To the Authors- What does your family think of you writing?


One of the readers for this blog (you know who you are) brought up a good topic last week that I have been wanting to use.  How do family members handle an author’s decision to write books?  I’m sure the reactions vary.  Some are totally supportive, others show a complete lack of interest, while many more may think it is a waste of time.  This is your chance to tell us how supportive, or not, your family and friends are about your writing.  Also, feel free to describe the difficulties of juggling a separate career, kids, spouse, etc while trying to find time to write.  How do you manage it?

Also, don’t forget to check out the writing contest which is still taking place.  You have until Friday evening to submit your story for consideration.

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~ by Suzie on July 27, 2011.

26 Responses to “To the Authors- What does your family think of you writing?”

  1. I’m lucky that my family and friends have all been very supportive. Once a week, my mom and I get together to write. During the rest of the week, I’m lucky that my husband doesn’t have a problem if I disappear to the local book store to write for hours on end.

    There is always time to do the things you love. It’s always a question of choice and how you’re going to divide your time. 🙂

    • CB, that is great that you can write with your mom and that your husband is so supportive. It is important to be able to manage your time.

  2. Hi Susan,

    As I’ve said in many different ways, I live with friends at the moment. They are very supportive of my writing. I work out of their house but I also help around the house where ever I’m needed.

    My daughter was the one that first suggested that I do what I really want to do. I think she was tired of hearing about how my previous career choice was getting old, etc. She said why don’t you write. So I thought about it and decided that I would.

    My son helped with the cover art (the original one that is). They both were happy that we got published. My former spouse even bought the book on Kindle. I’d say that is a pretty supportive family and friends.

    I’m looking forward to what others have to say.

    As for the contest…I think I have some pretty stiff competition. I don’t envy you judging this one.

  3. My mom has always been supportive of my writing. She truly believes I can get published. She’s even being understanding about my venture into blogging and Twitter to build my author platform. All of my friends are supportive, whether as fellow writers, readers, or just offering encouragement (even if they can’t relate). I have a good support system.

    As for time…well, I have a lot of free time during the summer. Even once I start work in the fall though, I’ll still make time for writing. It is so important for my emotional and mental health. I learned that my second semester in grad school when I put writing aside for my studies. I was so miserable and run-down. So that third semester, I studied, I worked, and I wrote a complete novel. My classmates thought I was crazy, but I was much happier for it. 🙂

    • That’s awesome Angela. I’m one of those people who has to work hard on my studies. I but I do know people who can do multiple things well. I just don’t happen to be one of them.

    • Your mom sounds really great Angela. Glad you have her around (and Teagan too). I tried writing during the semester, but couldn’t do much. Going from academic to fiction just wasn’t easy for me. I could read my romance novels without a problem, but writing it was another story. You are amazing for being able to do both.

  4. My immediate family has been immensely supportive of my writing habit. My two sisters even helped out as first readers and also with the final editing. (I’m very proud of that editing job… between the three of us, I feel we did a great job of editing and proofreading, and reviews have borne that out.) My parents take every opportunity to tell people about my books, and love that they get to read them before they’re published.

    Most of my friends have been very supportive as well. I used Kickstarter.com to raise some money needed to publish, and to do an initial print run of paperbacks and a limited run of hardcovers. I treated the Kickstarter project as “pre-sales”, and the backers were my first and most loyal customers. Many of my friends went above and beyond by backing the book through Kickstarter, and helping to spread the word. Even my boss at work, who I’ve actually only met twice, was interested, and bought a hardcover and paperback through Kickstarter.

    The surprising support has actually come from strangers, or old friends that I haven’t been in touch with. Quite a few of my most generous Kickstarter backers were people I’d never heard of. What’s more, I went to my 20 year high school reunion last weekend, and people I hadn’t seen in… well, 20 years… were coming up to me and starting off conversations with, “I heard you published a book. That’s so cool! How’s it doing?” Everyone was interested, and everyone wanted to hear more, even a number of people that I don’t think said more than three words to me in school.

    All in all, I don’t think I’ve run into anyone who looked down on my efforts. Everyone has been incredibly positive about my writing, and it’s definitely given me the incentive to keep doing what I’m doing!

    • That’s awesome. I’ve never heard of Kickstarter. I may have to check it out.

      Thanks and have a great one.

    • Wow, it is really encouraging to hear stories like yours. To receive such support is wonderful, especially from people you hardly know! I don’t know if I will ever publish, but I love to write and improve my creative skills.

