1. Erez Kristal
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    Erez Kristal Member

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    Coping with your family lack of support.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Erez Kristal, Nov 4, 2015.

    Any tips? My relationship with my parents has turned pretty acidic, since I started writing, even though I funded it using my savings, and even though the amount of money and time they invested in me, during my 29 years of existence, is tremendously low. Especially in comparison to my sister who walks a more favorite and proud route, which they can flaunt around with their friends and colleagues. (Medical school).

    My current solution is simply to stay away, but its far from ideal since they are still family.

    On that note, is it a bad idea to turn to your siblings to be part of your beta team? At first I thought it was a good idea, since I can easily trust them not to steal my ideas. But as time passed by they haven't proven to be very helpful and maybe it's just better to leave them out of it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2015
  2. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Do you mean flaunt?
     
  3. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    Family are just the friends you would not choose. You need to escape the parent- offspring relationship and treat them as another person on the list of people you want to meet here and there.

    In terms of getting feedback, tell them what you want from them. Tell them you will not be offended and that criticism is helpful. Identify your faults, whatever they may be- authorial intrusion, adverbs, passive voice, a slight campness of forum photos- whatever they maybe, and ask them to identify them and point them out.
     
  4. Erez Kristal
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    Erez Kristal Member

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    Thanks.
     
  5. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you want to include your siblings in your beta team and they want to be included, fine. If either of those things is not true, then don't. If you don't particularly find them helpful as beta readers but they want to read your stuff, let them read it and just don't count their feedback as "official". If however their feedback is toxic (a la "this sucks and you should stop writing this" or "you're not a real writer") then don't let them read it.

    It took me a while to let my mom read my stuff. I wrote a lot in high school and she always refused to comment on the substance of anything and would always just hand it back to me with massive grammar edits in red pen. When I started writing again I didn't want her as an alpha and was hoping to finish the book before I let her look at it, but I picked up that she was a bit offended and eventually decided to let her read it as long as there was no grammar feedback. She's not my best beta but she has some useful insights here and there because unlike my other betas she doesn't write or read a ton of fiction, so she's my test case for how my book affects "casual readers" rather than enfranchised readers. I also have learned that while my Mom, Dad, and Sister all want to see my book and all have copies, none of them have time to read it just because they're family doesn't mean they're going to be really engaged or useful betas - any more than I can focus on their stuff (I'm not a great adviser for my mom on her business, and I can't really connect with a lot of my sister's writing because she's really middle-grade/YA and into fairies whereas I write adult political drama). Family is a weird thing because we all care about eachother but we also all know we can rely on each other to be there even if we don't treat their stuff urgently - which is why I don't do business with my sister order character art - she's an awesome artist but not always my style and I prefer to work with people who see me as a client to please.

    So, trust the family if you want to but definitely make sure you have a bigger network. Also, if you aren't a member of an in-person writing group - join one. It gives you people who are invested in the craft, plus they usually function as a psychological support group to encourage people to keep writing. There are very few writers who haven't been told at some point that they aren't a real writer and need to quit and get a real hobby/real job/etc. And getting together with a bunch of those people is helpful.
     
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  6. AASmith
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    AASmith Contributing Member

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    I am not sure what you want them to tell you. I would never every live off my savings as a way to support my writing. I work 40 hours a week and I go to school and have kids and a husband. imagine if i just say "hey, Im gunna live on our savings to fund my writing career that isn't a career yet!" They wouldn't support me either.

    I work and I write. I am able to make time to do both. Also think about it this way, how long to you suspect to live off your savings before you can work as a writer full time? I get that your parents are not the same as your spouse but I am sure they are just worried about you. Do you live with them or anything?
     
  7. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I don't understand how writing has managed to turn your familial relationships acidic. Sounds like it's not your writing but some deeper, far more complex issue/troubled dynamics at play and your writing has become an easy target for them to criticise you or otherwise be negative towards you.

