"Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia." ~E.L. Doctorow

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Today, I'm curious about your family's reaction to your aspirations of becoming an author. Mine was more than a little confuse to begin with (too say the very least) but they were always supportive.

My mom thought it was just going to be another hobby, but when I told her that I wanted to get published she was unsure of what to say other than, "if you want me to look at it I will". My hubby didn't get how I could pour all that time and effort into something that I had no way of knowing if it would even be picked up by a publishing house or not - let alone writing it without having an agent under my belt. I had to explain that's just how it works.

Aspiring to be a published author is a hard thing to explain to people on the outside. Having that drive to weave a story into fruition no matter how hard or complicated it is, is something damn near impossible to put into words. I guess the easiest thing to say is "Its for the love of it." Thats it.

We love writing...We love creating stories in all forms. That is why we do it!.

So how did your loved ones first react when you told them?

IFTD - "Stand in the Rain" by Superchick. This one makes me cry every time. :)


Kelly Hashway said...

My parents and sister weren't surprised at all, and they were very supportive. My husband thought it was interesting but didn't really get it. Now he's much more supportive and tries to ask questions to help him figure things out. Others? Well, they just wanted to know from day one when my books would be on shelves. Yeah, as if it's that easy and fast!

coffeelvnmom said...

Not much of a response really, I think like Kelly above, they weren't too surprised. One thing I don't think anyone really understands, though, is how time consuming and slow the process is. Which is why, for the most part, I never really talk about it.;)


C.M. Villani said...

Kelly - My hubby still tries his best to be supportive but he really doesn't get it either. :)I think once I do get an agent and things actually get going he'll be more interested.

Jessica - Outside my husband and parents, every now and then my brother will ask me how my writing is going. And I tell him all about it which is nice. But other than that I don't really talk about it to others.

Cara Lopez Lee said...

By the time I started writing my first book, I had chased a drummer to Colorado, chased a TV news career to Alaska, and then dropped that in my mid-30's to backpack around the world alone. When I came back, I had to move to New Mexico, North Carolina and Denver, before I found a job that was the right fit - in TV production. At the point when I quit to become a freelance writer, they were incapable of surprise. My family never directly called me a flake, but it was implied many times.

However, the only job they ever directly warned me against was acting. My dad still jokes about that now and then, and sometimes I resent it. I understand he was trying to protect me. I think sometimes it's easy to forget that protecting people from their dreams is not protection, but discouragement. I've heard it called "toxic support."

Now that my family sees how happy I am as a writer, and that I'm part of a community that respects what I do, I get the idea that they think I'm flippin' amazing, which is gratifying. It's all in the perspective. I suppose the fact that my book did get published didn't hurt.

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Luckily, they were very supportive. My mom and husband became my Beta readers. I couldn't have written the book without all their input along the way :)

Sabrina said...

My parents have a hard time realizing that writing IS a REAL job, and even now that I'm working part time freelancing for a news website, they still think I'm going to get a 9-5 job again someday. My aunt is even worse, and she keeps pressuring me to send my resume out to "a real newspaper" now that I've "got experience."

The only people who I find support with are fellow writers like myself. Luckily I've got one very good writer friend who I've known since high school who has helped me out in lots of ways, and I've made many more writer friends through him. Without them, I'd probably give up writing for good, even though it's what I'm the most passionate about in life!

C.M. Villani said...

Cara - Wow that sounds like you've lived an extrordinary life so far. As for the acting thing...is that what you wanted to do? Because it sounds like you had plenty of fun doing other things in the mean time.

Sam - then you're very lucky. My mom doesn't really enjoy the genre I write and my husband gets that glazed over look in his eyes when I try to talk to him about it. :/

C.M. Villani said...

Sabrina - The writers' community on the web is a great place I have to agree. Only other writers can truly understand the drive behind the craft. I'm glad you found such support there, because we all need at least a little of that.

Good luck!

lionmother said...

When I first started to write my novel I was writing with everything in my life going on in the background, work, school, and my kids. My husband accepted that at times I would be writing. No one actually knew anything about my story until I decided to try to publish it and started getting rejections. Then they were very supportive, but still my husband didn't consider me a writer until I had a children's story published online and got paid for it. However, he wouldn't read my story until it had been accepted for publication this year. Then he said it would be worthwhile to read it My older daughter always was supportive of me and helped me when I got stuck. She was my sounding board and seriously I don't think the story would have gotten finished without her. When I revised it she was there. She even helped me with my pitch. My whole extended family doesn't know about my book being published and it will be exciting for everyone to learn this.:)

Anonymous said...

My family and friends were incredibly supportive. My book started as a research project, and they were all my willing participants. I told them, "I am writing a book about marriage...will you fill out this questionnaire or come and let me interview you." 175 questionnaires and 70 interviews later, I was that much closer to actually writing. The only mistake I made was telling people soooo early. It is a much longer process than I anticipated (especially with three kids)Eight years long in fact. It's kindof like I told everyone the day a child was conceived and the nine months was an excruciatingly long wait. Worth it though!

Kim said...

I don't think I ever made a big pronouncement that I am now a "Writer." I've always read. A lot. I wrote stories in school. So once it became known that I was writing and submitting and eventually publishing some stories, I think my family felt it was inevitable. And my husband has been beyond supportive from the moment I mentioned there was a writing conference that looked interesting. I have many cheerleaders in my corner and for that I am extremely grateful. It can be hard enough without having to fight against those closest to us.

C.M. Villani said...

Barbara - It’s nice that your daughter is will in to help you so much. I haven't told my extended family either. :) (God forbid that got out before I land a publisher.)

Megan - Wow that is a doozy of a research project. 8 year! :D But life does get in the way...that I can totally understand. I'm sure it was well worth it. Congrats on your success!

Kim - It is really nice to have that type of support, especially with the intangibility of something like writing. It really makes you take notice of the people you can count on. :D

Nicole said...

Ummm My husband said I write smut. Good smut, but smut none the less. Then he said it was alot better than he expected. I am still not sure how I should take that. hahaha

C.M. Villani said...

Hahahaha!!! So its official then? I'm a bad influence on you.

(Florida) Girl said...

Disbelief. Though as time goes on they have switched to paranoia that I will make them each into a main character--which I take to mean they finally believe me.

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