The Writer’s Wheel 1/19/2020: Convincing Your Family & Friends You’re Serious When It Comes to Writing (or Tackling the Guilt)
How long has it been since you admitted what you sneak the extra hours doing on your own? Do you tell your spouse and friends the truth? Or is there just a little guilt on your part because you’re enjoying the writing?
Does Anyone Know?
Maybe you’ve told a few people. Maybe their expectations haven’t been exactly thrilled so you’ve kept mum from then on. I get it. I hid it for years myself when I started writing again. It was only when I got tired of saying “Nothing,” when family called asking me if I was busy or what I was doing that I piped up one day and admitted, “I’m writing again.” I saw their wary glances. Who could blame them? I hadn’t written since I was younger and though I was published in fanzines, my own stuff hadn’t gone anywhere other than the local papers for contests.
Isn’t it Time You Let It Out?
Sure, they might judge you. They might sniff about getting your hopes up and blah blah blah. Don’t do it for them. Do it for yourself. Take back your self-respect. Trust me, hiding it’s not doing you any good. And there comes a certain freedom in telling things like they are. Your characters will thank you. You will thank you. Even your spouse and children might stop interrupting you hiding in the closet with your pen and paper and not roll their eyes about how your strangeness. Maybe they’ll even assist you in your dreams. Stranger things have happened, haven’t they?
Your Confidence Will Grow.
So, people think you’re fooling yourself. Let them. This is about you finding your way, challenging yourself, getting the words down. The more you practice, the more you read, your confidence will soar. It’s how a writer learns; it’s how your craft will strengthen. Don’t sink behind the computer and pretend you’re playing solitaire. Fess up. Get it out in the open and things will start to improve. You’ll get that first draft done. Finally!
Your Faith Will Strengthen.
Believing in yourself, in your words, in what your characters can bring to the page will help you to forge ahead. When it’s time to polish, polish, polish, you’ll be ready to hunker down. Revising isn’t easy. You might forget to do the laundry or clean the house. When you’ve completed your story, however, you’ll want to shout it to the world. All of these battles are meant to help you. Because if you can’t admit it to your family and friends, how in the world will you admit it to an agent or publisher? You won’t have the confidence to approach them without these steps. Even the task of admitting what I do to high school classmates which would’ve terrified me in my teens now is a confidence-builder. I want to be a writer. The best writer I can be. That means fessing up. That means building the confidence so I can put that forward with other industry professionals who may take a chance on me. Won’t you join me along that road?