"Honey, are we really having frozen chicken nuggets for dinner... again?"
"Mooommmmmmmm.... You tell me *I* can't be on the computer, then why can YOU?"
"You write? I mean, are you published? Huh. How much did it cost you?"
"Honey, what's the point? You're not making any money anyway..."
That last line makes me cringe. My spouse has never said it to me, but I've heard of many who have, and I'd love to have a nice long chat with them.
The dynamics of writing are an interesting one when it comes to dealing with your family, especially if they aren't the "writer" type. Sometimes it's hard to understand how investing so much time and energy, many times with years of no monetary validation.
While I've been blessed to have a family who supports me, I've also done a few things to help keep it that way. Because there have definitely been moments when their patience for my "career" has waned.
1.) Protect your FAMILY time. I have times when I HAVE to write, especially when a deadline looms. But in non-deadline times, I make sure I protect my family time. Oh goodness. I just typed that, and a billion times when I have NOT done so flashed before my eyes. Yeah, I need to get better at this.
2.) Protect your WRITING time. Just like you need to protect your time with your family, put aside time for your writing though. I have a few WRITING ONLY times scheduled into my week that NOTHING gets in the way with. Messy house? It can wait. The only exception is emergencies or sick kids. They always trump writing:-)
3.) INVOLVE your family. If I'm having a plot point problem, sometimes it becomes a topic of conversation around the table. I LOVE brainstorming with my family. Eh, sometimes they don't care, but other times, they catch the story-crafting bug and start throwing out ideas. Even if they are all horrible, it feels good that they try. And in the case of my first book, Sandwich with a Side of Romance, my daughter actually helped me brainstorm the start of the book!!
4.) Have a family meeting. Don't roll your eyes at me! Seriously, if you feel like you're always getting slack for writing, sit down as a family and discuss it. I did this recently. I'm gearing up for my next book to come out late summer and am knee deep in writing stuff to do, and I was starting to get comments (mostly from my kids) about Mommy getting to go write and they had to sit at home and... play? Oh BOOHOO I say! Basically, I reminded them that while I do enjoy writing (most--some--of the time) it's also my JOB. The IRS recognizes this, and they need to as well! Just like I used to go to work everyday, I need to write everyday.
5.) Have Patience. If all else fails, just be patient. Sometimes they just won't get it. And that's okay. Love them anyway. Write anyway. When you DO get published, their eyes will perk up:-)
Discussion: How does your family feel about your writing? Do you ever struggle with justifying the time you spend writing?
(photo by freedigitalphotos.com)