    In other words, if it's reconciliation you want, writing isn't the thing to focus on. Their lack of support for your writing is just a symptom of a much bigger issue that you probably can't resolve on a forum.

    As for the issue at hand - specifically their lack of support for your writing - why is it even an issue? If they're not interested in it, don't talk about it with them.
     
  8. Siena
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    Siena Active Member

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    Wait 'till you're married. This is just practice.
     
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  9. ddavidv
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    ddavidv Contributing Member

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    Until writing pays you, it is a hobby.

    On the subject of family support, I expected my wife (a reader) to be excited to read my first work. To this day a year after publication she still has not read the entire book. That was truly disappointing. Other friends and relatives have read my books and provided some positive feedback (and good reviews on Amazon!) but overall my expectations were not met by those closest to me.

    So be it. I do not write for the people around me, I write for the "Gentle Reader" as Stephen King refers to them. They are the faceless unknowns who risk purchasing your work hoping it will give them a good time. I love that we can get feedback via reviews from these people and know that we are or are not providing them with good entertainment. A glowing review from a stranger carries far more weight for me than a relative saying "it was really good".
     
  10. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    It seems to me your parents have very high standards for how they want their children to live. Your sister is in medical school, so in their eyes, she's a success. But you're "just a writer." They want you to be a doctor or a lawyer, someone successful that rolls in riches. So to them, it must appear that you're failing. Walking down a dangerous road that could have little to no benefits.

    If this is the case (or even if it's not), I'm going to tell you a piece of advice I received while having issues with my family. "Stop going to an empty well and expecting water." It's simple. If your parents don't support you, stop returning to them and expecting them to change. Stop going to a well you know is empty. There's no water there, and that's not going to change. I know how hard it is to be alienated by your parents. But don't torture yourself. You can't change them. Only they can change them. But until that happens, expecting them to change will only cause you more grief.

    As for asking your siblings to beta read, I agree with Lemming. If they want to read it, great. If their input is shit, ignore it. My sister is alpha reading my manuscript because she asked to. I don't expect her to be good at it. So I'm prepared to take it with a grain of salt.

    Good luck. :friend:
     
  11. JenHLewis
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    JenHLewis Member

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    I love this! I have recently felt the soul destroying disappointment that family and friends are not frantically tearing through each page eager to engulf themselves in my words. It sucks. worse still, no one prepares you for it.
    "oh you're writing a book ,amazing I would love to read it.."
    How many times did I hear this?! I naively believed them too. Who wouldnt want to read it?
    It's amazing, astounding, a wonderful achievement, I want to tell everyone, shout out
    "guess what im a writer, i've written a whole book"
    Well it turns out most people. Most people dont want to read it, let alone take the time to give you feedback.
    and this is how I find myself here, with you good folk....pondering what the hell is wrong with my "support group"
     
  12. PapaGhanda
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    PapaGhanda Member

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    Be like Stephen King..... Write for yourself and allow it to find its audience.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2015
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  13. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    It's never been a shock to me that my friends might not read it. I mean, how many times have I picked up a book myself, from the book store, even purchased it, just to leave it to be covered in dust?

    I always say, your novel is like baby photos. It's fascinating only to the parents, and obliging and caring friends might be interested in a glimpse - a handful of choice photos - and most really couldn't care less. No one wants to leaf through the entire album lol :agreed:
     
  14. JenHLewis
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    JenHLewis Member

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    A harsh truth....im not even interested in the babies, let alone the photos..... :)
     
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  15. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    2015-09-29 17.04.27.jpg
     
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  16. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    If the family/friends in questions are vocarious readers of the genre you write, then they will most probably be interested in what you want to write and hopefully offer critique. If not, live with the knowledge that they will not be interested in your work and find others to critique and share your excitement - like here on the board :D
     
  17. JenHLewis
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    JenHLewis Member

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    I hope there's not an album.......
     
  18. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Oh, but there is...

    :supercheeky:
     
  19. JenHLewis
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    JenHLewis Member

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    Help.....save me....oh is that wine.....
     
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