Why It Feels Like Your Family and Friends Don’t Support Your Writing

They do still love you, you know.

Have you ever wondered why your friends, neighbors, and even your parents don’t seem to be as excited about your life as a writer as you are?

Does that — their lack of interest in your words — bother or discourage you?

Like any other hobby or profession, we want to surround ourselves with people who share our interests and skill sets. We enjoy talking with like-minded people about the things that get us excited. It’s human nature to want our circles to care about what we care about.

Of course, the internet allows us to find “our people” whether we live in the same city, state, country, or continent or not.

Which could be why it’s often so unsettling when we share our latest blog post with our Facebook friends … and no one we know — not even our moms — interacts with them.

Don’t they care about us? Why are they being so unsupportive?

The truth is … they’re being totally supportive. Passively.

Expecting everyone you know to display deep and endless passion for your work as a writer is kind of like expecting everyone in your coworking space to like Star Wars.

There are many people who love porgs and lightsabers and Jar Jar Binks.

There are plenty of people — most of your family and friends included — who just … don’t.

Writing is your Star Wars.

It isn’t that those close to you don’t care. But it’s very possible they’re either uninterested in what you’re doing, or they just don’t understand it — and don’t, for whatever reason, want to.

It isn’t that your loved ones don’t support you. They most likely do want you to be successful and happy. If they don’t read your work regularly, it’s kind of like my college roommate refusing to watch Revenge of the Sith with me (sigh). It has nothing to do with whether or not she likes or cares about me as a person. Her interests simply lie elsewhere (Harry Potter).

You also have to remember that there are millions, even billions of people around the world who don’t read or pay any attention to your work. You just notice that your family and friends don’t because you know them and want their approval.

You probably don’t care about whether or not the entire population of Kansas reads your blog. That one family member who happens to live in Kansas — and doesn’t read your blog — is just more noticeable to you.

Don’t get too discouraged when people you know seem to ignore what you’re up to. Even better, try to learn more about how they spend their days and evenings — what makes them happy? What do they like? They’re much more likely to show curiosity related to your work and play if you do the same for them.

And if your mom never reads your blog, oh well. Focus your energy on keeping a bunch of faceless strangers happy when she’s not around. You’ll be fine.


Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a nine-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.

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