What do I have to do?

edited October 2012 in Off-topic
I'm busy writing an article at the moment. My daughter was with me, looking over my shoulder and saw a copy of Writing Magazine on the computer. She pointed at the top article on the cover.
"Mum," she said, "you should try and get your article there on the cover."
"That is my article," I said, "I wrote it a few months ago."
Without missing a beat, she pointed at the photo of the writer on the front cover. "You should become so famous they take a photo of *you* and put you on the front!"

Do you get the same underwhelmed reaction from family members?

Comments

  • Absolutely. None of my closest family have read my books. They were quite excited when I got an agent, thinking fame and fortune were a step away. How wrong they were. It's back to hobby status now.
  • LizLiz
    edited October 2012
    Well... I have sort of the opposite. OH is always totally thrilled and tells everyone (nearly always getting the facts wrong).

    I have this weird thing where I get excited about something before it happens, but my imagination is always so strong I have lived it and got bored byt he time it does happen.. Then it feels a let down.

    Even getting my book was like that - I had a very strong vision of what it should be like and fought to get it like that - and succeeded. So when it came, it was exactly how it was in my dreams and didn't seem as if it was new at all.

    I feel like I'm living behind a piece of glass. Other people enjoy my success more than me.

    WHAT IS WRONG with me?
  • Liz don't worry about it, it's like when I hand over a painting and they are so overwhelmed and it really doesn't affect me as I can see faults in it and know how long it took me to do and think it's not actually worth the praise it gets.
  • My family show no interest whatsoever in my writing.
  • I printed out the first five chapters of my novel for Mme Snail to read, and then to pass on to her Associates. That was last year (or the year before). Still not finished Ch1. How encouraging is that?
  • How frustrating. You really have to believe in yourself when you don't get that support from outside. The best thing is to try to turn it into a positive - "I'll succeed and show you all!" Thank goodness we have Talkback.
  • [quote=snailmale]Still not finished Ch1. How encouraging is that? [/quote]

    Not sure if it's a good idea to pass work on to family and friends.

    Seriously, I think you have to want to read something, not be expected to.
  • edited October 2012
    [quote=paperbackwriter]My family show no interest whatsoever in my writing.[/quote]

    Neither do mine. The only reaction I get from my OH is, "You're a vicar, not an author. You're never going to make a living out of it, so why waste your time. And anyway, science fiction is rubbish. No-one wants to read that." I have had more support from friends online than from any other quarter.
  • No-one is only one thing. Unless they are very dull or very dim.
  • When I told my dad about my poetry being published, he just said, 'Are you getting paid for it?'
    'No,' I said, and just like that the interest was gone.
    As for my mam, I usually have to actually tell her that she should be excited, before she starts pretending to be.
  • I'm waiting for the OWC Anthology to come out and will see what their reaction is then...:)
  • [quote=JohnWho63]Neither do mine. The only reaction I get from my OH is, "You're a vicar, not an author. You're never going to make a living out of it, so why waste your time. And anyway, science fiction is rubbish. No-one wants to read that." I have had more support from friends online than from any other quarter.[/quote]

    John, my husband once told me that my time at the computer was a complete waste of time (he was mad at the time because I didn't want to go and help him do something on the farm). The pleasure I got from opening up my own bank account just for my writer's income made up for that. He has read all my books and regularly tells other people that they should read them, but it was a huge effort to get him to read the first one.
  • [quote=Carol]I'm waiting for the OWC Anthology to come out and will see what their reaction is then...[/quote]

    Me too, it was like when I got a story on TK&C all I got was oh that's nice.
  • Same here, my OH has never shown much interest in my writing but I did find him reading one of my poems one day.
  • I write for my own purposes. Now, I don't expect my horrible callous family to notice it or comment in any way.
  • [quote=paperbackwriter]I don't expect my horrible callous family to notice it or comment in any way.[/quote]

    I was perhaps, being a bit unfair to Mme Snail earlier. She does encourage me, and is always pleased when I have a shortlisting success or whatever. Just falls short of actually reading anything. And my journalist daughter, of course, is also very interested in my progress.
  • I think a lot of the problem is that families don't understand that it all takes time. They think a novel gets written in months and accepted in months.
    They have no understanding of how much work is involved and then how much energy and time it takes to even get it looked at. They don't understand that we are at the mercy of editors who can turn something down because they don't happen to like it- not because it's lousy writing...
  • [quote=Carol]They have no understanding of how much work is involved and then how much energy and time it takes to even get it looked at. They don't understand that we are at the mercy of editors who can turn something down because they don't happen to like it- not because it's lousy writing...[/quote]

    Mine do. I don't understand this - why don't you tell them? Can't they tell by watching you?
  • edited October 2012
    [quote=Nena]John, my husband once told me that my time at the computer was a complete waste of time (he was mad at the time because I didn't want to go and help him do something on the farm). The pleasure I got from opening up my own bank account just for my writer's income made up for that. He has read all my books and regularly tells other people that they should read them, but it was a huge effort to get him to read the first one.[/quote]

    I understand, Nena. The "waste of time" thing is what I get. I'm glad to hear you kept going and gained your husband's interest. My OH will sometimes listen to little bits of my writing, but not any of the rest of the family. I simply don't bother mentioning it to them any more.

