SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

Call Yourself A Writer?

Discussion started on

I'm back again with something that is consistently discussed between us, but first a little bio:
My writing has been regarded for as long as I can remember as "something Fiona likes to do", but that's about it. My family actually think that my passion is immature, despite never having read it. Often my mother has merely said "I know you take it seriously, but it is only for children. Can't you consider writing something, well a little more grown-up, like the adult you are meant to be?"

Anyway, my stepdad is 80 in a few days time and his children are due for a visit, as well as relatives on mother's side. One of them is a journalist, "a real writer". I'm unemployed & despite spending a number of hours a week doing what I love, it's dismissed.

So my question: Would you call yourself a writer in front of family?
#1 - December 01, 2018, 08:27 AM

Member.
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region newengland
Personally, I'd steer clear of the topic, since it sounds unlikely that your family will ever provide any validation on this issue. Either that, or say it with pride, and pay no attention to their response.
#2 - December 01, 2018, 09:46 AM
DUCKWORTH: THE DIFFICULT CHILD (Atheneum, 2019)
INCOGNOLIO (Janx Press, 2017)
CRASHING EDEN  (Solstice, 2012)
OTTO GROWS DOWN (Sterling, 2009)

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • **
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region carolinas
Michael said is so well. Yes, you are a writer and you should be proud of it. And isn't your writing published in your local scbwi newsletter? So there! And I seem to remember some children in a coffee shop enjoying  your stories too!
#3 - December 01, 2018, 02:58 PM
BOUND (Bodach Books, 2018)
TEN EASTER EGGS (Scholastic, 2015)
www.vijayabodach.blogspot.com
Author of over 60 books and 60 magazine pieces

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region longislandny
A writer is merely one who writes, so of course. You are a published writer as V reminded me. But Michael is likely correct about the response you'll get.

Of course, if any of the family are of the age of your readership, you could talk to them about it and even show them some work. They'll appreciate that you aren't talking down to them. But this is coming from someone who sees writing well for children as a calling  because they need good books.
#4 - December 01, 2018, 08:39 PM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
Twitter: @dvilardi1

I could show them this, I suppose.
Can't find the blog post!
I think it boils down to the fact that personally I've never had employment of credibility, but I've decided that I can't be bothered justifying myself. As I've had to do with both my parents.
They've never read my stuff either, which annoys me since my father is a retired English teacher!
Thanks for the support, as always. I'm just apprehensive about this party for a number of reasons. Not least because my partner isn't invited. But that's another topic! :lalala :hug :yourock
#5 - December 02, 2018, 09:08 AM

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • **
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region carolinas
Hopeful, perspective is indeed everything.

Thundering, you absolutely do not have to justify anything to anybody. I just wish your family would treat you better. Good thing we can choose our friends, eh? :hearts
#6 - December 02, 2018, 04:30 PM
BOUND (Bodach Books, 2018)
TEN EASTER EGGS (Scholastic, 2015)
www.vijayabodach.blogspot.com
Author of over 60 books and 60 magazine pieces

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region longislandny
The truth is what your family thinks only matters to you because you let it. Do what works best for you.
#7 - December 02, 2018, 06:17 PM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
Twitter: @dvilardi1

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region canadaeast
Sigh. Sorry you get so little respect from family. You ARE a writer. The simple act of writing makes you a writer. Publishing is just the icing on the cake. If it bothers you I'd avoid the topic but if it comes up try not to let their reaction bother you.

I read an article yesterday that on their deathbed people with they'd spent more time pursuing their passions & less time working/worrying what others thought. So you can have the satisfaction knowing that you'll likely have fewer regrets then those questioning you when all is said & done! (Hope that's not too morbid - it gave me a little boost of confidence reading it!)
#8 - December 03, 2018, 05:34 AM
https://marlalesage.com/
Pirate, year round 2019 Acorn Press

 I think I'm letting it get to me because I have a cousin who is a journalist (and quite frankly, not a very good one!). She's made a minimal career from writing in a magazine, as well as having a blog. These days I merely consider that blogs are something people do when they are passionate about, as is their right.
I'm going to that party with a load of truffles, my Instagram account with a list of my followers & stories & tell them to   :ranting

Thanks again. I'm off to slather myself in chocolate. As I always do when I'm stressed.
One thing I will do is download the avatar here and actually show them that at least children take my writing seriously!
#9 - December 03, 2018, 10:02 AM

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • **
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region carolinas
Ah, truffles!!!  So here's one my favorite quotes: “You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.” ― Madeleine L'Engle
#10 - December 03, 2018, 03:15 PM
BOUND (Bodach Books, 2018)
TEN EASTER EGGS (Scholastic, 2015)
www.vijayabodach.blogspot.com
Author of over 60 books and 60 magazine pieces

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region longislandny
We also take your writing seriously. This writing thing is serious business, more so for children because we are molding our readers whether we like to think of it that way or not.
#11 - December 03, 2018, 06:39 PM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
Twitter: @dvilardi1

Gracious thoughts, thank you.
I've always known that you take me seriously. As does Colleen, SCBWI Ireland Administrator (it's usually just the two of us at meetups these days!).
Part of me is tempted to go along, armed with a load of truffles, which probably won't be eaten and show them my Instagram page and say "take that, you insensitive twits!"
I have my name down for Incubator Kitchens in the New Year which is a community based project to help those who cannot be covered in their own home by the National Food Hygiene Board. They liked me on Instagram, as well as a few chocolatiers.
Even O'Conaill's Chocolate (which happens to be my writing haven!) have liked a few photos.
I'm getting it down here so that I can get it clear in my head. My Mum won't want me mentioning it when I'm asked what I'm doing (as will probably be the case).
I think I'm only going because I'm her daughter. She loves me but she'd pass me by on the street.
#12 - December 04, 2018, 03:15 AM

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region longislandny
Very cool about maybe heading into the chocolates business. I also love your new avatar.  I just hope the twist you speak of is a positive one for us all. (Sometimes I wait for that proverbial other shoe to drop--not good.)
#13 - December 04, 2018, 06:26 PM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
Twitter: @dvilardi1

Thanks, Debbie.
That was taken last year in my writing haven when I was writing in the haven & asked if I could read a passage to those girls. Their mother took the photo and sent it to me, which was a nice gesture.
I am just worrying because I am not a professional. My cousin is. Status is everything!
Thanks again.
#14 - December 05, 2018, 03:12 AM

Members:

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.