Some of our biggest supporters in life are usually our friends and family. I ran into a friend the other day when I was out running errands. We were both busy but we spoke and she asked me about my writing. She was so positive and upbeat about it, that after briefly talking to her I immediately felt inspired to hurry home and start writing.
On the other hand, I’ve had others make negative, snide, or judgmental comments about my writing.
What do you do when others make those types of comments?
I never expected such varied responses from people about my writing. Nor did I expect some of the comments to include things like:
- What do you do all day?
- Why don’t you have a real job?
- Do you seriously think you have what it takes to get a book published?
- You should get a real job…
- Are you sure you’re qualified to write a book?
- Some of us have to live in the real world…
- I thought that was just your hobby…
- Are you crazy?
After some thought, I decided to at least answer those questions for myself. Not that I owe anyone an explanation, but if I could come up with the answers to those questions then the next time someone made a negative comment I’d have the internal ammunition at the ready so that I wouldn’t have doubts about my dream, my writing, or myself because of their negativity.
What do I do all day? Hmmm… Some mornings I get up with my husband and make him coffee, spend a little time with him before he goes to work, and sometimes I pack him a lunch, other times I just pack him a few snacks, but I make him a cup of coffee to go….Then I go to my computer and check my email, FB, WP, etc… I respond to emails, statuses, comments, posts, etc. Then I read the last few pages I wrote to remind myself of where I was at with the story and then I begin writing. I usually drink two to four cups of coffee, on occasion more. I have a bagel or yogurt or a pastry or a bowl of cereal for breakfast. Sometimes I’m so into my writing I don’t eat breakfast and I remember to eat when my stomach protests so loudly that I can no longer ignore it and I’ll grab a breakfast bar or a banana. I take a break after a few hours and check back on my social media sites and relax my brain a little, get something cold to drink or get another cup of coffee, and then I go back to writing. Those are my good days writing. Other days I can’t think, so I go outside and lay around on a float in the pool and enjoy the sunshine and the fresh air and let my mind relax so that I can free the writer’s block. And some days I take an hour or two break in the middle of the day, usually around 1-3 or 2-4 and go to the pool just to refresh my inspiration and motivation. So now you know, there are days when I pretty much write all day until it’s time to cook dinner, I go outside for a little while, I enjoy a little time on social media, and I drink a lot of coffee.
Why don’t I have a real job? Since when is being a homemaker, housewife, househusband, or stay at home not a real job? In between writing I also manage to do laundry, wash the dishes, sweep, mop, dust furniture, clean bathrooms, etc. I do those things instead of pacing when I come to a part in my writing when I need to think…Instead of sitting in front of the screen staring at it, I get up and do things. And I also have tumors in my uterus, and a messed up rotator cuff–hopefully all of that will be fixed next month when I see the doctor.
Do you seriously think you have what it takes to get a book published? I do. Every famous author that I have read about was turned down numerous times before their first book was accepted for publication. I’m a good writer. I’m not Stephen King, nor will I ever be, but I’m decent enough to get published. The more I write the better I get.
You should get a real job…Damn, you should get a new attitude…NO, I’ll just say this…My husband has a real job and he would tell you that I have a real job. My jobs are: To take care of our home, which not only includes housework, cooking, errands, bill paying, etc, but also includes writing, fixing up our home (we’ve been working on numerous DIY projects, the bulk of which I do most of and he does the heavy duty stuff since my shoulder is hurt. My next project is the kitchen backsplash… ), cooking dinner (usually, there are times when my shoulder hurts so much that I don’t feel like cooking and we either get pizze or have soup and sandwiches, or something), I also cut the grass sometimes, along with other things. My days are busy…
Are you sure you’re qualified to write a book? In plain English what that means is: are you sure you’re good enough to write a book. And I’d have to say yes. Several friends and family members, as well as quite a few teachers in high school and professors when I was in college, all said I should write a book, or that I wrote well enough to write a book, or my short stories or poetry were publishable… I have even had a few of my poems published. (So there! Sticking my tongue out…)
Some of us have to live in the real world. Many of us do live in the real world, but I get to live in the real world as well as the one I create in my story. YAY! I have always been an imaginative person. I dream in color, vivid dreams with detail. I used to make up stories at bedtime for my children. When I was a child I made up stories and read books like the Chronicles of Narnia. Snide comments like that are negative, but it’s not really about the person it’s aimed at, it’s more personal than that. People nit-pick because they’re envious, because they wish they could pursue their dreams, or whatever other reason. I’m not so insecure or ungrateful that I would ever take advantage of the opportunity I have right now to pursue my dream, especially when there are people out there making comments like that. Those kinds of comments only make me try harder.
I thought that was just your hobby? Writing and reading have always been my hobby. So is photography, DIY stuff, etc. When I was younger I used to draw as well, not so much anymore, but I’m still extremely artistic, which is something I’ve passed down to my daughter who is one hell of an artist. Numerous people have turned their hobby or hobbies into profitable businesses or pursuits. I am married to a musician who has gotten paid for his hobby. One day I sincerely hope to get paid for mine (well, one of mine).
And my favorite… Are you crazy? Yes, but in the good way. I’d have to be at least a little bit crazy to spend so much time, energy, and effort into writing a book, but on the other hand, even if I didn’t write my book I’d still be a writer I’d just be writing poetry or short stories, and that book would still be inside me waiting to get out. Needing to get out. I’d be crazy if I didn’t at least try.
I have a number of friends and family members who are supportive. My husband is my biggest supporter. He believes in me even when I don’t believe in myself. My daughter is also one of my biggest supporters. Truth is, without the people in my life who believe in me and support me my dream of writing a book, at least one, would still be a dream deferred. Right now, I’m almost finished with Act 1, but more than that I feel really good about my story. It’s a rough draft right now, and needs a ton of editing, at least to me it does, but it’s something I’m proud of because I’m getting the words down. I’m writing it. I’m pursuing my dream…