Have you ever kept a secret from your family and friends? I mean a deep dark secret that was likely to tear your whole family apart and turn everyone you loved against you? Neither have I. And yet, for years I kept my writing hidden from those who would probably have provided me a great deal of support. Why would I do that?
Well, for one, there’s the stigma that aspiring authors face, and don’t tell me it doesn’t still exist. Just last week, I contacted my local library to inquire on potential author events, and they sneered at me–yes, sneered at me! A librarian sneered at a local author. Sneered at a literary contemporary! But it’s not like this was the first time my dreams were snubbed. When I was younger, anytime I’d divulge my dreams to trusted adults, they’d often criticize my “unrealistic” dreams and encouraged me to pursue a more “realistic” career path. Even my own peers, who wanted to be movie stars, laughed at me. Seriously, there is not enough love for wannabe writers.
Then there was the fear of failure. I, myself, am okay with the possibility that my writing career may never take off, but I don’t want my friends and family to perceive me as a failure. So I thought to publish in secret and only inform them of my achievement if, and only if, it became a best seller. That way, I could only be viewed as a success. Now I realize publishing the book alone is a great achievement and its own form of success. My family should be proud of that.
More importantly, I realize it doesn’t matter what others think. I want to be a published author. I want to write for a living. And if I fail, no big deal. At least I tried. And let others view it as they will. Their opinions do not effect me whatsoever.
So with those thoughts in mind, I made my decision last week to come out as a writer to my family and friends. Sing it, Diana Ross!
To my surprise, my family has been extremely supportive of my writing. My brother (an extreme workaholic) took the entire day off to attend my book launch party and his wife is running an article in the paper she works for. My mom, who is one of those negative realists, expressed tremendous pride for what I’ve done and encouraged me to keep at it. Friends I haven’t heard from in ages came out of the woodwork to purchase a copy of my book and share it on social media. To say I am overwhelmed by their support, is an understatement.
And of course, I have received more than enough support from my friends here on WordPress. Too many to name, in fact, but you know who you are, and please know I am grateful to you.
Anyway, sorry for the fluff post, but I had to come out with it. I promise Wednesday’s will be of higher content.
As always, thank you for stopping by. You’re always welcome back:)