Tonight's post was inspired by a friend and fellow writer, in response to a couple of comments she made on her blog.
You ARE a writer. Repeat after me, then tell hubby to repeat the words, too. LOL! Honestly, I don't know what more you could do to prove "you are a writer!" You've finished five manuscripts! I've known aspiring authors (notice I said, aspiring) who've been at it for years and never even finished ONE. Heck, there are published authors out there in romance land who've never written five manuscripts. Trust me, you're a writer. To. The. Bone.
I know exactly what you mean, though. Even after having a book published, I'm still dealing with the same things you are. Still having the fact that I write swept under the rug, and not taken seriously. For what it's worth, here's what I've concluded. It's the same as all other aspects of life. Money talks. It's that simple. The day we started getting big, fat checks in the mail, then I bet you a lot of folks would change their tune. They'd be whistling and holding our hands while they walked us to the bank. I know that sounds cynical, but it's the truth. So long as our writing doesn't pay the bills or put food on the table, it's going to be a time-consuming hobby to the people around us.
The really sad part is, the people we love will never truly understand us. Even if they do make the effort to be encouraging and share our excitement over accomplishments, they still won't understand. Okay, here comes the really nutso part. The reason they'll never understand is because of the voices inside our heads. They don't have them. They don't see scenes playing out or hear character dialogue. What they DO hear and see, I have no clue. I've asked, and gotten no satisfactory answer. If it's true that our minds never stop, never sleep, etc., then what's going on inside THEIR heads all day long? It boggles me. I don't know how they get through the day. Since my earliest memories, I've had people talking to each other inside my head, and scenes playing out in vivid color.
Anyway, all they can do is love and encourage us, and more importantly, give us the freedom to follow our dreams. But they'll never really know the feeling of accomplishment we have when we finish a manuscript, or plot the "perfect" story. They don't understand the driving need we have to even do these things.
I have to tell you this; I think you'll appreciate it and know exactly what I mean. When I joined KYRW and started interacting with the other writers, I was shocked the first time I heard someone mention the "voices in their head," or some reference to "living up in my head." Until then, I honestly thought I was an odd duck, or a little bit crazy. It was such a relief to learn there were other people out there like me, who heard the voices and felt the need to write their stories. I remember coming home from a meeting, all excited, and telling my husband about it. Until I got acquainted with other writers, I think he was afraid I was a little bit crazy, too, and that's why he didn't want me to write. LOL!
Until twelve years ago, I hid my writing from everyone. Now, I wear my weirdness proudly. :o) I own it because it's who I am and I can't change it. I'm a writer. Nowadays, when I'm sitting around staring into space, my husband will ask me, "Where are you?" My usual answer is, "Damn, why did you interrupt me?" He knows there's something playing out in my head. He accepts it now and, between you and me, I think he kinda likes it--now that he's interacted with some of the women in KYRW and knows being drifty as hell is rather normal (for writers). He even sometimes (if he's in just the right mood) tells people, "My wife's a romance author."
Bless his heart. Wonder how he put up with me all those years, before he found out I wasn't really loony-tunes? LOL!