Author Topic: Question for everybody  (Read 1406 times)  

Online Evenstar

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Re: Question for everybody
« Reply #25 on: January 03, 2018, 02:39:40 PM »
I don't know a single person who has actually read one of my books.

My husband and parents are totally disinterested as it is not their genre. My friends pretend to be interested for about five seconds then change the subject.

No one is supportive and no one cares. They all act like it is a hobby I am doing to make some pocket money until the kids are old enough for me to go back to work full-time.

But I'm not doing it for them, I'm doing it for me. As soon as that sank in then it stopped bothering me. No one was overly interested when I worked in law either, why should writers be any more interesting than dentists or anyone else? I don't go into my husbands work and ask to look at what he's doing, and he doesn't expect me to take more than a passing interest unless he has a problem with something.

That's what I have you guys for...

Mind you, my five year old tells any one who will listen "My mummy is a famous author," which is almost worse   ::)



Offline Michael Eli Vineberg

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Re: Question for everybody
« Reply #26 on: January 03, 2018, 02:43:12 PM »
It's so nice to read all of these replies, even the sad ones. A relief really. I relate to so many of your experiences, good and bad. Thank you for sharing. It's so touching, isn't it, when someone close to you makes the effort and tries their best to be supportive? My dad read my first book and said that although it was definitely not his type of book, he thought it was great. It meant a lot to me. I'm waiting on his words about my first novel (he is just starting it now).

I think it's tough to explain why we do this, why it is so important to us, and why we work so hard at it. I'm glad to have found this internet niche with so many other authors doing their thing.     
« Last Edit: January 03, 2018, 02:50:17 PM by Michael Eli Vineberg »

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Offline geronl

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Re: Question for everybody
« Reply #27 on: January 03, 2018, 02:51:42 PM »
Complete indifference

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Re: Question for everybody
« Reply #28 on: January 03, 2018, 02:59:37 PM »
My family is supportive, but none of them read my stuff. My two sisters who are big readers mostly go for free stuff (Wattpad), and YA. I don't write YA. Or put anything on Wattpad -- though I did offer to give them anything they wanted, they didn't have to buy it. My sons think it's great that I write, and want me to be happy and sell lots of books.
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Online Talia Vines

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Re: Question for everybody
« Reply #29 on: January 03, 2018, 03:18:56 PM »
It's insightful to read all these responses!

In general, my family and friends have been supportive, but I think any kind of change makes people nervous.  It also seems their responses are really more about themselves in that moment, rather than much about me. 

For example, anything I write that has a mother in it?  My mom's fretting over how everyone who reads the story will assume it's based on her.  :D I think for some people, it must be a little nerve-wracking to hear someone close to you is going to write, even if you are completely supportive of their artistic endeavors. 


Offline Pacman

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Re: Question for everybody
« Reply #30 on: January 03, 2018, 04:30:33 PM »
A truly fascinating thread Michael, this really lifts the lid on the 'secret life of authors'  :)

This sums it up: I dedicated one of my recent novels to my wife, "To my dear wife, see I told you I could write."

Friends are stoked, kids 'ho-hum' but supportive, my daughter is my biggest critic, 'you're a dreamer, dad', the extended family are interested/curious because it's a bit of a novelty and I'm the black sheep of the family who does weird stuff. The wife, well... she does my proof-reading so knows exactly what I write but she's just not interested in writing, full stop.

Now that I've retired it's a case of 'give it a few months, and if it's not paying the bills, get a job at the local supermarket.'

Fortunately, now that I am writing full time it all looks very positive for the future, and I don't expect to be packing shelves later this year.


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Offline CoraBuhlert

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Re: Question for everybody
« Reply #31 on: January 03, 2018, 05:05:06 PM »
My Mom is pretty supportive, though she doesn't read my books, largely due to the language barrier. My Dad is less supportive and mainly views my writing as a hobby, though he became more interested in my writing, once he realised that I was making money with it. Though he keeps pointing out job ads to me and still tries to push me into employment, since my day job is as a self-employed translator and my Dad is of the generation where self-employment is viewed as risky and leading to poverty in old age.

I have no partner or children. Of my extended family, one of my cousins subscribes to my newsletter and even self-published two books of his own, a history of the liberal party in Bremen (more of a niche subject) and a books of short stories about amusing incidents in trains.

