Jump to content

Welcome to Christian Writers!

We are a friendly community built around Christian writing, publishing, reading and fellowship. Register or sign in today to join in the fun!
jadijohnson

Family Just Doesn't Get It!

Recommended Posts

One thing we really need to fight is our own negative thoughts.  I'm sure you can guess who plants those thoughts in our heads.  There's someone out there who would really love to see us fail.  The last thing he wants is another book published that glorifies God.  He will do whatever it takes to stop that from happening.  The trouble is, we tend to believe him.  Why is it so easy for us to believe negative things about ourselves, and so hard to believe the positive things?  Anyway, fight those negative thoughts!  Remember, Satan is the father of LIES!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For whatever reason it seems quite common for writers to be among those who just 'don't get it!' - myself, I mostly face apathy, but the Lord is not arbitrary and if you are wired for creativity there IS A PURPOSE for you to fulfill,...and while apathy and downright insults can be difficult to face,..."A person's wisdom yields patience; it is to one's glory to overlook an offense." - Proverb 19:11

 

Don't get discouraged and don't fall into the trap of seeking approval from others,...especially those who are so insecure in their own worth they have no love or joy to share with anyone. The ultimate reward of the use of our talents, writing or otherwise, is not approval or making the best seller's list or even $$$,...but what we all want to hear from our Lord and Savior , "Well done good and faithful servant!"

 

God bless your writing endeavors! ❤️❤️❤️

 

 

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The negative and unsupportive things that a former pastor, my family members, and others have said used to wound me terribly. I thank God for his wisdom. Recently, one family member said, “What makes you special?”

 

I rejoice over those words! Rather than getting defensive, I prayed. Indeed, at the time I was writing query letters to agents and publishers, and that is the very question they want you to answer. They want to know what makes you special. I dug deep and decided, “Nothing.” What is special is who I am writing about. My current book is about how the gospel is concealed in the book of Job. I am trying to get out of the way to show how marvelous is God for revealing his mysteries. As I see how much love God showered upon Job, I am humbled.

 

The style I exhibit in my current book is less polished than my previous books. I decided to forgo humor for the most part. I hold back the flourishes and focus on my goal: to help people become more resilient. This time, it is my readers who are special, not me. I added multiple chapters focused on their needs after I thought I was done.

 

Over a decade ago, Pastor John told me that he knew a friend with a seminary degree (I have none) who had tried for years to get published without success. He told me that I was neglecting my family by spending so much time on something unlikely to succeed.

 

Was this pastor wrong? No, I still have not succeeded. In my early years I did cheat my wife and children of time that I should have spent with them. However, aren’t we all sinners? Don’t even pastors and missionaries that are truly called of God make errors in how they apportion their time? The sinful heart that made me write too much would probably have expressed itself in some other way if I weren’t writing.

 

This past year, I succeeded at two projects at work. I worked long hours for many months to write the computer code. Over the next few years, those projects will save the company a billion dollars. This year, it meant that I got the largest raise and largest bonus of my career, enabling me to buy my wife a new car and my family a new computer (replacing ones that are very close to end of life).

 

So, did that mean that I knocked off the writing this year to get my work done? No, I wrote a whole book at the same time! Getting to the place where I can do both has not been easy, but if I gave up at the start without trying I would never have learned how to balance the two by making those mistakes that enabled me to learn.

 

My youngest daughter is a junior in high school. She wants to become an artist. She works hard at it, drawing almost every day. She took three college classes this year at the Massachusetts College of Art. I do not discourage her, even though I know success in that career is far from guaranteed. No, I teach my kids that what I am passionate about, I find a way to do, even if I never succeed. That is the only way I know how to give them wings. They may make fun of my writing, but inside I know they are also watching me. My oldest daughter is pursuing her MFA at UMASS Boston, studying poetry. I doubt that she would have chosen that if it weren’t for me.

 

So, do not give up. The same world that makes fun of you is also watching you. They need to see people with a dream succeed, so that the dreams imperiled by being imprisoned inside their fearful souls can break free and find expression, too.

 

Paul

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Paul, I really enjoyed reading your post.  Thanks for putting so much into it.  I often forget that I'm a good example to my family of perseverance.  I have always said that I can only fail if I quit.  Otherwise, it's full steam ahead!  The world IS watching us.  We need to keep that in mind.  Thanks again for the reminder!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, paulchernoch said:

the dreams imperiled by being imprisoned inside their fearful souls can break free and find expression,

That needs to be put into a book somewhere! That's a powerful statement. Thank you for sharing your post.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not family, but when I asked our bishop about getting the church's stamp of approval, he said it wasn't necessary. "Nobody will read it anyway." At that time he had not seen the book or heard about it before.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't help feeling that people who don't support our writing endeavors are jealous.  Maybe they tried making a dream come true, and it didn't work.  Or maybe they don't have any ambition themselves.  They don't want to see us succeed,  so they give their "helpful" opinion, saying they just don't want us to get hurt.  Don't they see that their words hurt??  I believe in encouraging others, not tearing them down.  I could never tell someone to give it up; they don't have what it takes.  Just typing that made me shudder! 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My daughter hid my manuscript behind the piano because I wasn't paying the proper amount of attention to her. Those were the days before computers, well, before I got a personal laptop.

