I started a blog mini-series last week on how I prioritise writing. This Wednesday, I'm talking about writing taking priority over loved ones.
I sometimes come off as arrogant. I'm
actually down-to-earth as heck, so it amuses me. It's just that my
natural, 'I know my faults, screw the world, I rock!' spirit is often
misinterpreted. Even in the face of that spirit, I get a good case of
the Am I Crazies every once in a while.
stuff - critiques, betas, advice - there's none better than another
writer. But for unequivocal love and support, you need your friends and
The first step is to tell them. This is hard.
Seriously, I feel like I understand what gay people go through the first
time they tell everybody. I talk on this blog, but it took years for me
to tell my friends I was a writer. (It took a decade to talk about
bipolar, so I guess that's not so bad.)
It's like they say, "Those who mind, don't matter, and those who matter, don't mind."
What does this have to do with priorities? If you're going to be a novelist. In fact, if you're going to write long work of any type, then there will come times when everything else gets thrown under the bus. There will be days when you have to sacrifice being parent, spouse, sibling, friend for the sake of the writing. You need to make sure the people in your life understand. It's not that they're less important. It's just that writing is a demanding master.
Back to "those who mind."
There may be people in your life that are less than understanding. Priorities come into play here too. What is writing worth to you? Is it worth trying to help that person understand? And if they don't understand and keep being unsupportive or, worse, actively pushing against your writing, what then? Keep the writing and the writing and the relationship seperate? Give up the writing? Give up the relationship?
I hope you never have to make these difficult decisions and that your loved ones are accepting that, sometimes, writing takes priority.