Tuesday, July 10, 2012

When Family Just Doesn't "Get It".

I am not shocked my family loves this show and buys into it.
First, the exciting news! My novella I've been working on for about a month now is officially FINISHED, first draft wise. It's a cool 70 pages, 40-somethingk of two women angsting about their relationship and attempting to fix their problems with sex. In Japan. BUT MOVING ON.

Gonna let it sit a couple days before tackling my edits by the end of the week. Feels weird to not have to be WRITING today. (Taking a total break from writing fiction until I start editing again. Articles / blog posts still total fair game though.)

Anyway, when I (foolishly) announced to my family that I had finished the first draft of this novella, and intend to spruce it up for publication, I immediately got a "Yay! Is it up for sale yet?" Well, no, family, because I have to edit it first. See, that's a good thing. There's so much out there that we have to give ourselves the biggest edges possible by editing, which includes slashing, rewriting, and eventually, some great polishing. This takes time. Again, that's a GOOD thing. And assuming, family,that I don't get a meltdown during edits, I should still meet my target publication date of "this autumn". As you keep reminding me, family, I am currently "unemployed" and spend most of my day working on the computer.

But nope. "Well what's the point of writing it if it's not out there?" "Who cares? I read shit all the time. And I still read it. Nobody really cares how good it is." "Did you put vampires in it? Vampires are really in right now!" "ARE YOU RICH ENOUGH TO MOVE OUT AGAIN YET?"

Yeah. Family doesn't "get it". It's a point of contention between me and them at times. I have to explain repeatedly that no, you don't just run a typo check and then throw stuff out there. Of course, part of it is kind of flattering - they think I'm so ~smart and creative~ that I shouldn't have to work hard on stuff before just crappin' it out there. Well, thanks guys, but that's still not how it works.

I think the thing that gets so frustrating though is that, ultimately, they only care about my writing so far as it makes me money. My family is all self-employed, hands-on goods and services based people. (Stepfather is a commercial fisherman, mother...well mother sells sex toys both in real life and on the Internet. And was a librarian for a while. Grand.) So not only do we argue about me "working" on the computer (because it's not real work, see) but they don't see the point in it if I'm not making a living wage out the gate. I get it. They want me to be able to take care of myself and not rely on them for forever. But that's the point. That's why I'm doing this. That's why I spend 10 hours a day doing pre-marketing when I'm not writing or editing. And if I want to stand a change at all in the self-pub world, I need to make these stories the BEST they can be so I'm not swept under the proverbial rug.

But I still write about the stories I care about. I'm not the type who can just write about what "sells" and have it be of any quality. That means you won't be seeing any (straight) paranormal romances in the young adult world from me any time...ever. Probably. More likely to write a type of dystopian, but it would still star 30-40yo lesbians. So until I do start making ~those paychecks~, my family isn't gonna care and we're still gonna argue about my "working".

So dear readers, commiserate with me. Ever butt heads over your writing life with your own family? Anything they don't "get"? I know I'm not the only one.


  1. It's so frustrating when people, especially family, don't get it. I share many experiences that you've had, from them thinking as soon as you've finished writing you can put it out there, to them thinking that because you're on a computer all day you're not working. How about they spend all day writing, editing, blogging, networking and researching, then tell me it's not a full time job.

    Keep you head up though. You're working towards a dream, so it's gotta be worth it, right? :D

    1. I often tease my stepfather we should switch jobs for a day, but not only would I never get his boat out of port, he would never even get my laptop on. (And, mutual destructions would occur anyway.) It gets through for about a day, and then we start all over again.

      Although I think with all the pacing they've seen me do these past couple of days has "opened their eyes" a bit. Ha!

  2. lol, yeah I can relate to this. But I hoped you celebrated the completion of the first draft. Family might not think it's a big deal, but truly, it is :)

    1. I celebrated by starting the next one ;)

  3. i am quite sure most of us go through this and it sucks when we cant make it through :)

  4. Congratulations on completing the first draft! It sounds awesome and I hope the editing goes smoothly.

    Funny how "trust me, I know what I'm doing because I've researched this" does not fly with family. My folks are supportive of my writing but then again I haven't lived with them for 20 years. I guess they'll just have to see, right? Bottom line, writing is a long term game, not a short term game.


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