My husband has always been supportive of my hobby.  He even spent about $30 for my crowd funding campaign which I am cooking up for the new year.  He does not support the Christian aspect of my writing and therefore does not read what I write.  

My Mum didn't like my Leoshine story, but she liked the devotionals I wrote and always consulted me on anything she wrote.  Her Bible Study groups often requested her to speak, and she had her blog which had 19 000 visits in 6 months. (I am green with envy).  

My dad is very willing to rearrange every word I write to agree with the principles he learned. English is not his first language.  He prefers a more Victorian flavour in his readings.  

 

At the last, I believe we find family here.  Blood doesn't seem to be thicker than water anymore.  Families abandon each other all over the map, but on this forum, we share ideals, goals, dreams, inclinations, struggles etc.  I feel supported and encouraged here. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Nicola said:

At the last, I believe we find family here.  Blood doesn't seem to be thicker than water anymore.  Families abandon each other all over the map, but on this forum, we share ideals, goals, dreams, inclinations, struggles etc.  I feel supported and encouraged here. 

 

Amen! So glad to see you posting again, Nicola. I missed you.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Johne said:

 

Amen! So glad to see you posting again, Nicola. I missed you.

Aw shucks. I missed you too! There's no place like home. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm surprised my family never hid any of my stories so I'd pay more attention to them!  Then again, maybe they did!  I think that's just something families have to get used to when they live with a writer.  We are always only half there!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, jadijohnson said:

They don't want to see us succeed,  so they give their "helpful" opinion, saying they just don't want us to get hurt.

If you succeed in this endeavor, it will change their relationship with you. Change like that is frightening to people. 

 

I had a student who was the class clown in the eighth grade. Near the end of the year, he decided he wanted to get serious about his studies and "grow up"! The administration agreed, since he was failing most of his classes anyway. The trouble was that the other students wouldn't let him stop being who they thought he was. His change caused a different relationship with them, and they couldn't handle that. Unfortunately, he gave in to them. The good, constructive life he could have had disappeared. 

 

You're walking a tightrope between holding onto those relationships and doing what you feel called to do. Hold onto the balance pole and keep walking.

 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see what you're saying, Carol.  Also, some people are just competitive.  And siblings are known for their competitions with each other!  When one succeeds and another does not, it stings.  But we writers have fragile egos (at least some of us do!), and we need to hear encouraging words.  It means so much to us.  Writing doesn't have to be a lonely business! ?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest N R

Can I testify? How about friends who don't understand that I can write a book in 30 days, but when you've got a queue of 5-7 novels all in various stages of edits that you just can't send your rough draft book to a publisher and get the book on the shelves!

It takes time.

Friends just don't seem to understand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with you, Nicholas!  I have quite a few stories in various stages of creativity.  I jump around among them, going where my interest takes me.  I've been asked why I don't just settle down with one and work on it until it's as perfect as I can make it.  The answer is, "My interests change."  But they don't seem to get what I'm saying.  I could never force myself to stick with one story when another one is calling to me.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, SEHatfield said:

This is a great thread, even with the sad stories.  It underscores the importance of a forum such as this where writers can find solace. 

I agree!  I figured I wasn't the only one who was having a difficult time showing my loved ones how important their support is.  They don't have to understand me, but I do need them backing me up while I travel this crazy road.  I knew all of you would "get it"!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, my family has always supported and encouraged writing for me. But I don't really share much with them. Possibly because it would break me to get a negative review from one of them, even though I know that some of the things I have written isn't in a genre they like.

 

I also tend to not just tell people that I enjoy writing, and that one day I want to publish books. For me, I just don't feel like having every person I meet tell me how tough that's going to be when I already know. So the people that matter to me know that I want to publish and that I do write stories.

 

But some things my family don't always get ... is when we're having a conversation about perfectly normal topics, and I suddenly get inspiration. Or when crime overly interests me, because it would make a good story. Or when I predict movies. That one really annoys them. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Claire sort of hit on a reason why we shouldn't ask family members to critique our work.  Either they will feel the need to praise it (even though it needs some work), or they will not spare our feelings and tell us it needs to go in the garbage bin!  Neither of these opinions helps us very much.  And we are actually putting them in an uncomfortable spot.  

 

Something else Claire brought up that drives me crazy is when I mention to someone that I write stories, and their first question is, "Have you gotten anything published?"  Somehow, saying I've published writer's tips and poems in magazines doesn't quite cut it.  They want published novels in my list of achievements, otherwise I have no right calling myself a writer.  I'm always left wishing I hadn't mentioned my passion to them.

 

Yes, people think I'm odd when I'm always running to get paper so I can write down a story idea.  We have that in common, Claire.  People don't seem to realize how fleeting those ideas can be.  We've got to get them down on paper NOW!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, jadijohnson said:

We've got to get them down on paper NOW!

I remember reading a story about a poet (I don't remember which one) who was out in the field when a poem began in her mind. She ran to the house, shouting to the poem to hold on, that she had to get to paper. When she had paper in hand, she said she literally pulled the poem backwards, word by word, to write it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can relate.  I often get ideas at the most inopportune moments.  It puts me in a panic!  No wonder people think we writers are nuts!! ?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, carolinamtne said:

She ran to the house, shouting to the poem to hold on, that she had to get to paper.

Lol I love this! Wish it worked with me ...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.