Are Your Expectations Misguided?

Today, a blog caught my eye. The author was lamenting the lack of support on the part of her family and friends. She was upset that friends spend money on a cup of Starbucks, but they wouldn’t buy her books–or worse, they bought other author’s books. The author also expected these same people to leave reviews. While I understand to some degree, I really think the author’s expectations are misguided. Here is my take on the matter

  1. Writing for publication is a business. Keep that in mind at all times.
  2. Your family and your friends are not your target market.
  3. Beyond the first sale, you should not expect your family and friends to buy your books.
  4. Do you really want friends and family to buy your book out of pity? You may find they avoid you. Ouch!
  5. The non-writers in your life do not understand the process. Educate them & make them feel a part of what you do.
  6. If you feel as if someone in your life is sabotaging your writing time, stand up for yourself. Keep in mind you teach others what is acceptable and what is not.
  7. Is the noise level of the TV driving you crazy? I bought a pair of noise cancellation headphones. Problem solved!
  8. By the way, it’s important for you to put boundaries around the writing. One Thanksgiving, I actually worked on copy edits for my second book. My family understandably did not appreciate it. Lesson learned.
  9. For those friends and family members who actively support you, don’t forget to include them in the acknowledgments.
  10. Want a little respect? I think Aretha says it best!

 

4 Responses to “Are Your Expectations Misguided?”

  1. Ki Pha says:

    Wow. I’m shocked by this, or maybe not? How could you expect family and friends to purchase your books if you complain to them about it. Besides, what if it’s not even their type of genre. And to not let them purchase and read other authors’ work is just too over the top. I would not want my family members or some of my friends reading my work because I would be too embarrassed!

    • Vicky says:

      Ki Pha, my mom and some friends came to my first booksigning. Mom read the first book, but hasn’t read any others. I don’t expect her to do so. It still shocks me when writers don’t treat this like the business it is.

  2. I guess I never considered that my family would have more than a “that’s nice, dear” interest in my writing. Other writers, though, can be so supportive. I think of the WANA troops, the RWA chapters… there’s plenty of knowledgeable support if it’s writing support you truly want.

    • Vicky says:

      Grace Burrowes, well said. I don’t rely on my family or friends to be supportive. I think the best thing we can do is focus on the actual storytelling. It is true other writers can be there for us, because they do understand in a way that non-writers really don’t. But I do think it’s important to reach deep inside and find your own core faith in your ability to spin a damn fine yarn. It is the one thing we can have absolute control over.

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