IWSG: Finding Support as a Writer.

Recently I read a blog post from Anne R Allen about how well-intended loved ones can sabotage our writing careers. It clearly struck a chord with a lot of people for there were many comments and some sad stories were being told. Relaying my own personal experience made me realise that I was not alone.

When I told my mother, I wanted to write when I left school, she laughed at me and spoke with condescension. Since that day, despite the family knowing that I write and have had some success at it, they never ask me about it. It was the same when I was doing my University studies. For almost eight years, I studied part-time while raising a young family, and when I finished there was no word of congratulations; I was told that maybe now I could get myself a job. They would not be able to tell you what I studied, what my degree is in, nor how well I did, nor could they tell you what kind of writing I do.

This is why last year I began to set some boundaries and remove that level of negativity in my life. By doing so, it has been very liberating. It has made me much happier and allowed me to focus more on what’s important, such as writing.

Finding a great writing community (which for me is mainly on-line), such as the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, Romance Writers of Australia, along with various other individuals I’ve met over the years, has been a Godsend when it comes to helping me move forward towards my writing goals. If it wasn’t for these people and for having such a supportive husband, I would not be thinking of self-publishing. Instead, I would continue to write, but my life-long dream of publication would be forever lost.

I’m getting ever closer to hitting that ‘send’ button for my short stories before the end of the year. It will be a happy and very nervous time, but I will not be sharing that experience with my family; they’re not interested. I will, however, be spending that time with my husband, children and the on-line writing community; those people who love and understand what I do and why I do it.

This post is not meant to be a Debbie downer (I hate that use of my name), but to demonstrate that we are not alone in our creative endeavours. 🙂

Have loved ones sabotaged your writing? What have you done to remove negativity in your life? Have you managed to find your ‘tribe’?

The purpose of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds.

Main image courtesy of Pixabay

17 thoughts on “IWSG: Finding Support as a Writer.

  1. I can SO relate to your story. I think that’s why I didn’t have the courage to start writing until I was older.

    1. Debbie Johansson 02/10/2019 — 2:34 am

      Looking back, I should never have mentioned writing to my family and just kept it to myself. I think you were wise to do that Priscilla! It all depends on our family environment, I guess. On the positive side, I continued to write, so at least I knew that being a writer was what I was meant to be. 🙂

  2. Carole Anne Carr MA 02/10/2019 — 10:24 am

    How very sad to read this, and good that you were able to move beyond this negativism 🌹

    1. Debbie Johansson 03/10/2019 — 2:55 am

      Thanks Carole Anne! It took me a long time, but I feel better for having done so. 🙂

  3. I’m so sorry to hear you experienced this, Debbie. I don’t understand why people are so often cruel to those they love.

    I’m glad you kept going in spite of their negative influence. I used to have friends like that who were spiteful and threw up roadblocks, but thankfully, I realized that they were never friends at all.

    1. Debbie Johansson 03/10/2019 — 3:09 am

      Thanks, JH! I don’t understand it either, but I think there are some people who just aren’t happy unless others are unhappy. It makes them feel superior, I guess. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  4. I’m sorry you had to go through this, but so glad you have found support now. It’s amazing how this community can lift us all up even though most will never meet in person.

    1. Debbie Johansson 03/10/2019 — 3:15 am

      Thanks, Julie! The writing community has been great; they’re very supportive and helpful. Even though I may never meet most of these people, I still like to think of them as friends. 🙂

  5. I’m sorry to hear your family hasn’t been supportive. I’ve definitely had my fair share of naysayers as well. I think you’re doing the right thing in not sharing that world with them. Who needs them raining on your parade! Celebrate with the people who care and are interested in your accomplishments. I don’t share my writing with a lot of my personal friends or family anymore. I find I get much more honest feedback from others.

    1. Debbie Johansson 03/10/2019 — 3:29 am

      Thanks, Brigitte! My husband is my sounding board as well as being a beta reader and my proofreader. Every other beta reader is a writer. I find this works for me and is a good balance. Thanks for stopping by – it’s good to meet you! 🙂

  6. Why is it that it’s often the people who you would think would be the most supportive, encouraging, excited for you, etc just aren’t? Well, like it said in the post on Anne Allen’s blog, there are lots of reasons. 🙁

    But yeh for supportive husbands! I have one of those, too, and I don’t know what I would do without him. 🙂

    1. Debbie Johansson 03/10/2019 — 3:35 am

      Thanks, Madeline! Anne’s post certainly struck a chord and it was sad to read the comments. Some people can be so heartless and cruel. I’m glad you also have a supportive husband – we’re lucky to have them! 🙂

  7. Funny how the internet can be such a safe place and your family is not. Usually it’s the other way around. A writer’s life is wacky, isn’t it?

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    1. Debbie Johansson 03/10/2019 — 3:43 am

      Thanks, Anna! You raise an interesting point. It certainly does sound weird when you put it like that! 😉

  8. Hi, Debbie! At times, I have felt let down by the lack of support for my writing from family and friends, especially after I received wonderful support from readers I’d never met. Then I spoke to other authors and discovered how universal this phenomenon is, and I felt better about it. Many of my friends and family don’t read much, and when they do, it’s not the genres I write. So it may be unreasonable for me to expect them to read and enjoy my work. Plus, we’re all so busy and self-absorbed that I don’t want to take their lack of interest or support personally–they may feel the same way about my lack of support in their lives.

    However, it sounds like your family lack of support may be on a deeper level than what I’m describing. That sucks that your writing and college degree (way to go!) have been ignored. I hope you have some sources of support elsewhere with family and friends.

    1. Debbie Johansson 03/10/2019 — 3:52 am

      Thanks, Jennifer! Reading Anne’s post was an eye-opener to see how wide-spread it was. It made me feel better knowing I wasn’t alone. I don’t know where I’d be without a supportive husband and being part of a great writing community. 🙂

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