It is that time of the year families and friends come together to share bread, presents, and insults. There is no better time to write a rant about writing and its relation to loved ones.
I have heard about this unicorn called writer with family support. It is as rarely seen as a common dragon. When I started writing, there was this hope I could live from it, understanding how rare that is in the current market or any market. But I had no other choice. After graduating from Uni with MA, I had difficulties landing a job. Any job. The writing was my only salvation. It gave/gives me meaning and self-worth. I was the only one, except my husband who has been so so so supportive, who saw it as a possibility for a profession.
The first time I said my dream aloud to my mother-in-law, she said with a cold voice it was better if I came out of my dream world and did everything to get a job. That crushed me in so many levels. I had been killing myself applying for a job after job and receiving rejections every day. I said nothing to her. I sat there beaten, letting her pour salt on my open wounds. After that, I have found it hard to tell her about my writing. She always makes this face when I mention anything around the subject. It is like a snarl. And no, I’m not making this up. It is like she had sucked a lemon. She and my father-in-law never bought my book. I heard them say to my husband “We don’t buy such sort.” She is like a mother to me (being away from my family), but those words were awful. But if someone says I shouldn’t do something, I do the opposite to spite them which is not always a good thing. (I like lemons. Suck on that.)
This Christmas, we celebrate it 24th, we were sitting around the dinner table and my husband (the pain in my ass and the fuel in my heart) brought up I have a paperback out now. My mother-in-law stayed silent. It was my brother-in-law’s turn to be ever so supportive. He asked after a few lines of discussion about how much I will receive royalties. He said he can give me that money directly, but he won’t buy my book. I sat there, thinking about how important family support is. And how sad it was to see what kind of family my husband grew up. A few kind words, even a slight understanding or support, even asking now and then how is your day/writing/anything is coming along is a big deal and demands so little effort. Why is it so hard to be kind and supportive? Do they hate me because I quit my awful job and took a risk to pursue something I love?
It is all those little comments that pile-up. My friends and relatives ask me if and when I will apply to school and re-educate myself into a profession with a better chance to be employed. They don’t want to hear me mention anything about writing, the community I’m involved and building, or what I have been up to. My husband says I should speak anyhow, instead of letting people silence me with their snide comments. But it is hard to speak after receiving an eye roll from my sister after we have been speaking about my prospect to support myself with writing or after my friend says with glee that now you are unemployed employment agency will harass you and put you into those special courses they have, yet, she knows I have a company and I write daily.
I understand my chances are what they are, but to put down people let alone not to hear what they do and be judged by their ignorance feels wrong. The disinterest, spite, hate, and jealousy is so odd to see and feel and from those who you thought cared for you. And it is not like I’m smug or obnoxious about what I do. People just hate to be part of other people’s lives. Not a single one of my relatives or friends have read my book. Some have bought it and a few haves lied they have, and most stay they will at some point. Can I ask what that point is? When infinity meets infinity, perhaps?
Okay, now I’m getting vexed, and I don’t want to feel that way. The point of this rant was how precious support is. I’m lucky I have a loving husband. He would go to the moon and back for me. If I didn’t have that one person who believed in me, I don’t know if I could go on. I love him so much. The other point is what I’m experiencing isn’t rare. It is more than the norm. Especially with self-publishing authors (as we aren’t real writers.) Let no one tell you that. If you write, you are a writer. If you have published, you are an author. It would be nice if my mind believed those lines in its weakest moments.
Before I finish this rant, I want to say I understand my relatives and friends. I know why they do what they do, but my husband is right. I don’t have to take it. I should defend myself more. But it is hard when you don’t hate them, in fact, you love them and don’t want them to feel lousy. And I do love them despite the shitty things they say. That is humans for you. We are selfish little buggers who dropped from the trees too soon.
Happy Hogswatch and thank you for reading! I love you guys. Your support is meaningful, and it makes my day ❤ (And say to the nearest person a kind word or two. If you happen to sit alone in the room at the moment, say kind words to yourself. You deserve them.)