  5. They are supportive so long as I don’t use them as my personal critique group. They believe in me, and it helps me believe in me, too.

    • It is good they are supportive Heather, even if they don’t critique. That is how my family is too. None of them will read what I write, but they are supportive.

  6. What a great topic for discussion! I have a wonderful family who are totally supportive and very proud of me – except when I’m engrossed in writing and they’re waiting for their tea. Then I think their enthusiam wears a bit thin.

    Two years ago I was suffering from depression and I still have anxiety issues, so I think overall they’re just relieved that I can channel my frustrations into my writing and something constructive.

    That said – I have always written, since I was a very young child, and in some ways my extended family, my mother and aunts and uncles, take it for granted. Some like to read what I write, others find it a bit strong for their tastes, but I am always honest with them. (I use a pen name because I wanted my books to appeal to both men and women, so I wanted something uni-sex).

    The juggling part is hard. I have three children, the youngest is three, and obviously they have to come first in my life. But when my head is bursting with characters and stories and I just want to get it all down, and instead I’m patiently explaining how to add up fractions to my nine year old, sometimes I could just scream!

    Janet

    • Three year old children are something else. My Godson lives in his own world and it certainly is hard to reason with him. I just tell him I’m going to do homework.

    • Janet, glad your family is supportive, though kids can be a major hazard to writing. Pouring out stories in your head can be rather cathartic.

  7. My famly has been mostly supportive of my writing. After 30+ years I think they’re used to it. My mom doesn’t ask about it. My dad, when he was alive, used to ask all the time. It’s friends that haven’t been all that supportive. When my first book was published 30-something years ago, a good friend’s jealousy reared its ugly head. She thought I was rich overnight. So I made an important decision to never, ever tell anyone what I earn from writing. If it’s less than they thought, they’ll be really happy that I’m not doing as well as they thought, and if it’s more than they thought, they’ll hate me for sure. It’s a lose-lose situation for me. I don’t talk much about my writing unless I’m specifically asked. This way, I don’t arouse anyone’s jealousy and feed into their misconceptions. My husband, on the other hand, has been my most ardent supporter.

    • Nancy, any “friend” who takes on that kind of attitude…in my humble opinion…is not a friend at all.

    • Nancy, it is really sad that so called friends should be that way. They should be the most encouraging. Sorry you have had such bad experiences with them. Know that we are here to be supportive for you though!

  8. I’ve always appreciated that my family has given up literally thousands of hours of family time for me to pursue my fiction aspirations. Now that the efforts are bearing larger fruits, we now have new decisions about how much touring time I should be taking. Fortunately, my children are mostly grown, so the decisions are mostly between adults 🙂

  9. I can not even get a family member to read my book! Many of them are not readers and some do not like the book concept, but at least one of them would take pity on me, bight the bullet and read the damn thing out of pure pity you would think. However, my family is proud of my accomplishment in having actually published a book! That ISBN is for ever. Its a testament to the fact that you were here. A birth certificate proves that you were here, but it says nothing about you as a book does.

    • It’s a shame that they won’t read your book. You are correct the ISBN is for ever. You have made your mark.

    • AJ, your family is like mine and will not read stuff I write. Ironically, my father does read all the short stories people post for my contests on this blog. He just doesn’t get into my romantic writing stuff, lol. Probably just as well. Glad that your family does at least take pride in your accomplishments. That is something!

  10. My writing began a year ago when I moved back to Florida and my husband suggested I start a hobby when he saw how disappointed I was with my job hunt. I don’t think writing novels, which takes an exorbitant amount of time, was quite what he had in mind . . . nonetheless, he and my children have been completely supportive, even when I get despondent over my lack of any book sales. And my friends? Well, at first they were like “Wow, you have written an entire book? What’s it about?” but when I mention romance, their eyes begin glazing over. Although, it was thanks to two coworkers that I decided to publish on B&N and Amazon. They read my hardcopy and liked it! One even yelled at me a week later when she said she had a dream about the leading male character. I thought that was the greatest compliment, that I was able to write something that could affect a person’s subconscious, and self-published (after six months of querying agents with no success.) I look forward to the day when others are touched by something I’ve created. 🙂

    I did find that day job in Finance, an area which I’ve worked since my first job, but I’ve dealt with the analytical for so long, I’m ecstatic to be doing something creative on the side, a part of me I had neglected for so long. And to have such a supportive platform to share my thoughts with fellow writers!

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