Is Your Family Supportive of Your Writing Career?

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I was online recently when I ran across an interesting discussion. An author posted about his family not being supportive of his writing career, and other authors chimed in saying the same thing. I have to tell you: I was shocked.

My family has been so supportive of my writing. In fact, I was in my hometown last week and several of my relatives told me how much they enjoyed my book (one of my cousins said to me, “Boy! That Mrs. Collins is somethin’ else!”). My husband is convinced that when I hit the best sellers list we’ll be able to travel the world and my mom tells everyone she knows that her daughter is a bonafide published author. Their support really gives me the motivation to push forward.

Am I just incredibly lucky? What about others? What does your family think about your writing? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


47 thoughts on “Is Your Family Supportive of Your Writing Career?

  1. I am so happy for you that you have the support of your family. My mom and dad are both very supportive, and so are my brothers and my sister-in-law. My husband’s family is also supportive. I feel lucky that they are so excited that my book will be out this year. My mom tells everyone she meets. I know this isn’t the case for everyone. A close author friend only has one supportive relative. One of her own parents doesn’t even think it is a big deal that she is a published author and doesn’t want to know anything about it. I think that is sad.
    Stephanie@Fairday’s Blog recently posted..Author/ Illustrator Interview with Anna DewdneyMy Profile

  2. Tough question, really. My sisters were supportive (my eldest sister is still very supportive) while my parents were mostly worried that I wasn’t earning a solid income and thought I was impractical about my future. There were times when I tried to tell them about my work (or my course instructor’s remarks on a story) and they didn’t know how to respond so they didn’t say anything. Then funnily enough, we hit the second stage where they kept asking me how my books were coming along and how they were selling. I was so stressed out I asked them not to ask about my work anymore, and that I’d tell them if I had good news. So here we are now: they don’t ask, and I don’t tell. Lol, I know it sounds bad, but it’s really not. At least I don’t have that constant burden of having to convince them of what I’m doing. And to be fair, some of my family did encourage me and helped me out big time when I did a cart sale while the others gave me space to breathe and have been VERY understanding when it comes to my lean $ contributions to the family.

    I used to get carried away and all upset when I begrudged them for not supporting me enough. Honestly, I was harsh on them because I expected too much. I’m the first in the family to break out of the ‘working a proper job’ mold and was very insecure (hence, also defensive and easily wounded). They needed time to learn to be comfortable with my choice and to give me the space I needed as well.
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  3. Thankfully, my family is very supportive. My husband believes in my writing, and my extended family is always excited when I announce that I have a book coming out. I feel sad for writers who don’t have that support in their lives. Luckily, we writers can support each other.

  4. My parents support me a lot and ask how my writing’s getting on (well, my mum more than my dad, but she’s always been a bookish person). My wife does support it – she’s written a book herself – but I think she gets a bit frustrated I’ve spent so much time on something that hasn’t brought any money in yet! I keep saying she should come back to writing and we could really share this, but she says she’s done it and doesn’t feel a need to do it again. Which I can’t really understand, but oh well! It must be terrible to live with open hostility from family members. At least there are no shortage of supportive writers out in the blogosphere.
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  5. My family is supportive, and I’m thankful for that – most of them don’t know much about writing or publishing, but they’ve never encouraged me to try something different or give up my dream. Granted, none of them read the kind of stuff I write, so I doubt many of them will read my books whenever they happen, but that’s a hell of a lot better than having family trying to discourage me. Oi.

