R-E-S-P-E-C-T and How to Get It
Writing is hard. Putting your heart and soul on a page and then sending it out into the world is hard. Taking criticism from strangers is hard. Marketing yourself is hard. When you do something this hard, you deserve a little respect. But what’s a writer to do when the people around him/her don’t support that decision? How do you overcome indifference? What happens when they don’t stop at indifference and actively oppose your choice?
I’m an obsessive list maker (OLM syndrome)
So I made of list of writing support it would be nice to have.
- Support in word. They tell you how proud they are of you and they tell everyone they know about your adventures and accomplishments.
- Support in deed. They protect your writing time and take care of delivery men (except the cute one), cat vomit, and other household debacles. They come with you to signings and events to tote stuff or just to be with you and they are content to let you go about the business of schmoozing. They promote on their own social media and they are always on the lookout for an opportunity for you.
They read your blog posts and leave comments and likes.
- Support in heart and soul. They read your books and have opinions about them. They are honest and open with their opinions and don’t just humor you by saying your writing is great when it isn’t. They celebrate with you and they comfort you when bad things happen. They are truly proud of you and show it. THEY LEAVE YOU ALONE TO WRITE—yes, they don’t so much as turn their eyes in the direction of your writing cave nor utter your name whilst you are writing because they understand even a friendly “how’s it going” can knock you out of the world you’re trying to describe.
Many family members and friends are supportive
—at least to the extent of #1 and #2. I get it that my kids might not be able to get into a steamy romance written by their mother. I’m totally ok with that though I hope after a few more books they will get past it. I mean, I even use a pseudonym and they are semi-adults, but whatever.
What I can’t understand is the level of ridicule and snarkiness a few family members and acquaintances exhibit. From things like minimizing milestones—“I guess anyone can get published these days”–– to thinly veiled indifference to downright insults. On one occasion, I had just opened a bottle of wine to celebrate a new book. I made my announcement and the people in question looked up from what they were doing, nodded. . .and that was it.
Like Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind
I shook my fist at the sky and vowed this would never happen again. So I made a list.
Sorchia’s Favorite Author Tips
Guess what—it’s a list!!
- Seek out people who support your choice to be a writer. Nurture those relationships as if they were tiny baby bunnies.
- Limit your time with people who can’t or won’t get with the program.
- Pat yourself on the back, schedule rewards for good behavior, and post pictures of yourself enjoying your rewards on FaceBook or your blog—not so much to show off (though that’s ok to do in my book), but to make a list (!) for yourself of all those things you have accomplished—something you can look at when the heebie-jeebies of despair keep you up at night.
- Expect respect and support and don’t settle for less. We writers are an easy going albeit neurotic lot. We tend to float along in our own fantasies and let the real world slide (or is that just me?) But putting up with bad behavior (i.e. lack of support from loved ones) just encourages more bad behavior. Call them out on it and let your wroth be known. You needn’t be militant—unless you want to—but a serious and matter-of-fact discussion might clear away any lingering confusion as to who you are and what you spend your time doing.
- As I skittered about the Interwebs, I found a couple o’ links to more comments on this subject for your reading pleasure:
- Support other authors and build relationships. Time is limited, I know, and we can’t be all things to all people, but a little time spent doing unto others is never wasted.
So tell me, what do you appreciate from your fellow writers? What thoughtful things have other authors done for you? What are your favorite ways to reach out to other authors? What wonderful things do your friends and family do to show their support for you?
And Promo Tip
I do not know the magic spell for promo. Thus far, my favorite things are Buffer and Hootesuite which streamline the tweeting and posting and allow scheduling. I tend to do things in chunks and scheduling a time to schedule tweets and posts is helpful.
Sorchia Dubois lives in the piney forest of the Missouri Ozarks with seven cats. She edits technical writing part time, but she spends a number of hours each day tapping out paranormal romance, Gothic murder, and Scottish thrillers.
A proud member of the Ross clan, Sorchia incorporates all things Celtic (especially Scottish) into her works. She can often be found swilling Scotch at Scottish festivals and watching kilted men toss large objects for no apparent reason.
Sorchia’s Latest Book: Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones
How many Scottish witches does it take to destroy one small town fortune teller?
Granny’s dying, but Zoraida can save her with a magic crystal of smoky quartz. Too bad the crystal is in Scotland––in a haunted castle––guarded by mind-reading, psychopathic sorcerers.
Getting inside Castle Logan is easy. Getting out––not so much. Before she can snatch the stone, Zoraida stumbles into a family feud, uncovers a wicked ancient curse, and finds herself ensorcelled by not one but two handsome Scottish witches. Up to their necks in family intrigue and smack-dab in the middle of a simmering clan war, Zoraida and her best friend Zhu discover Granny hasn’t told them everything.
Not by a long shot.
(Zoraida Grey and the Voodoo Queen coming this fall)
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