Sharing your writing life with significant others/family/etc.?

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yoshinocho

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In short: how do you balance your writing life and your personal life?
How much do you share with your significant others/family/close friends/etc. about your writing?
In what ways do your significant others help or hinder your writing life?
When, if at all, do you share your WIP with your closest family?

For me, my wife is very supportive, but I don't particularly share the details of my WIP with her (not until it's relatively done). She knows that I write and work on projects, but one of the life values that was instilled in me early was not to let creative endeavors out of the pen, so-to-speak, before you're mostly done with them. Something in the (over)sharing kills it a bit for me. Mainly, my wife supports me by giving me the space I need to work and I am grateful for that.

But I'm curious about everyone else.
 
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Kat M

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Hi, welcome!

I share my writing with my immediate family. Some members are in on the whole process, but I wait until I feel ready to share what I've got, which varies by project. For example, right now no one is reading my WIP but I'll probably let my family look before I let the beta readers at it. If I have my cheerleaders all lined up, I can better handle and process honest critical feedback, and if I've written anything REALLY stupid they'll catch it before I show it to strangers. I don't share with my extended family because I'd have to explain the presence of anything not G-rated.

I don't have a SO so I can't speak to that.

I'm curious, too. :)
 

Chris P

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I no longer share my writing with my family. I had too many "Is that what you really think of me/him/her/them?" questions, when the character(s) they are referring to are in no way connected to anyone. I had too many "That's not how I remember it happening" conversations when the scene had nothing to do with the event the person thinks inspired it. On top of that, despite a couple members of the family being well read and good with grammar, I didn't find their input particularly helpful.

So no, I don't share my work with family or friends anymore. Nor do I owe them that. Sorry to sound so cold, but it simply works better for me that way.
 
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Cephus

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My wife is a writer too so she knows what I'm doing and we alpha read each other's work. The rest of my family knows I write but honestly, they don't care. I stopped giving them copies years ago. They don't care about my genre and I don't think any of them have cracked a book of mine in over a decade. A lot of my friends are authors too so we talk about it, but since we work in a wide variety of genres, we don't cross over very often.
 

SAWeiner

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I've let my wife and a few friends see work when it is at a sufficiently advanced stage that comments from them are helpful. I don't otherwise get friends and family involved. I'll report when I've had a productive writing session or when I just ended up wasting time, but not more.
 
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Elenitsa

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My husband is supportive and I share with him some details of the works. He helps me with advice about fights mainly. I have betta readers with whom I share everyhting, and also other friends with whom I brainstorm on certain points.
 

Elenitsa

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My husband is supportive and I share with him some details of the works. He helps me with advice about fights mainly. I have betta readers with whom I share everyhting, and also other friends with whom I brainstorm on certain points.
 

Siri Kirpal

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Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Mr. Siri is my primary brainstormin buddy, research assistant and beta reader.

Others...unless I need help with research or they'd make a perfect expert beta, not so much.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal
 

Woollybear

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There are many woolly-siblings and several of them ask to please see what I've written, which is lovely, and offsets the others who want nothing to do with anything I've written. :)

Mr. Bear, who is woollier yet than me, does not read anything of mine until it is done. As in, published. At which point he reads it so that he can steer his family and friends properly on expectations.

The youngest woollycub is writing epic fantasy in spare time, and we share drafts and chat back and forth.
 
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Kjbartolotta

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We wrote a screenplay together and I thought the end product was excellent & she was a brilliant writer, we also fought over every aspect of it and both decided we don't do collaboration well.

Otherwise, no, my GF simply isn't an SFF fan, and I'm not going to bug her to look at what I'm doing if she's not all that interested. She's a visual artist, so we're very good at supporting and cheerleading, at the same time there are always challenges in the way we have to negotiate around each other and butt up when one of us is trying to work or focus.
 
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hjrey

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My close friends and family know I write but not usually what I'm working on. If I get a short published or shortlisted, I'll tell people and hope they read it but I'm way more secretive about a WIP especially when it concerns novel writing. Trying to improve on that though with the novel I'm writing now. I tell my husband about chapters I'm struggling to write or scenes I'm really looking forward to and he is supportive, though definitely not interested enough to read. But I don't ask close friends or family to read the stories I'm working on anymore. It's not that I want them to be 'perfect' before they're read, I just think it can distract to get opinions before a project is finished and be very unmotivating when they find problems with it or you can just tell the story isn't for them.
 

