|Photo credit: Majicdolphin on Flickr|
It goes a little bit like this:
Strangers: Oh wow! That’s great, what do you write? Have you been published?
Friends: Cool! I’ll definitely buy a copy when you get published!
Best Friends: Oh nice, how’s that going?
Family: Right, right, but you have a job, don’t you?
To further illustrate this phenomenon, I drew a little graph (I did it on Paint, don’t judge):
(Noooo it’s not a triangle, it’s a graph. SEE?)
Ok, so artistic merit aside, I think you get the point.
It’s not that your family thinks less of you than a stranger you happen to talk to at Starbucks, it’s not that they’re selfish, or insecure or don’t want to see you succeed. It’s the opposite, actually.
The problem is the more that people know you, the more that they care. A stranger on the street can be excited about your career and never see you again. They aren’t worse for the wear if things don’t work out, if you can’t pay the bills, if, in the end, your dream doesn’t turn out so dreamy after all.
But your close friends, your family, they don’t want to see that happen to you.
Until writing starts to bring in some income, they don’t equate writing with job. They think hobby. And let’s be honest, that type of reaction is perfectly natural. Because they don’t understand.
They don’t know that writing is a job long before you make a penny off of it. They don’t know that the time you take to build your platform, the connection you make with future readers, with other writers, the work you put into every page, every paragraph, every word to make it as good as you possibly can is invaluable.
They don’t understand that if you keep improving your craft, and you don’t give up, and you write and edit and read and write, then one day all that effort and time you put into it might just pay off.
They don’t understand and that’s ok. They love you, don’t forget it.
And when your hard work does pays off, they’ll be happy for you and though I hope you don’t say it, you’ll be able to smile and think I told you so. Because you did.
Am I the only one who’s encountered this trend? Have you faced something similar? Share your thoughts!