in-law when something is published anymore. He just doesn't get my writing style. He laughed at it last time. Ugh! It was hurtful at first. He isn't the only one. Others never express any interest at all in what I write. Or even acknowledge the fact that I do. I don't know why. I get lots of encouragement from my Mom. And a lot from my friends. It helps. It's human nature to want to be recognized. It hurts when we are not. Not necessarily praised - - just acknowledged. Does that make any sense?

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  3. Don't take it personally, I'd say. I think, as you mentioned, here...some people are interested and others are not. What matters most is YOUR enthusiasm for what you do...YOUR motivation and determination to get published.
    Sure it's great to have support but you know where that support IS so just rely on that...and put aside the rest.

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