Writing is a lonely endeavor, most often a one-person job in which we sit in front of a computer, typing away while the world outside goes on without us. There's no gathering around the coffee machine or chatting with the worker in the next cubicle. Instead we spend a lot of time in our own minds, listening to the voices that speak to us, stopping occasionally to stare at the wall or, if we're lucky enough to have one nearby, out the window.
Because writing is such a solitary activity, it's good to have people around us who support our work and our writing dreams. These people could be husbands, wives, children, friends (online or "real")...anyone, really, who cheers us on as we work toward our goals. But what if the person you're closest to doesn't support your work? Then what?
I learned recently that someone close to me--my husband--doesn't think of my writing as anything more than "my wife's hobby." It hurt to hear that, as becoming a published writer is something I've wanted since I was a child, and I've been working hard to achieve that goal. He thinks that the hours I spend writing stories and drabbles and working on novels is just time wasted in front of the computer, and that's a hard thing to deal with. I have a lot of online support, which I'm extremely grateful for, but there are few people in my offline life who take much of an interest in what I do and recognize how important it is to me.
What about you? Do you have writing support from the people closest to you? And what do you do when someone you respect doesn't respect your need to write?
Yeah, my BF teases me about my writing. Of course, he doesn't read Fantasy and he deconstructed Iron Man when we went to see the movie.ReplyDelete
He'll be sorry when I get published and asks for a copy of the book ;-)
My husband does respect my writing and has told me a number of times how much he admires and respects my passion for writing.ReplyDelete
That said, he too has called writing a "hobby" for me. I think in part this is because the word hobby has different connotations - one being fiscal, and I don't make a lot of money at what I'm doing just yet. The IRS sees my writing as a hobby, too. It may be that he doesn't understand your goal, rather than doesn't respect it, or that he's simply using a different definition of hobby than you are.
Oh honey I am so sorry. I can't imagine how much that hurt to find out. My husband is the biggest supporter of my writing, and I can only imagine how it would feel if his true feelings were that I was simply having fun with a "hobby".ReplyDelete
But you know your love and passion for writing best of all! And you know what? You have to prove him wrong! Keep at it so one day you can tell the story of how your "hobby" is now helping to support his unbelieving butt ;)
My writing, though I've done it for years and years, has been a non-entity. Some friends have read my stories, some haven't.ReplyDelete
Now that I have some movings and shakings going on, some people I know have asked me about my writing. But, for the most part? I could be doing anything in front of this computer. My time is my time, and nobody has dared to tell me I'm wasting it with my writing, but I hear you.
This is such a great topic for discussion and I would like to add, in short, hopefully, to what Arizela commented.
Simply, for me, I have the support of my wife, through and through. My parents support me 100%. As does my sister. However at first, well, it wasn't that they didn't, it was like with anything, us human beings need proof. We need to see. They "believed" in me...but you know.
And since I "announced" I started writing and told them my dreams/goals they've seen. So now, of course, they believe harder.
Now, for most of us as you posted, most of the support we receive is online-and anyone will tell you, that I for one am extremely grateful to those I have come to call my friends. Twitter and Facebook is without a doubt a great stepping stone for a writer seeking camaraderie.
See I changed the focus from where you/we may or may not be getting the most support to the place we can all agree we do.
It's because we know each other. We know what it's like to think of a new idea. We know how exciting it is to open up that Word doc and start typing. We know what's like to fear the query letter.
NOT to call ANY one person ignorant...but that is what the outside world is. They are ignorant of "what it's like to be a writer.
Nothing you do for your writing is ever a waste of time. The only waste of time when it comes to furthering your goals and writing journey is-doing nothing.
But even then at times, we all need to step away. But not for too long. :}.
So while we don't need to prove ourselves to anyone but ourselves...we do need to show, not tell. ;}
My family has always been really supportive. My parents bought my laptop, with the condition that I would finish my novel. That was 3 years ago and I've written many books since then.ReplyDelete
My boyfriend is very supportive now, but he wasn't always. When we first started dating, I hadn't finished a book yet and he didn't think I was serious about writing. Then I buckled down and finished one and he started to see that I was serious. But he still didn't have much interest in my writing, since he doesn't read much fiction (he's a non-fic guy). Last year, I wrote a book that had a concept that really resonated with him so I let him read it. He'd helped me brainstorm for it (the subject was one he's very familiar with & some experiences we'd had together were the inspiration for it) so he was invested. Now, he's one of my biggest cheerleaders. Although, my most recent novel, he wasn't that interested in. I was hurt at first, but it's a matter of personal taste and he only read a tiny bit while I was writing, so I didn't make it a big deal out of it.
It's unfortunate that your husband feels that way, but it could be that he just doesn't "get" it. I talk to very few people IRL about my writing, for that very reason.
I am sorry to read that your husband doesn't take your passion seriously. In that sense I am lucky to have a husband who 'gets' my passion and support me through and through. His support is limited however as he doesn't know about plot and analogy/metaphor and all that, and so I am also thankful to find a few online comrades with whom their daily writing struggles resonate with mine.
Like others said, perhaps he will change his perception of your writing when you have something extremely tangible to show, not only to him but also to the rest of the world (not saying, of course, that sitting in front of a computer shutting yourself from the rest of the world isn't tangible, but I guess it's only tangible to you, not necessarily to other people).
Keep up your passion for writing, Dana.
When someone teases or belittles another about something they love, I am always troubled.ReplyDelete
Indifference is a little more palatable to me.
Reading this, I feel very grateful to have support in my writing--online and off. One of Li'l D's godmothers (herself a writer), is the best. If we're out and about and someone says, "Oh, you're a writer?" I turn bright red and lose my words. She steps in and says, "She's an author, and a gifted one." :p
Hi Dana, I've given you an award on my blog. Check it out for more details!ReplyDelete
I admire artists who keep on going even when they don't receive much support. People may not 'get it,' and maybe they never will, but it's wonderful that you do what you do.ReplyDelete
Sue: I'm envious that your boyfriend acknowledges your writing. My husband pretty much ignores my "little hobby." Love your attitude! My husband will be sorry, too! :)ReplyDelete
Ari: That's a really good point. Maybe my husband isn't using the same terminology. I should talk to him about that, although that's a scary proposition when I'm so afraid that he'll just say that he sees what I do as something that's for fun rather than a real passion.
Caitlin, you're awesome! Thanks so much for the encouragement! :)ReplyDelete