Writing is hard enough, but it becomes even harder when the people close to you don’t understand that you’re a writer. That it’s not just a hobby or a passing fad.
That it is, in fact, a priority.
Writing is important to you, but maybe you simply can’t share it with the people that you care about most. Maybe when you try, you sense their frustration over why you need to spend so much time agonizing over a few words. Over why you’re obsessed with something that’s make-believe.
Over time, you come to the conclusion that you might not be able to talk to them about writing at all.
This may make you feel disheartened. Or undervalued. Or resentful.
You might decide to write only when they’re not around — or wait until after they’ve gone to bed.
This may contribute to exhaustion. Or depression. Or you may question if it’s even worth it.
You may even feel envious at your other writer friends who have someone they can talk to about ideas on long car rides. Or on early lazy Sundays.
You may start to drift and daydream. You may even start to wish for something different.
But. Maybe you should think about this: If they don’t understand that you’re a writer, take heart. You didn’t know exactly what it meant to be a writer at first, either.
You didn’t realize that it would require long hours of hard work, tears, and frustration.
You didn’t realize you’d have to sacrifice something to make the time to write.
And you also didn’t realize how much it would cause you to grow as an individual.
You didn’t realize how much it would alter your worldview and allow you to appreciate more about the people around you.
You didn’t realize how writing would provide you with a better sense of humanity.
When you first started writing, you didn’t realize writing would be something you needed, like sustenance or a sanctuary.
You didn’t realize how it would teach you to be part of a community and to give back.
So maybe it’s okay that they don’t understand that you’re a writer. Because you’re still learning what it means to be a writer too, and it has not been without your own growing pains.
If they don’t understand that you’re a writer, maybe don’t force the issue. Because it’s totally okay to have something that’s for yourself and just for yourself. Instead, bounce ideas off other people that don’t mind. You may still need to compartmentalize your writing time, but don’t sacrifice sleep.
(Maybe some understanding will slowly develop over time. Who knows?)
While writing is important, so are your relationships, and there are more than enough of us in the world that do understand.
We are writers.
Vivianne Sommers writes happily-ever-after romances. She currently lives in Northern California with her husband, two daughters, three rabbits, and one dog. She writes her drafts long-hand, is addicted to graphic novels and PopFunko characters, and she will always believe in good guys.