    I admit, though, I had to ask my aunt to stop telling me she’s my biggest fan when I know she’s never read anything I’ve written. >_< I knew she meant well, but it always came off as fake.
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  6. I’m lucky, too – my family is supportive, as is my partner. My parents are both art lovers and supporters, and although they worried (and worry) about career stability and income – fair enough, right? – they have always been supportive. It’s truly awful that many families aren’t like that.
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  7. First off you’all have to understand I’m a Storyteller. It is my passion. It has been since I was 10 years old, and I’m sixty now. To me writing is an adjunct to storytelling. Consider me as a short story teller and songwriter if you want. That all feeds my passion.
    Secondly. I am a disabled person. Have been all my life. I had polio as an infant and discovered when I was 52 I was BPD; as are four out of six of us in my family. Nobody knew this til I was about 50 or so. Talk about Dysfunctional Families! Well mine is and is in general very non-supportive. It is not material support I’m talking about. It is emotional support that is lacking.
    I was mainstreamed as a child and put out in the world to sink or swim on the basis of what I could accomplish. Well with my own nature and the help of my friends I have accomplished a lot. I am a classic over-achiever. But no thanks to my family. When we are together I am belittled, blamed and in general have little or No Credibility. I started posting on the internet using my Nom de Net IamNoMan. When arguments start I make reference to some blog by the IamNoMan guy and AlaKazaam instant credibility! LOL.
    I will not belabor the point further. If you cannot get the support of your family reach out to groups like this and make them your extended family. They will provide some of the support you need.
    A post script. I have recently entered the 21st Century, started to learn the Ukulele, obtained a webcam and started producing content on YouTube. This endeavor is two months old. I am undertaking a one year project to chronicle my experience. If you are interested in this experiment google on Tommy Coughlin Youtube. This channel has a IamNoman Playlist you might find interesting. My family enterprise Channel is Coughlins Homespun Yarns, (fiber to folktales). The content there is much more engaging. Subscribe to either if you care to. I need to build up my family support from my extended internet family.

  8. Great question, Quanie!

    My family has always supported my writing career, even as a child! They always knew I would be an author because I would beg my mom for books and journals. If I wasn’t reading a book, I was writing my own stories in journals.

    And now that I’ve self published my first children’s book and have more to come, they look forward to my future in publishing. My mom, to this day, reminds me about the house I promised her on the beach. Once I get a few bestsellers and some bigger contracts, someday, maybe!
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  9. I can’t imagine that, for sure! My family has always been supportive of it. Perhaps some people use “writer” as an excuse to camp out on their parents’ couch well into their 30s instead of getting a job? I could see THAT as being a problem, but as long as someone takes care of his/her responsibilities, I can’t imagine it being a problem unless people are just jealous! (That’s a big possibility.)

  10. Hi Quanie, I’ve met you over at Chrys Fey’s blog 🙂 Well, my family isn’t supportive. Not one of them bought my book. In all fairness though, they didn’t like the subject. It’s a self help book for women going through divorce. I think the kind of writing one does will influence whether a family is supportive or not. I had a cousin going through divorce and wanting my help. I gave her my completed, edited manuscript. Once I published she never bought my book. She didn’t even like the face book page even though I invited her to. Seems bizarre to me but indicative of my whole family.
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  11. I’ve talked about this on my blog before. My mom is very supportive of my writing because she writes too, but I don’t feel support coming from anyone else in my family. They’ve never bought my books, barely congratulate me when a new one comes out, and never ask about my writing. It’s sad, but it’s common.
    Chrys Fey recently posted..Writing About: WinterMy Profile

  12. I’m blessed because most of my family is very supportive. I know that some of them purchased my first book (an anthology collection) simply because they wanted me to know that they were proud of me. Fortunately I come from a family of heavy readers, so that’s a plus. The ones that hate reading (because that’s how we do in my family, you either love it or hate it) still bought the book, but probably didn’t read it. I’ll have to see how it plays out as I continue to publish multiple books…but either way I so appreciate their support for that initial publication. It really boosted my confidence!
    Faith Simone recently posted..Confessions of Faith: Filtering This LifeMy Profile

  13. It took my family awhile. Mind you, I’ve been writing on and off for over 30 years and they considered it my hobby. Now that I have time and have written two books that are published, they are beginning to see I mean business. My husband is totally supportive. As an musician who plays his guitar everyday because it gives him pleasure, he understands that writing in my thing. My kids wax and wane but they all bought my first book. My peripheral family is great. Many of them don’t understand the desire to write – but they read my books and cheer me on. My ex’s family is surprisingly supportive. His sister is one of my Beta Readers. (He’s deceased so I don’t know what he’d think of it all.) My friends are amazing – but most of them are also writers! I’m quite fortunate with my support system.

