September 22, 2017
I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume you’re reading this blog post because you are currently at a point where the people in your life aren’t exactly in your corner the way you thought they would be when you finally decided to take yourself and your passion for writing seriously. Never fear. I’ve been through the same thing. Let me tell you, it sucks. Seriously, it really fucking blows. But I thought that maybe I could offer you some reassuring words that might help you shift your perspective a little bit and, potentially, stop you from snapping one day when your cousin/aunt/nephew/general douche bag/uncle/etc asks you if you’re ‘still doing that writing thing’.
Now. Let’s start by acknowledging one very important thing here: if you are choosing to be a writer you are committing yourself to a non-traditional career path that not everyone will understand. And they don’t have to understand. I don’t understand why some people choose to get up at 5am so that they can commute for two hours out of their day to work in an office for a boss they hate, but hey, it’s their life, and if they like it, then I’ll cheer them on.
However, this path that you and I are on is one that people seemingly have a hard time wrapping their heads around. If someone has said at least one of the below things to you at some point or another, then you, my friend, are officially a writer. Congrats.
- “How long are you going to do this thing for before you… you know, get bored?”
- “Are you going to get a part time job at least?”
- “Do you have a lot of savings put aside or something so you can do this?”
- “So you want to be the next JK Rowling?”
- “You know books are kind of going out of style, right?”
- “My work is hiring right now, want me to put in a good word for you?”
Here’s what I think you should take away from this: people are always going to be negative. It’s in their nature. It sucks when the people you thought would be excited for you are the ones who wear their doubt and skepticism on their sleeve, but you can’t control how they think. You can control how you think.
It took me a while to wrap my head around that. I always felt like I was a failure in the eyes of people I was really close to. But I realized that they couldn’t define what failure or success looked like on me. I was the only one who could do that. As long as I had support from the one person who mattered *insert shameless shout out to my kick ass husband here* I was able to persevere. I’m not saying it wasn’t hard, because it definitely was. But I was able to consciously drown out the negativity and focus instead on my excitement for writing. Writing is my passion. It always has been. And if you feel the same way, clear your ears out and hear this: You deserve to follow the things that set your soul on fire. Pursue it despite the naysayers. Pursue it despite the skeptics and the haters. Pursue it because doing anything else would be doing a huge disservice to yourself.
This is 2017, my fellow writer. Do what makes you happy. I implore you. I’d say do it with grace, but, sometimes, you just gotta throw both middle fingers in the air and proclaim ‘fuck the haters’. Try it. It feels fantastic. I promise.
Until next time my loves, XOXO Rebecca