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Atlantis
11-21-2011, 04:50 AM
Does anyone here get alot of pressure from their parents to be successful at writing? I get it alot from my Mum. She's a poet and tried a few times to write some books (and failed) she came over my house yesterday and brought up writing the conversation went like this:

Mum (big dramatic sigh): Do you still like writing, Marisa? I think you're fed up with it.

Me: I still like writing Mum. I'm not fed up with it.

Mum: Are you going to finish your book soon?

Me: Yes...

Mum: Are you going to send it to the same publisher?

Me: I don't know. Maybe.

Mum: You're never going to give up, are you? Never give up Marisa! Follow your dreams! I want you to be published.

Me: I'm not planning on giving up, Mum.

Mum: I think you want to give up. You haven't been writing much lately.

Me: That's because I got married two weeks ago and took a break from it to focus on getting married.

Mum: (another sigh) Okay....

My brother used to want to be an actor but gave that up to go into urban planning and she's been bitterly disapointed about that so now she's got all her hopes pinned on me it seems to be the creative success in the family. LOL. It's really annoying because she has asked me those questions a million times! I get the "Do you still like writing question?" at least once every few months.


Anyone else have a Mum or dad as annoying as mine? :tongue

The Lonely One
11-21-2011, 05:00 AM
I think you have the opposite problem of many others.

My dad was a writer in college with a few pubs. My uncle writes poetry. There's no pressure, really, though. They also don't push me not to write and pursue a "normal career." They're proud of me when I publish and don't bother me when I don't, which I appreciate.

quicklime
11-21-2011, 05:28 AM
my mom told someone since I was a PhD biologist I "could be one of those CSI guys on tv".


I haven't even bothered to tell her I write...

Susan Littlefield
11-21-2011, 05:41 AM
I have never felt the type of pressure from my parents that you describe. When I wanted to become different things when I was a kid, not matter what it was, my dad told me I could do anything I wanted. He basically taught me there are no limits to whatever I want out of life.

My mother never wanted me to write. She discouraged me like crazy and told me I needed to find a career and learn how to support myself. She never had a career and depended on my dad's income and did not want me to fall into the same kind of thing she did. By discouraging me, she taught me there are no limits to whatever I want out of life. She has been deceased since I was 23 years old (almost 27 years), and I love her for pushing me to want more than what she had.

It sounds like your mom is living her dream through you. I think sometimes parents do that, especially if you are successful at something they are not as successful at. I love it that she encourages you to follow your dreams and to keep writing. :)

quicklime
11-21-2011, 05:45 AM
Mum (big dramatic sigh): Do you still like writing, Marisa? I think you're fed up with it.

Me: I still like writing Mum. I'm not fed up with it.

Mum: Are you going to finish your book soon?

Me: Yes...

Mum: Are you going to send it to the same publisher?

Me: I don't know. Maybe.

Mum: You're never going to give up, are you? Never give up Marisa! Follow your dreams! I want you to be published.

Me: I'm not planning on giving up, Mum.

Mum: I think you want to give up. You haven't been writing much lately.

Me: That's because I got married two weeks ago and took a break from it to focus on getting married.

Mum: (another sigh) Okay....

:tongue


ok, I guess, seeing this, the passive-aggressive in me would have responded with things like "after all the anal on my honeymoon, I just don't feel like sitting, mum" until the questions finally stopped....

Atlantis
11-21-2011, 06:17 AM
I have never felt the type of pressure from my parents that you describe. When I wanted to become different things when I was a kid, not matter what it was, my dad told me I could do anything I wanted. He basically taught me there are no limits to whatever I want out of life.

My mother never wanted me to write. She discouraged me like crazy and told me I needed to find a career and learn how to support myself. She never had a career and depended on my dad's income and did not want me to fall into the same kind of thing she did. By discouraging me, she taught me there are no limits to whatever I want out of life. She has been deceased since I was 23 years old (almost 27 years), and I love her for pushing me to want more than what she had.

It sounds like your mom is living her dream through you. I think sometimes parents do that, especially if you are successful at something they are not as successful at. I love it that she encourages you to follow your dreams and to keep writing. :)

I think she trying to live her dream through me a little bit too. While she does drive me nuts asking the same questiosn again and again and again (she has anxiety issues) it is real sweet that she believes in me so much.

Sometimes I think she believes in me too much. She boasts about me to people at her work and tells them how to find my blog and book on Amazon. I have lost a little bit of my drive since high school and she knows that and I think it has her in a panic that I'm on the verge of quitting. I'm not I just write more for my own pleasure now (if I get published woo, if not I enjoy the process of writing and move on to the next project).

