Do you validate?

My mother-in-law is here visiting.

Don’t worry. She isn’t one of those mothers-in-law, she’s great. Warden (yes, that’s a nickname) doesn’t poke or prod, doesn’t get involved in other peoples business, and is truly a wonderful person to have around.

Last night we were talking – as women who are left alone tend to do – and she said the most interesting thing. “I’d hate for you to give up writing again. But I just don’t see how you can manage it with that dog (my puppy is a monster), two kids and a new baby on the way.”

Everyone thinks that writing is just a hobby, like scrap booking or reading. But we all know it’s more than that. I think of it as a job. It’s not something I’m choosing to do, it’s something I have to do. Sure, I enjoy (read: love) it, but I want it to feel real to other people.

Will my family always see this as a crazy, time-consuming hobby? When will they recognize writing as a valid use of my time? Do I just stop caring about what they think? (Not like I could do that even if I wanted to).

Some of you have had your writing validated by outside sources, agents, editors, publishers. Before you got there, how did you convince people that you were creating something of value?


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