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?


  • Lindsay N. Currie

    Ah Becky, I think we all struggle with this. Just don’t feel locked into what other people think about your goals because unless they are writers traveling the same journey, it’s likely that they just don’t understand.

    I always think of my seven year old and his obsession with superheroes. In his mind, he’s Wolverine and it doesn’t matter what I say or what anyone says – he wants to believe it and so he does. I think as writers, we can do that too:) I don’t have an agent either and am in the same place as you so I completely get where you’re coming from!

  • Joanne

    I hope you’ll be able to continue writing in some way. When we live what we love, our lives are enriched and we’re better people for it, especially to those around us. And remember, when Mom’s happy, everyone’s happy 🙂

  • Susan Kaye Quinn

    It’s so hard! And it IS tough to write with all that going on (seriously, I have 3 boys and I’m in awe of writers that can manage it with little kids at home). But sometimes family doesn’t always get it – that’s why we writers have to stick together!! You really WILL be a better mom and person (as Jen says) if you hang on to that essence of what you do for YOU. 🙂

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