When I was little I had delusions of being the next JK Rowling. I've since come back down to Earth.

LJD
11-21-2011, 06:21 AM
Nope. My parents never really pressured me to do anything.
My dad asks about it often, but it is certainly not pressure. My mom is dead (and I told her I'd started writing the last time I saw her before she died unexpectedly).

My family is not really a creative artistic family, actually. Nearly everyone is in science.

Marian Perera
11-21-2011, 06:54 AM
Since my father is a religious fundamentalist, he would be appalled if he ever found out that I write books with sex in them.

I imagine he would pray for me - well, more so than he does already.

As for my mom, she's dead, but even if she were alive I don't think she'd want to read anything I wrote. Not that she didn't love me, but she never read fiction, and she wouldn't have been thrilled about the sex either. She would probably also be disappointed that I wasn't a world-famous writer.

Parents. Can't live with them, can't get here without them. :)

NeuroFizz
11-21-2011, 10:56 AM
First of all, from the posted conversation, I'd say your mom loves you and wants you to succeed, although she is clumsy about conveying it, and pushy about it. If you consider the range of issues people have with their parents, I'd say yours is way on the mild side, although irritating to you, I'm sure.

My parents constantly pushed on me to "live up to my potential." But beware of what you wish. Both of my parents are gone now, and I'd give anything to have them give me some more of those nudges. They didn't get to see any of my novels in print, and they didn't get to meet my two youngest children.

And as a parent, I do want my kids to succeed, and hope they achieve success way beyond anything I've accomplished. I do get on them on occasion to try to put in the effort to do their best, but I don't nag them about it. Although...you should probably ask them if what I do is nagging or not (the perceptions of child and parent likely are very different on this). When you are a parent of children beyond the early elementary school ages, you may better understand your mother's behavior (even if it is to say you want to be nothing like her).

Finally, some parents want to live vicariously through their children. This can cause problems, but it can be a form of pride. Given the change to interpret it as a negative or a positive, I choose the latter, but that's me (based on my personal experiences, which were generally positive in terms of my family life).

Anna L.
11-21-2011, 11:51 AM
My mother is the kind of person who says 'I have this great idea for a book. If you write it you'll be a bestseller!' She does this ALL THE TIME.

Some years back my father went from 'don't be silly, writers starve' to 'Steve Jobs says you have to follow your dreams!' Thanks, Steve.

shaldna
11-21-2011, 01:47 PM
I don't really tell my folks a huge amount about what I do. To be honest, I think they are just pleased that I manage to get up and dressed in the morning.

lvae
11-21-2011, 03:04 PM
Shaldna - me too! My parents have no idea I write, or they have some idea but they choose to pretend I like reading more than most people, and my true destiny is to have a white collar job, 2.5 kids and a white picket fence.

Psychomacologist
11-21-2011, 03:41 PM
My parents put pressure on me to be a lot of things. A writer isn't one of them.

Brutal Mustang
11-21-2011, 03:57 PM
Sometimes I think she believes in me too much.

This is priceless. Just enjoy it. There are many here who have no one to believe in their writing. As a result, they won't break through their self-doubt and become published writers.

My parents believe I'm going to be the next JKR. I haven't the heart to tell them about the odds. I need their cheer leading.

Psychomacologist
11-21-2011, 04:48 PM
I'm just going to echo what Brutal Mustang said.

Neither of my parents ever showed any interest in my writing, and my mother on more than one occasion dismissed it as silly and "messing around". I was always jealous of my friend, who also used to write: HER mum was a novelist, and stayed up late writing. Her mum read her stuff, and so did her dad; they all read each others work and encouraged each other. Her talent got nurtured. Mine got ignored and belittled.

You are lucky to have family members who believe in you and support you in what you want to do. Some of us would give our right arm to have support like that.



(Well maybe not the arm because it would make writing difficult. Maybe a foot)

happywritermom
11-21-2011, 06:44 PM
In 11 years as a journalist, my mother never read a single one of my articles. When I told her about my first job (at a medium-sized metro newspaper right out of college. I was pretty darned proud of myself.), she asked me when I was going to get a job that paid a real salary.

When I left journalism to become a SAHM and focus on my writing, still nothing. Never mind the teaching jobs, the magazine articles, the books I edited.

Finally, I had a short story published.

I am suddenly a writer and my pursuit is a legimate one. She's now read all of my short stories, one of my completed (unpublished) novels and several of my magazine articles.

Go figure.

My father loves that I write, mostly because it gives him an opening for political or philosophical debate. Never mind that I don't write that stuff any more.