Drascus

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My wife is my primary brainstormer, alpha reader, and writing buddy. She does board game design and I similarly help her with that. She is invaluable and awesome, has helped me get unstuck several times in my work.

A chunk of my extended family wanted to beta-read my novel and I was happy to send it to them.

My family is pretty well involved, as much as they can be in writing which is always a pretty solitary thing.
 
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Afalstein

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My little brother is my greatest creative partner. He's come up with some of the most crucial twists and world details in my stories. He reads my drafts and gives feedback.

My parents know I write and I tell them if they ask, but they generally don't.
 

ChaseJxyz

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I still remember my mother "editing" my college application essay and turning it into being about her, and also her telling me "fiction is stupid. It's not about anything real, what's the point?" And the time she accused me of being ".......one of THOSE" when I wrote a poem from a man's point of view. It was a very stereotypical emo "oh no she doesn't love me :(" sort of thing and wasn't good, yet she went and wrote her own poem and got it "accepted" into a poetry book to prove she was better than me. And yes, it was one of those vanity publisher anthologies, where they want you to buy 30 copies to be included. Needless to say I don't share my writing with my family! Even the ones I still allow in my life (though I do want my sister to be a beta reader when it gets to that point, since she's the most sane of them all).

None of my SOs were into writing and showed any interest in it, except my last relationship, we actually met over writing fanfiction for the same dead fandom. We beta'd each others work and came up with a ton of ideas for things to collaborate on but never really shared our original works with each other? Which in hindsight is a little odd. It's easier for me to put something out there where only strangers will read it than to show it to someone close to me, as their criticism/rejection would hurt a lot more than a stranger's.
 

mschenk2016

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I'm a very slow writer. Rather than mention I'm writing something and then having people ask for years "so when's it going to be done?" ala George Martin, I keep my mouth shout mostly. My wife knew I was writing a book, but used to make jokes about how long it was taking, which actually discouraged me and made it take LONGER, so I just stopped talking about it. Then as I was approaching the end, I was feeling giddy because NO ONE in my life knew it was almost done, and then I just dropped it on them.

My wife and kid both said they really like my idea, and my wife encourages me to make us rich, but I don't think she's actually read it. Neither has my family. Some of them have excuses like having young kids, the others maybe are worried they're going to hurt my feelings if they don't like it.
 

H.L.Dyer

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I try to keep my personal writing circle relatively small. My parents were very supportive of my endeavors and would lend advice when they could. My boyfriend is also relatively supportive, though is more of the "smile and nod because I don't know what she's talking about" types. Bless his heart he does try though šŸ˜‚
But I can tell when I go on one of my writer-rants this is how I feel when I'm ranting at him
charlie-kelly.png


These people are probably my closest supporters.
I do also consult with my cousin sometimes who has already self published quite a few titles. But sometimes it can be hard feeling comfortable talking about my works for two reasons: 1) She's in Texas so I don't get to see her very often and 2) Her family environment is a little different from mine in that my aunt is a devote Catholic and their politics differ from mine. And while I don't believe she's as religious as my aunt is, I don't want to risk saying something that could cause offense.

Then there are those outside of that circle, like my co workers and customers I sometimes deal with. For the most part my teammates haven't commented either way about my hobbies, one of them though did offer to help me get in touch with some people he knew in North Carolina which I plan to take into consideration. Otherwise, they haven't scolded me for playing Brandon Sanderson lectures while pulling stock in the store basement, so I consider that a win.
For customers, I hardly tell anybody what I'm doing. 98% of the time they don't even bother to ask anyway so I'm not going to go out of my way and exclaim "Hey! I am an aspiring author". The minority of people that asked have usually pulled the "You're not going to make a living that way" card. Though there was one customer that I helped that asked that. And I swear she was an angel sent from the higher planes because when I hesitantly told her she said "That's great! Don't give up on it, keep going." And was very enthusiastic about my pursuits. I swear I'll never forget that encounter.

When I plan to get this round of revisions done, I plan to send it out to my boyfriend's brothers (one of them and has recently started doing commissions and entering writing contests) for final critiques when I go to the query stage.
 

H.L.Dyer

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[This was an accidental double-post, I don't know how to remove this comment]
 

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