Wednesday, December 7, 2016

IWSG #7: Family and Friends


It's that time again for sharing with the Insecure Writer's Support Group.
What is that you may ask, well their mission statement is this:

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group is a home for writers in all stages; from unpublished to bestsellers. Our goal is to offer assistance and guidance. We want to help writers overcome their insecurities, and by offering encouragement we are creating a community of support.

The first Wednesday of each month, we blog about our fears, insecurities, or even an accomplishment we had.

Hard to believe this is the last month of the year. As far as my writing goes, I thought 2016 was going to be the same as last year and the year before that, getting nothing done. Since joining this group, I did manage to pick up my WIP again and got more work on it in the last few months than I had in the last two years combined. Thank you to everyone in the group for the support and encouragement. 

For this month's post I'm going to talk about something that came up over Thanksgiving. My older sister knew of my writing and that I did it, but she had no idea that I'd actually published a book. My younger sister knew, but outside of my immediate household, I think she was the only one of my siblings that did. It's not something I've talked about with family and friends for whatever reason. I don't make posts on my personal Facebook account in relation to my writing. I didn't send out links asking any of my family and friends to like my author page. Somehow my writing has turned into some 'dirty little secret' that I don't talk about. 

As I thought about that, I tried to figure out why. Depending on the family you come from, family members can sometimes be more brutal and judgmental than strangers that read and review your work. Not saying that my family is like that, but something has kept me from talking about it, from promoting myself to those closest to me. Not that I expect them to buy my book just because, but I don't even get their support and encouragement since I don't tell them. It's weird that a huge part of who I am I don't share. What am I worried about that keeps me so secretive about it? Is it because of the type of book? Possibly, do I really want my parents and in-laws to know I write sex scenes? I'm an adult, with kids, that shouldn't be a factor. I remember when I was finishing up Fiendish, my daughter asked, "You're going to use a pen name right?". She knew the type of book I was writing and her question although innocent, did sort of set the tone. She didn't want it easily connected that her mom wrote 'those books'. I was planning on using a pen name anyway because my real name is not all that easy to pronounce, but her reason for asking was very different. Since then I've sorta kept 'real life' and 'author life' separate, but now I'm thinking maybe I shouldn't.

I've dealt with the self-doubt that comes with this journey. I still deal with it on a daily basis when my characters aren't cooperating and I start to think I'm doing something wrong. However I should be able to take pride in my work and not hide it away. Writing is not easy (at least not for me), it's a daily struggle to get the words right and push through, but I'm learning to do it. It's important to me and something I want to keep doing so I need to not hide it.

How about you guys, do your friends and family all know what you do?

Question of the month: In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now, and what’s your plan to get there?

**Well considering it's taken me nearly 3 years to complete my second book (didn't work on it for nearly a year and a half) I'd say in five years I'll be hopefully finishing up my third book, maybe fourth book if I'm lucky. I'm a slow writer because I nit pick a lot even in the first draft. I would love to have an increased social media presence and that's something I'm working on now. I'm trying out different platforms to see which one works best for me and my lifestyle. The biggest thing though is that in five years I want to still be writing. 

Thanks for stopping by
~Meka

16 comments:

  1. Hey Meka. I know how you feel/felt. I didn't prop my work much to anyone other than my mom. Of course my wife knew, but even for a while my kids didn't know. Then I wrote an essay concerning an event with my oldest daughter that got accept by Chicken Soup books, so the cat had to come out of the bag. Now I own it (my writing and author/poet title) and don't hesitate to tell people. It's what we do, it's who we are, and there's no going back. Keep after those WIP's. Only you can write what you have to say.

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    1. I don't know why I never tell the family and friends. I should own it more, but I keep it to myself. Glad to hear it was well received when you told your family about your writing. :)

      thanks for stopping by

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  2. Ugh, families. I've found the family I've made for myself is always more supportive than the one I was born into. Not sure why that's often the case--perhaps our families feel they have to be concerned for us and the ones who "tell it to us straight," whether or not that's encouraging or helpful? I hope your sister was supportive when she found out.

