In many of my posts, I've commented about how supportive my family is about my writing. By family, I mean my husband and my kids.
When I mention to anyone else in my extended family that I'm writing novels and have written several short stories and poems, their eyes gloss over and they change the subject quickly. Being a writer, I'm not so much offended, but intrigued by the behavior. Do they think I'm nuts or maybe a crappy writer, or are they just not interested?
I once worked up the courage to show one of my poems to my mother. She started to fold it and put it in her purse without even glancing at it. I asked her to give it back and she did without saying a word. I was put off for a second, but then I found it so interesting that poems in general don't mean anything to her, even though this one poem nearly stuffed into her purse with gum and tissues meant everything to me. To her, it was just a piece of paper.
My immediate family is the opposite. My husband and daughter are huge fans. They tell everyone I'm a writer like it's an indisputable fact. My middle son shows his support by helping out with my little guy so I can write or to make sure I can get to my writing group on time. And my pre-schooler has started telling me stories of his own - long intricate stories he tells with amazing expression - all with a mouse in the story, just like the story I tell him.
There is a point, however, when the overwhelming support from my immediate family feels like pressure. If I don't finish my stories and get them published, it's all on me - and I will not just let myself down, I will let them down too.
It's not a screaming in horror kind of pressure or the kind that makes me feel like my mind is going to explode (like in the video) - it's a quiet realization that I have no excuses to fail - unless my writing really sucks. (Ooops - I should have saved this for Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group Day!)
Right now, these last couple of months, injuries definitely have slowed me down, but that's no long-term excuse. Time is certainly working against me - I only have a few hours a week to write, less and less lately - but that should improve soon.
But my family won't let me fail - and will never see me as a failure even if I decided to stop now, with everything half-written and unpublished. They would tell me to look at all the writing I have done and say that isn't failure (even the stuff that kind of wasn't great). They will keep encouraging me and celebrate successes with me - even the very small ones.
So I keep writing.