    [quote=Liz]I don't understand this - why don't you tell them? Can't they tell by watching you?[/quote]

    Some families are simply not interested in what certain members do to pass their time. I think sometimes that those with very supportive families fail to grasp that any family can be so disinterested - or even hostile - at the activities of other members of the family. If it doesn't benefit them in any discernible way, then some will openly discourage, or even ridicule. My OH has put up with it from her own family for most of her life. Telling them sounds simple enough. However, getting them to listen and understand is impossible when they are totally unwilling to listen or even give you a chance. All I can do in my case, is simply go ahead and do it anyway. I know that I have friends who encourage me, and appreciate what I write. But our family? I'd be waiting until hell freezes over.
  • I've had lots of encouragement and supportive comments from those who know I write. People often ask how it's 'going'. This, I never know how to answer, so I always say, 'Great, thanks.'

    My biggest fan is, without a shadow of a doubt, my younger daughter who loves to be my guinea pig. She is, of course, mainly interested in what I write for children rather than adults, although now she is older she enjoys the short stories I produce for adults as well as humorous poetry for them. No one reads my serious poetry for adults, except competition judges perhaps. As for hubby, he has never asked to read anything; I do sometimes read funny poems out loud to him when I have him in a headlock . . . and he laughs obligingly.
  • I was generalising in my comment above, TN. :)

    One of my sons is very supportive and understands what's involved- he's a creative too.

    My husband is slowly starting to come round, but he's a scientist by training. He understands the frustrations of writing reports, but not the fine tuning that comes with fiction.
  • I get a mixed reaction from my family. Some are extremely supportive and others seem to doubt I have the ability to spell my own name.
  • Oooh thank goodenss, I'm pleased, Carol!

    [quote=JohnWho63]any family can be so disinterested[/quote]

    Disinterested = Not influenced by considerations of personal advantage.

    Uninterested = Not interested in something.
  • I should point out that my daughter is only nine years old and her comments were really more out of love than anything. She wants me to be famous. She thinks I should be famous. She's aiming for the top - for me. But her reaction to the magazine was a little perplexing!
  • That's so cute.
  • edited October 2012
    Interesting thread, and nice to know that I'm not the only one who has friends and family who never read their work.
    What I think it actually boils down to is that they are worried that they'll think my writing is crap.
    This, despite dozens of published articles, a bit of published fiction and three pretty good near misses for BBC Travel Writer of the Year... well I didn't win did I?
    :rolleyes:
  • pbwpbw
    edited October 2012
    All the above experiences are the usual ones I think. In the case of my family, and my ex, as I said, I was just unlucky to be born into a callous and unloving family. Now I accept that and I've come to terms with it and I enjoy the support I get from the writing community. So when you ask 'why?' Liz, the fact is - and it's the same with birthdays, celebrations etc, some families are jealous and callous, and anybody who is lucky enough to be related to loving people is, as I say, really lucky.
  • My eldest sister read my first book. She may have read the others but she hasn't said so. With the first, though, she sent me a lovely long email about what she'd thought (she liked it, I'm happy to say), but then weeks later she sent me a CD simply because the music on it reminded her of my book. I was touched by the thought. My sister is special and we've always had a bond. As far as I know, none of my other sisters or brother have read it and my husband's sister told me that she wouldn't be reading my books as she only reads books that she knows are going to be really good!

    I managed not to hit her, but it took a lot of restraint!
  • I am extremely lucky as my immediate family has always been very supportive of my writing and in recent years OH has even decided to "give it a go."

    I was interested in Carol's comment that her OH "is a scientist by training." My father enjoyed writing yet was scientifically trained and my children have taken the maths and engineering route in life but their interests are much wider with both enjoying writing and art, a skill that comes from their father. Whilst many people have a strong bias towards either the arts or the sciences others have a broader spread of interest. Maybe there is some truth in the suggestion that we specialise too much in life.
  • [quote=Nena]As far as I know, none of my other sisters or brother have read it and my husband's sister told me that she wouldn't be reading my books as she only reads books that she knows are going to be really good!

    I managed not to hit her, but it took a lot of restraint![/quote]

    One of my OH's sisters once said to her, "I wouldn't read anything your husband writes, as it's bound to be sh**, just like everything he says." I felt the same, but her sister was on the phone from 180 miles away.
  • Oh, my goodness...
  • I have to say that I often find my OH picking up one of my books for research and reading it. :)
  • Hubby did try for a while but he couldn't understand why I didn't get my first novel published, the worst thing is he comes up with ideas for me and gets disappointed when I don't write them. I tried once as it was a good idea, but it just wouldn't work for me so gave up. I used to write in the evenings but he has changed his routine and thinks I should too.

    The kids are sort of interested but as what I write isn't in any way suitable for them to read I suppose it's a bit difficult.
  • I gave my sister the manuscript of my novel as she said she'd like to read it. Subsequently, she never mentioned it at all. Not a word, good or bad, zilch! I decided she must have thought it was awful and was too embarrassed to say so. Years later I published it on Kindle and my sister bought it (the only one of my relatives who did). Although she said it was a page-turner, she suggested some changes and said I should have let her read the manuscript before I published it. (Sigh)

    My OH does try to be helpful, not that he ever reads anything that I've written, he just tells everyone else how great it is!
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