I want to tell you a story.
Once upon a time, there was a girl who had a crush on a boy. The boy and the girl had been friends for almost their entire lives and they trusted each other with many secrets. One day, the girl turned to the boy and said, “I’m going to write a book. Fifty-thousand words in thirty days.” The boy said, “You’re crazy. Why would anyone want to do that?”
The girl was heart-broken and very hurt but she wrote the book anyway. She enjoyed it so much she swore that she would never spend time with anyone who couldn’t, at the very least, support her for doing what she loved.
When I wrote my first novel, I told everyone about it so they could hold me accountable. I knew that without the threat of endless teasing and being called a failure, it would be much easier to quit.
I heard almost every possible response.
Some called me crazy and stupid and told me I was going to fail. I did my best to ignore them until I finished my novel. (And then I rubbed it in their face that I had done it.)
Some were excited for me and wished me luck. I am incredibly grateful for them.
Almost all of them wanted to read it when I was done.
(I can count the number of people who have read my novels on one hand.)
I think, my biggest supporter of my writing is my mom. While she doesn’t normally read speculative fiction or even young adult fiction, she has a huge appreciation for books. She reads more than I do. My mom doesn’t always “get” my writing, but she always asks me how my novel is going in November, and she was the first person I let read my first novel. And it was a zero-draft, too.
The rest of my family supports my writing, too. My little brother even participated in NaNoWriMo last year and would have beat me to 50,000 words if he hadn’t joined the swim team.
Now, most of my friends support my writing. They read flash fiction when I post it on my Facebook or Twitter and generally, they think it’s really cool. They’ve even asked me for writing advice from time to time.
I learned a very hard lesson the day I told that boy I was writing a novel. Not everyone is going to support you. Most likely, people are going to think you’re crazy. But you know what?
People who don’t support you for doing what you love aren’t very good friends.
I’m glad I learned that lesson sooner rather than later.