I don't usually talk about my writing with friends and acquaintances (or my extended family). Early on I told some of my artsy pals from university with whom I'd worked on the staff of the university literary magazine, since I thought they'd be thrilled, being aspiring writers themselves. However, self-publishing isn't real writing in their eyes, plus it's - gasp - genre fiction. Even though I've made more money with my writing by now than any of them with the possible exception of the one who wrote a bestselling non-fiction book under a pen name a few years ago (and even there, I don't know what her advance and royalties are like). By now, I even surpassed the woman who won a prestigious poetry prize with a lot of money attached a while back.   

Online MaryMcDonald

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Re: Question for everybody
« Reply #32 on: January 03, 2018, 05:18:53 PM »
What do your family and closest friends think about your career/profession as a writer? Do they like your work? Are they supportive? I'm not asking whether or not you care (about their opinions), as much as trying to get a feel for what it looks like for other authors.

My husband does not read books, but he is very supportive. He is more apt to tell people about my books than I am. My daughter has gone to book events and is getting good at talking up my books. She's also a budding writer. My sons are also supportive in various ways.

My dad reads all of my books and hounds me for more. :) My mom asks how they are doing, but has never read one. I have six siblings now, and two are very supportive, three show moderate interest, and one has never mentioned my books at all in seven years. I have no idea if she read any of them.

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Re: Question for everybody
« Reply #33 on: January 03, 2018, 05:51:52 PM »
What do your family and closest friends think about your career/profession as a writer? Do they like your work? Are they supportive? I'm not asking whether or not you care (about their opinions), as much as trying to get a feel for what it looks like for other authors.

My wife and daughter are both writers, so we support one another. As for the rest of my family and friends, I've never discussed my writing career with them.

Offline RightHoJeeves

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Re: Question for everybody
« Reply #34 on: January 03, 2018, 06:10:29 PM »
I tend to bully myself about things, so I'm lucky that my partner is so supportive. Recently I thought about just throwing in the towel on the whole thing, and my partner said "Yeah, and then look back in ten years and regret you didn't give 100%?"

She had a good point.

Everyone else I know ranges from "huh, that's neat!" to actively asking me about them. So I'm lucky to be surrounded by supportive people. A lot of my family has always thought of me as the "arty" one, so I guess it fits for them.

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Offline Seneca42

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Re: Question for everybody
« Reply #35 on: January 03, 2018, 09:19:02 PM »
Generally act like they don't care but then now and then I hear about them telling their friends about my books, which suggests they do care. They started doing that more once I started getting good reviews hehe. My mom now tells everyone once one of her friends read my book and said it was better than the latest Grisham novel. So that seems to have been the green light to tell everyone about my work. 

I sort of look at it like if a friend or family member told me "I'm training to climb mount everest." I'd be like "okay, that's great. Good luck with that." (and then would try not to roll my eyes). I'd be supportive, but not overly enthusiastic about it (cuz i'd assume it would come to nothing).

Ultimately, it's not that people are supportive or not supportive, it's that something like writing a book is alien to them. They don't know how it's done, any authors they do know about are generally famous people so the idea that a commoner could do what "so and so" does is difficult for their brains to process, and they are probably slightly concerned with how failure will impact you.

But if you do this seriously you really don't need support (there's no time for it). By that I mean you don't need an ego boost to motivate you. You'll get that from actual readers.

And just like mount everest, if you succeed people's reactions will be "HOLY S-BALLS! I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU ACTUALLY ACHIEVED THAT."


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Re: Question for everybody
« Reply #36 on: January 03, 2018, 11:47:29 PM »
I only usually tell friends who also write. Unfortunately a few relatives have discovered my books by accident (I still regret using my real name) and I am very appreciative that they loved them.

I certainly would never have told anyone until I was actually having some success and were it not for independent publishing, if we still had to submit to publishers, I would most definitely tell no one. People think it's like on the tv when some uneducated nobody writes the story of their life and within three weeks they hit the bestselling lists.

No, this isn't something to be shared.


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Re: Question for everybody
« Reply #37 on: January 04, 2018, 12:26:17 AM »
I actually wrote my first mystery because I was staying with my mother after she'd had a stroke and I was climbing the walls with boredom. Eventually the dementia took hold, and when I brought her a paperback copy of one of my books, I could see her reading my name on the cover and looking at me and trying to make the connection.
My husband has moved from saying, 'You sure spend a lot of time on the computer' to 'How many books did you sell today?', which I see as progress. In fairness, it's not his genre, and I'm sure he hasn't read a word of any of them. Neither have my two sons (30 and 28), who I think see it as Mum's little hobby. Friends and cousins have been much more supportive.


