I posted this on my personal Facebook page and had such a reaction that I decided to repeat it here.
“For all of you who write and don’t get any kudos from your family, I understand. Keep at it, have fun, feed your muses, find writers’ groups, just don’t give up. It’s kind of like when you were a kid and drew a pretty picture. We fellow writers toil alone, but we can support each other as one. Have a terrific day, and let the words come. They’re poised inside your brain and want to live on a page. Go for it, and don’t let anyone’s lack of support kill your dreams.”
This seemed to resonate with a lot of my writer friends. It’s not a condemnation of family for not paying attention, but a reiteration that we can’t seek gratification by approval of family, friends, or society itself. If we have muses that drive us to paint, write, dance, or whatever our gifts are, we’ll wither away if approval is what those muses are fed on. No one starts out a prima ballerina or piano virtuoso. Or a famous author. All those things are practiced hour after hour, after tedious hour, until we meet success.
Gifted teachers keep us on the right track, correct, critique, guide as we learn and grow. Sometimes we keep struggling in the face of condemnation by family or friends, and we have to turn off their negativity or abuse. This is your show, not theirs.
I remember sitting in an aunt’s kitchen as a college student listening to one of my father’s relatives condemn me for wanting a college education. Luckily I was determined to finish school, becoming one of the first in my generation in his family to get a college degree. I knew writing was what I had to do, and nothing was going to get in my way. Nothing. Over the years I’ve been waylaid by life, taking detours from creating and writing, but knew someday my route would lead me back.
So find your map, reroute your life travels, be free to not only have family and friends but also nourish your creative drive. You’re the only one who has the power unless you give it away. But that’s for another post.