  14. Can’t say my family and friends are supportive. They seldom ask anything about my writing, so normally I don’t talk about it with them. When I was younger, my father openly discouraged me, because there isn’t a future in writing. I worte on anyway and now he sometimes jokes about me becoming rich and famouse. Well, better then before 🙂

    The support I get is mostly from fellow writers and nearly all of them I only know online. Though I was lucky enough to meet some of them in person.

    It feels a bit lonely. There are things I’d like to share with people around me, especially with family, you know. But it’s ok, as long as I can still write 🙂
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  15. My husband and kids are the reason I write. They talked me into it and now I can’t stop. They contribute in some way to everything I write. I have 4 girls and each of them play a role in my books. They think it’s just a small role, like giving ideas for different parts of the story, but each of them make a big impact on each story I write. I use their attitudes and smiles. I use their strength and fears and I use their love for what I do to fuel my story. My love stories are always based on how my husband and I love each other. I use the way he makes me feel, the way he treats me, and the protection I feel when he’s around. I even use his bad side–well I embellish it a lot, but you get the picture. If any of you have read my book, you know what I am talking about. Although each male character is different in every way, they are all him in some way. I live within many worlds, this one, which is our reality and the many I make up in my books, but within each one, my entire world is my husband and kids. Strange I know.

  16. My family (and I mean my hubby, children, in-laws) supports me. Although when my husband first broached about finding a better paying job and I mentioned becoming an author, he was skeptical. He was hoping for a job that is a bit more practical. But still he gives me my space and doesn’t bother me during my writing time. And he’s also just waiting for the big check and movie adaptation deal. But when I first brought up my writing aspirations back in HS to my immediate family their first reaction was to flip and ask if I was going to write something bad. And once when choosing electives (english and music) on a college application they got confused and thought I wanted to be a songwriter. They practically staged an intervention.
    lidy recently posted..Inspiring Authors and Poets…And BloggersMy Profile

      • Quanie, I’m still in shock that it even happened. They wouldn’t even let get in a word to explain. All I kept hearing was how I’ll be wasting my mom’s money, when she can’t even afford to send me to college, just to write music. Reflecting on it, because of what happened back then and their views on a writing career (as there’s no money/future in it), maybe that’s why I haven’t opened up and told them I’m writing now. My cousins are in the know , probably, because they follow me on social media. And it might also be the reason why I’ve made a lot of writing goals I want to accomplish in 2015, so that I can go back to them and say “See.”
        lidy recently posted..Inspiring Authors and Poets…And BloggersMy Profile

  17. No one in my family says anything bad about my interest in writing, but they don’t say much about it period. My wife is just waiting for a check to come in so I can call it a career, but she doesn’t discourage me in any way.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
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  18. Ack! I feel as though I just landed on Fly-paper! What a sticky subject, for me anyway. You are all entirely justified feeling blessed with supporters; it adds so much to how and what–or if, you write. Truthfully, I do have a few distant relatives who acknowledge that I’m a writer. To those closest to me I might just as well be panhandling, sigh. But there’s just no accounting for good taste, right? So I just pull up my big-girl pants, throw on a tiara for my soul and write anyway! Works for me and I recommend it.
    Yet another engaging post, Quanie!

  19. No. My family is not supportive of my writing. The biggest bunch of small minded haters you ever did see. (I speak of immediate family too.) Luckily I have one aunt-in-law who shows support and a myriad of fellow authors to keep me going. I’m not sure if it could possibly be a generational or cultural thing but from the non-supporters I’ve frequently been told to get my head out of the clouds and come back to real life.

  20. My family is supportive. Perhaps it’s because my hubs is a musician. He understands the creative nature. Perhaps because my family has watched me work through healing. Perhaps it’s because my husband and sons have seen others hurting and they know I have a story of hope. Perhaps they just know not supporting me is not an option. I’m thankful, as it sounds you are. I wish all writers were as fortunate as we.
    Trish recently posted..I don’t try to forget. I simply remember no more.My Profile

  21. this makes me happy they’re so supportive!! I’m lucky too, my parents and brother are INSANELY supportive and proud. They tell everyone I’m an author, and believe I’m going to be able to make a living being a career author. My grandparents??? Not so much. they think I’m wasting my life and are extremely vocal about me being a huge disappointment, wasting my youth on a pipe dream. Oh well! Rather have the support of my immediate family anyway!

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