    And, if your characters aren't cooperating, that's actually a great sign! That means you're creating real people, people who have thoughts and motivations of their own. See where they want to take you--that's part of the fun!

    Wishing you the best of luck with your goals!

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    1. That could be it. They feel like they need to give you all the possible negatives so we're 'prepared' or something. My younger sister knew so it was my older sister that just found out and yes she was supportive. My family aren't big readers, but she did say she would get a copy of the book.

      Oh is that what it means? I just thought they were out to make life as hard as possible on me. LOL They take control more times than not and I'm left hoping that it all works out in the end.

      thanks for stopping by

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  3. Hi Meka, nice to meet you.

    I kind of get what your saying. I don't promote myself to friends and family much either, but maybe for different reasons. My family tend to be very competitive. Since they knew I started writing, two of them have started works of their own,. I applaud their endeavour and hope for their success, but feel as though they are competing with me and so, I've become more reclusive about my work. I know, I know, this is my persona quirk and not really their problem. Having said all that, I do understand not promoting yourself with those closest too you, although maybe for very different reasons.

    I suppose I'm also a little too sensitive and who can hurt you more than those you are closest to.

    Good to hear that you plan to keep writing no matter what, and that time thing, I don't think it really matters much, as long as you are happy with the outcome.

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    1. Hello, nice to meet you too.

      Oh wow. Sorry to hear your family takes everything as some sort of competition. I can understand in that situation you not wanting to share your work since they aren't sounding like they want to support you. :( I don't see my family being that way, but most times I feel like they won't get it and will wonder why I won't get a 'real' job or something. It could all be in my head, but something holds me back.

      Yeah. I do like writing (most of the time) and creating things is a very fulfilling experience. It's stressful and gives me a headache some days, but in the end I like being able to sit back and say yeah, I did that.

      thanks for stopping by

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  4. I'm glad you found this group. It helped me stand tall and be proud to be a writer. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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    1. Yeah I am too. I'm starting to feel more confident (at times) but that's a WIP as well.

      thanks for stopping by

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  5. I don't talk about my writing with most of my family. It's not that they wouldn't be supportive but I just don't want to talk about it with them.

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    1. LOL well that makes sense. I would prefer to talk about it to others going through the same struggle, I just feel like they'd get me a little more. Not always, but that's the hope. One day I might tell the rest of the family.

      thanks for stopping by

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  6. My family and friends do know I'm a writer, and I post actively about it, but I've talked about it for a long time. I think everyone just kind of assumed I'd get there some day, so it didn't come as a surprise. Kind of a whimper instead of a bang, I guess?

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    1. That's cool. It's good that they know and expected it from you. It's still a bang when that first book went out I'm sure. :)

      thanks for stopping by

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  7. I have an extremely small family and they all know and are supportive of my writing for which I feel very fortunate. But I can definitely see that for some people it works better to keep family and writing parts of your life separate.

    I should probably think more about my social media presence too. I see that you have a FB page (which I've liked), which is the only social media thing I really use just now.

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    1. That's great! The family that I talk to on a regular basis is fairly small. Sometimes I feel like I'm leading a double life with keeping 'real' life and author life separate.

      Thanks for liking my FB page. I'm realizing that it's not very effective if I don't pay to promote so I'm looking for other avenues. I just want one platform that really lets me connect with my readers. I just haven't found it yet.

      thanks for stopping by

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  8. Everyone pretty much knows. But when I wrote romance, I was still married to my first husband and his family was VERY conservative. So I wrote under my maiden name. (An option for you if you go by your married name in your day-to-day life?)

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    1. Meka James is a pen name. My hubby and kids helped me pick out what I would use. My real last name isn't all that easy to pronounce. Hopefully it will become a known thing in my family that I write. Maybe a goal for 2017

      thanks for stopping by

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