Parents will be parents.

Dgullen
11-21-2011, 06:53 PM
My family is not really a creative family, actually. Nearly everyone is in science.

Splutter!

Psychomacologist
11-21-2011, 07:03 PM
Finally, I had a short story published.

I am suddenly a writer and my pursuit is a legimate one. She's now read all of my short stories, one of my completed (unpublished) novels and several of my magazine articles.

Go figure.

I am sure that, come the day I publish a break-out bestseller that spends months on the NYT list and gets made into a movie, my mum will SUDDENLY be all like "Oh that's my daughter! She's a writer!"

*facepalm*

brainstrains
11-21-2011, 08:17 PM
My parents wanted me to be this amazing bestselling author, but they never encouraged it. Though I showed huge interest in writing as a kid, they never looked into publishing, signed me up for a class, nothing. Oh, no wait, they did something. They bought me a word processor, but that was really for typing class assignments. I distinctly remember my dad saying, before I closed the door to my room for another writing session, "She's ALWAYS writing, but it NEVER amounts to ANYTHING."

I was sixteen.

I can laugh about it, now. Especially since he introduces me to everyone as "the author" and never misses an occassion to brag about me to his friends.

NeuroFizz
11-21-2011, 09:06 PM
My family is not really a creative family, actually. Nearly everyone is in science.
I don't know what kind of science your family is into, but that's my day job, and it's just as creative, if not more so, than fiction writing because it's based on innovative discovery, and it has to be done without just making stuff up.

Christyp
11-21-2011, 09:39 PM
I get it for a different reason; my mom wants me to buy her a new car. She seems to think if I get published I'll suddenly be rolling in the dough...

Phaeal
11-21-2011, 10:32 PM
My mom went around bragging on me when, at five, I announced I was going to be a paleontologist. She used to make me repeat the announcement to her bridge club and other company, for the sheer cuteness of a little kid throwing that word around.

I don't think she ever got over me giving up the whole dinosaur bones thing -- how can writing match that high glamor?

:D

AutumnWrite
11-21-2011, 10:47 PM
Mom pretty much gave up on me when I refused to go into law. The final straw was when I married a poet. When I finally told her I'd started writing seriously, she just nodded and said "Oh, that's nice. can I have the pepper?"
Dad just says "As long as you pay your bills..."

LJD
11-21-2011, 11:04 PM
I don't know what kind of science your family is into, but that's my day job, and it's just as creative, if not more so, than fiction writing because it's based on innovative discovery, and it has to be done without just making stuff up.

Oh there is definitely creativity in my scientific day job too. I meant artistic pursuits, but the OP said "creative success" so that was the word I had stuck in my mind.

Libbie
11-22-2011, 12:43 AM
More than anything, my mother just sort of vaguely annoys me about my writing. She is very fond of saying, "You just need to write." Oh, just like that, huh? If I just write and don't concern myself with anything else, such as, oh, I don't know, writing better or attracting a good editor or writing something that's likely to sell, or even FINDING A JOB SINCE I AM CURRENTLY UNEMPLOYED, the Universe will just bestow book contracts on me and everything will be fine?

Her other big one is "Don't stop writing!" I know she's trying to be encouraging in the abrasive, frustrating way she has, but WHEN HAVE I EVER SAID I AM GOING TO STOP WRITING?! Good lord!!! Leave me alone about this, woman! It's NOT AS SIMPLE AS JUST WRITING AND NOT STOPPING WRITING. THERE ARE OTHER CONSIDERATIONS INVOLVED, BLARRRRGH.

scarletpeaches
11-22-2011, 12:50 AM
My mother was the sort of bint who wouldn't give a stuff about anything I did, unless it earned money (which it does). So you can imagine my pen name is a way of keeping her begging letters away.

So, nah. You've got the opposite problem to me. My mother was never encouraging. Anything I did was wrong, unless it was right, in which case she would publicly take credit for it (and privately ask for money).

quicklime
11-22-2011, 12:55 AM
My family is not really a creative family, actually. Nearly everyone is in science.


what exactly do they do?

getting funded and doing research requires a pretty solid amount of creativity, as I suspect Neuro mentioned already...

skylark
11-22-2011, 01:16 AM
My parents don't know I write, have never read anything I've written, and have barely read anything I've read. They're really not into this newfangled science fiction stuff :)

Which is fine. I'm not much into medieval French literature either.

LJD
11-22-2011, 02:58 AM
what exactly do they do?

getting funded and doing research requires a pretty solid amount of creativity, as I suspect Neuro mentioned already...

I replied to Neuro's comment upthread, but I will edit my initial post so no one else asks me about it...