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Online C. Gold

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Re: Question for everybody
« Reply #38 on: January 04, 2018, 12:32:01 AM »
My husband helped critique my book. My best RL friend made me add a chapter when he felt I was skipping time (I was, lol!). My mom loved my book. She read it even though she reads stuff like Jack Reacher or literary fiction. My stepdad is the silent supportive type. All my gamer friends think it's neat I wrote a book and many have bought it. A few even want me to add their WoW characters in a LitRPG book. I might take them up on that (and then they will regret mentioning it when I do terrible things to them! Haha!) I'm grateful to have such support from everyone I've mentioned it to.

However, nothing beats having a forum like this where you can talk shop with other authors and feel the general support of the author community.

Online Doglover

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Re: Question for everybody
« Reply #39 on: January 04, 2018, 12:32:44 AM »

My husband has moved from saying, 'You sure spend a lot of time on the computer' to 'How many books did you sell today?', which I see as progress.
Cynthia, if my husband was still here, he would be saying that every time he came home, before he'd even got a foot in the door. I can almost hear it: 'how many books have you sold today?' He did that when I had a shop, every bloody day, 'what've the takings been like?' It drove me up the wall.

If he were here now, I would probably not be writing at all because of it. If there is one thing that drives me nuts it's being asked the same question every time I see someone.

I do know that if my mum were still here, she would love my books. They are just up her street! Handsome hero, happy ending.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 12:35:02 AM by Doglover »


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Online Jena H

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Re: Question for everybody
« Reply #40 on: January 04, 2018, 05:25:27 AM »
Cynthia, if my husband was still here, he would be saying that every time he came home, before he'd even got a foot in the door. I can almost hear it: 'how many books have you sold today?' He did that when I had a shop, every bloody day, 'what've the takings been like?' It drove me up the wall.

If he were here now, I would probably not be writing at all because of it. If there is one thing that drives me nuts it's being asked the same question every time I see someone.

I do know that if my mum were still here, she would love my books. They are just up her street! Handsome hero, happy ending.

Not to derail this thread, but I had to smile at "They are just up her street."   8)   Here in the States we're more apt to say "right up her alley."     (Also the "takings" comment is very British too.  I'm more used to hearing "sales.")
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Offline Ashly Kim

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Re: Question for everybody
« Reply #41 on: January 04, 2018, 05:44:09 AM »
My husband is the best and one of the most supportive of my (at this point) hobby.  He'll always let me bounce ideas off him, and he cares about every little page read I randomly get.  My close friend, Hillary, is also super enthusiastic about anything I write.  She ridiculously purchased three copies of Wayward Daughters and I love her. 

My parents are another story.  I've never been particularly close to my mom and a thousand years ago, when I was nineteen and much more nave, I was thrilled when a vanity publisher accepted my manuscript.  When I told her about it, her response was, "did you load the dishwasher?"  I don't think I ever recovered from her indifference and now that I'm writing again, we just don't talk about it.  She's never read anything that I've written.  It stings, but like I said, we've never had that mother/daughter thing.  My dad actually bought and read my poetry collection, and even though he said, "meh, I think it's more for women," I'll take it! 

My sister-in-law is waiting for me to finish "the next Harry Potter" and is eager for my writing to become more than a hobby. 

And then there's my four year old daughter.  "You're writing another book?  You already wrote a book!  Why do you have to write so many books?!"
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Offline Saboth

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Re: Question for everybody
« Reply #42 on: January 04, 2018, 07:31:00 AM »
What do your family and closest friends think about your career/profession as a writer? Do they like your work? Are they supportive? I'm not asking whether or not you care (about their opinions), as much as trying to get a feel for what it looks like for other authors.

No one in my family knows (except my wife), and only about 4-5 friends know. Only one friend has read my books, and he says he enjoyed them. No one else can be bothered to read them (too busy, you see). My wife was very negative at the start, after she read a few chapters of my first book, and her comments caused me to put off finishing the book for a few years. She was also very negative about a short story I wrote.

Now my wife seems somewhat supportive after I've published a few books, but she still doesn't like when I spend money on covers, editors, promotion.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 07:38:11 AM by Saboth »

Offline SuzyQ

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Re: Question for everybody
« Reply #43 on: January 04, 2018, 10:47:20 AM »
Support from my husband and mother, most other people just think Im playing around. I pay them no mind.

Offline katrina46

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Re: Question for everybody
« Reply #44 on: January 04, 2018, 11:31:24 AM »
They were always supportive. I've written since I was a kid. But I have an entrepreneur spirit. I recently bought a vending machine route and I'm getting ready to buy my first house to flip. Got approved for the loan yesterday. I used my royalties as start up for the vending machines and the down payment on the house, so no one was surprised I decided to try making a go of writing when the kindle got big.