The support I’ve gotten from all my dear readers on my writing has been fantastic. Never in all my life have I felt like so many people believe in my words. In fact, I can name the three lone people who ever treated my dream of writing and publishing a book like it was an achievable goal. One is a high school teacher, the other is a college teacher/mentor and the last is my boyfriend. It wasn’t until I heard some disparaging words from my mother a few weeks ago that I realized how many more people should be added to that list.
Half jokingly, I said something in front of my parents about wasting time writing my book. I won’t lie, it can feel like that. This is something I’ve wanted since I was 10 and it can still feel like a child’s fancy. I don’t know how many people really had confidence in my ability when I was so young. So, it surprised me when, without hesitation, my mother said “aw, you think it’s a waste of time?”
Other things were said and the conversation moved on to other topics, but those words stuck with me. In a way. they haunted me. My mom looked so sad to hear my no-so-funny joke. How long had she had true faith in my writing?
When I was struggling to overcome depression and low self-esteem, one of the things I realized was that I never acknowledged the feelings of others. When someone told me I was their friend, I thought they were just saying that. They were just being nice, but didn’t really consider me a friend. How insulting, to deny a feeling someone expresses to you! Of course, it took me years to figure out how rude I was being.
I supposed bad habits die-hard, because I’ve been doing it again, talking about my book here and there without really believing in the supportive words people expressed. I was so impacted by those few words from my mother. Somewhere along the way, I grew out of the little girl who wanted to write books for a living and into the woman who was doing her best to follow a logical, reliable path to publishing a novel.
Sometimes, I am disappointed in the things I can’t talk to my parents about. I get that there are things that just aren’t shared, like tips on good sex and such. Yet, I like discussing politics, religion and social issues. I wouldn’t mind being able to talk to my parents, hear the logic behind their thoughts and have a real discussion about something. Unfortunately, I learned long ago to approach those topics with extreme caution. I approach anything that might take my parents aback with that level of caution.
My writing is on the list of cautionary topics because it’s related to my interests in manga, anime and video games. These are some of the things that inspire my writing and they were things my parents scoffed at. They were ‘phases’ I would get over, at which point I would realize how much money I wasted.
When I sought my degree in journalism, the value of my interests was questioned again as my father called local newspapers, asking about salary and the possibility of advancement. He well-meaningly panicked (in my opinion) over my choice, fearing I’d never be able to make enough money to support myself with that education. While his intentions were good, the impact of his disbelief has stuck with me. Did he think I choose my degree without my own research? I was going to be fine.
I’m not sure of my father’s opinion on my book writing, but he is quite proud of where I am in life so far. I guess the journalism degree wasn’t such a bad idea after all. I’m used to that path in life, trying to succeed in something people say I’ll never succeed in. My writing is no different. I often feel like I’m fighting the world, working against near insurmountable challenges.
I once read somewhere (on a website that seems to have disappeared from existence, since I have never found it again) that 1% of all people who say they want to write a book ever will. Of those who do write a book, only 1% will be professionally publish. If that’s not a challenge, I don’t know what is.
Perhaps I’ve rejected the support of others up to this point because I’m afraid my writing will be horrible. I’m afraid all this effort will be worthless and I’ll disappoint everyone. Support is a great motivator, but it also puts a lot of pressure on me. Maybe I couldn’t handle that when I was 10. Today, I promise to henceforth accept all support, pressure and all.
My mother reminded me that I have far more than those three people believing in my writing. My friends and family, they are all behind me. The boyfriend may be the only one who thinks I can become famous enough he can quit his job (I have no problem with a stay-at-home husband. I never want to clean), but I have a lot of support. I’ll never joke about my writing being a waste of time again. This is the only time; this is my chance.
Have you ever refused to believe someone felt the way they said they did? Have you ever had someone deny what you’re feeling? What goes through your mind when someone refuses to believe you feel the way you say you do? Do you do anything today that, as a child, people said was just a phase? Are you happy you retained that interest from childhood?