Karen Junker
11-22-2011, 08:07 AM
I had a friend as a child who wanted to be a paleontologist, too. He beamed with pride when, at age 50, he handed me a copy of his first book--on fossils.

My mother occasionally asks me if I'm still writing. I'm not, I'm focused on putting on the writers' events, but I appreciate her interest.

I'm sorry your folks are so annoying about it!

MokoBunny
11-22-2011, 10:04 PM
My mom and dad are actually really proud I'm a writer. I've had to go through a lot of bs with my friends and stuff for not believing in me and they realized they shouldn't be like that. Whenever people comment on how I'm not a doctor, lawyer, or engineer my mom totally tells them them off. I kind of love it *evil grin >:D

They think it's really cool but then again they both are really artistic themselves. My mom did theater when she was younger and paints. My dad wrote poetry and songs. Granted they both have "real" jobs but they have a healthy creative side. They do however tell me to get a "back up" job but that doesn't mean to ever quit writing. They're being realistic and I am too. I'm very lucky to have them and I like to think I inherited their creativity.

Fiona
11-25-2011, 05:28 PM
I've experienced the opposite of pressure, truly. My parents are so laid back it's crazy, and if anything, they are supportive if I do, supportive if I don't. At times I wish they were a little more "Come on, you can do it," type of people because when I'm feeling lazy, it doesn't help when they say "Well take a break then." lol.

tiptoetwirl
11-25-2011, 06:30 PM
I've only recently told my parents that I'm writing and, at the moment, my Mum is reserving judgement but I know that pretty soon she'll be on my ass about finding a real job. She's a midwife and my dad works long hours as well and they get frustrated that I'm not out 'living my life' and pursuing a nine-to-five career.

My gran is uber supportive though as is my sister and I know my parents just want what's best for me so I try not to take their ctritiscm too personally :D

latourdumoine
11-25-2011, 11:00 PM
My parents were always supportive. I know I was writing poems when I was around six or seven, and they would have known about that. But the way my mom found out that I was serious about it was when I went swimming and left a manuscript on the dining room table at the age of eleven. I can't remember what she said when I came back, but we talked about it and I told her about my dream. When we were living in Germany, in a small town where back then English books were impossible to get, she'd go out of her way to order them for me. My dad would make detours on his way from work to go to the one place and wait there until they opened so I could have an English magazine. They even paid for my college when I couldn't afford it, and that degree was in writing. When I had a non-fiction deal fall through at the last minute and basically got cheated on it, my dad would have flown all the way to London to "sort out the agent and the people responsible for it." I had to explain to him that at the last minute they decided to go with someone else. I used to read stuff to my parents all the time, their feedback was awesome. Neither of them would praise something just because it was their daughter's work, but they wouldn't be stricter on it either. That taught me a lot about stepping back from your own work and looking at it from a completely neutral point of view. I think that's the science training in them talking. It's only my mom now, but I still read her my stories.

My brother used to introduce me to all his friends as "my sister, the writer", which was mainly an incentive for me to keep on writing. Then again, it was also a great way to make sure they wouldn't complain about my presence, since I'm five years younger. A writer was cool to have around, little sisters not so much :D

Except for my cousin, my relatives don't know that I write. They think I'm a language teacher, so they leave me alone, as to them that's a pretty lowly job (don't get me started, I got into it because I love teaching, but unless you're in a position where they can leach off you, your job is lowly in their eyes). Good thing we don't live in the same country, and they don't even read English, so they're not likely to find out about this. Then again, they have now roped in my younger cousin to spy on me, as she's close to them (and English is her first language) and they sussed out that I would never tell them everything. If they find out about the writing, there will be endless questions about a) when the book is coming out and b) why is it not coming out any sooner.

Sounds like your mom really wants you to succeed and is scared that you won't and is doing this the only way she knows how. This is just an idea, and feel free to ignore it, but would you consider sharing some of the stuff with her? Maybe ask her for feedback on something. This way she feels more involved as well.

RobJ
11-25-2011, 11:13 PM
Mum: I think you want to give up. You haven't been writing much lately.

Me: That's because I got married two weeks ago and took a break from it to focus on getting married.

Mum: (another sigh) Okay....
Perhaps what your mother really needs is grandchildren ;)

AlishaS
11-27-2011, 03:24 AM
I would say be thankful she is supportive (even if a little too much and is desperate for your to achieve your dreams)
My parents are not supportive in the least, my husband thinks writing is a waste of time, and none of my family (extended or otherwise) and friends seem to care and pretend that my writing is the big elephant in the room.