January 4th, 2010, 09:17 AM
I think parents--if not supportive--can be the most dampening of influences. I told my mother I wanted to be a writer, back in high school, and her response was to point out how unlikely it was I would ever succeed, and how much work I'd have to do for very little money...she had me look up the pay rates for the SF/F magazines and calculate how many words I'd have to sell per month to make a living.
I basically gave up the idea of writing as a way of making a living for decades--it would be just a hobby, maybe--but as it turned out, it's the only way I've ever made significant income, though not until I was well into my 40s.
A parental "no" or any negative comments (you aren't good enough, you can't stick to things, nobody makes a living at it, etc.) really knocks a lot of people back. FWIW, though by the time my mother died I had six books published and a contract for more, my mother still asked a friend if the friend thought I'd ever make it. I'm glad I didn't know that before my mother died.
January 4th, 2010, 09:50 AM
it could be worse
Egads E_Moon - that's got to be the worst.
I too wanted to write when I was young, but got shot down by my 6th grade English teacher (her exact words: You're going to be a scientist, (hefty laugh) not a writer!). It is utterly amazing that I remember that (since I can't remember where I just set down my glasses), and that it has taken me close to 30 years to get over it and start writing again.
Auras, if it helps to tell someone, then tell 'em. If not, we know you're a writer, and I, for one, want to read whatever you got. Share something when you think it's ready.
January 7th, 2010, 12:22 PM
I'll chime in with the rest as reluctant to tell others that I write. However, my situation was a bit of a turn around from that of E_Moon's and tmso's. My mother raved about my writing when I was a kid (but I assumed all mothers did) and my high school English teacher was convinced I was destined to be the next J.D. Salinger after winning an award that put both my own and her name in a state-wide high school writing competition. I have always felt that I let both down as I subsequently put down the pen and did nothing further in the way of writing. I would now and then get the urge and begin a project, the last one I nearly even finished. In the end, it has been my own bad habits that have led me to shy away from telling others of my writing interests -especially my mother, as I know how excited she would become.
That said, I am determined to see it through this time. I have my outline, have done my research and have even reached out and made contact with some expert sources. There is only the writing to do and thats the fun part, right? Even so, I'll hold off on telling mom. At least until I get to chapter six.
Last edited by Inkstain; January 7th, 2010 at 12:34 PM.