Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Parade of Primal Peeps

I've noticed an interesting trend... or rather, lack thereof...

I emerged as a writer in the Potterverse, deeply immersed among like minds... like an underwater birth, and I swam with people who were as in love with the content as I was for months (years now). I'm not saying they would have liked anything I wrote, but they are an open-minded bunch, so long as nobody does anything TOO far out there. I know... if anyone is going to be far out there, it is me, but I was always a canon stickler, so my shocks were more outrageous in other ways, than in ways that tend to rile up this crowd. In fact by now, most of them have joined the Naked World Domination Tour. They are my people.

I've been thrilled, but not terribly surprised, that much of this group has either come along this independent writer journey with me, or at least been regularly supportive as I transform from a fan fiction writer to an original fiction writer. This group ALSO was the source of my first Facebook friends, so they have gotten the day to day madness all along.

But What About All Those People Who Love Us… Like from forever?


[I’m in the middle of the back row]

Among my friends accumulated over a lifetime, it has been downright intriguing to see who is interested and who is not. It may be as simple as those with a writing interest are interested in the process a writer is going through, but the takers and the 'non-takers' among those old friends could be the content for a psychological dissertation I think.

I should probably confess I am a lousy correspondent. Pre-Facebook I lost a lot of people for years at a time. I am lucky if I get Christmas cards sent every third year. I don't like the telephone and rarely use it. I live on the other side of the country from most of my friends and family. I'm a recluse. That said, I AM the one among my high school 'clique' who gets a group email going now and again so we can all catch up... I tracked down several people in my high school class to pester them into joining Facebook. Being anti-social doesn't mean I don't LIKE people (I adore people, in fact I think I have far fewer people I dislike than average—I can find things I really like about almost everyone). It just means I am more comfortable interacting in written form, but have managed to get too busy for the individual letters I used to be so prolific with. I only have about two friends I correspond with one-on-one with any regularity via email, and one of them was part of my new batch of Harry Potter friends who I just happen to have a lot in common with. So I think I'm clear I'm not exactly dishing the love, either...

But back to my train of thought...


Artists for the most part, are interested... they are among those who create, who know that part of the soul goes into what we do... painters, sculptors, singers... all of them. They are happy for other artists succeeding, and supportive of the process. The artists among my friends, even people who were once more peripheral friends, are FABULOUS this way.

Other than that, I haven't been able to sort the hows and whys. There is a little bit of 'who has time', but that isn't entirely it. Of my aforementioned high school clique... not one. No takers. They haven't a clue what I'm doing (or if they do, have not said 'boo' about it, in spite of my flashing nature, so they KNOW I have written a book)--yes, a busy group mostly, but I find it odd. Yet other friends from high school I've had long conversations with—some I didn't even know all that well at the time, but they've been amazing and hugely supportive (including ALL the people who are friends with my author profile or follow here)...

College friends aren’t quite so mysterious, as I was terrible, terrible, terrible at keeping in touch with this set after college, so I am just honored ANY of them are around, and there are a few.

My family? My cousin's wife reads. I know my uncle HAS and he is always really nice when he does. But my aunt and mom have both received portions of CONFLUENCE and have never said a word (maybe it is the swearing in chapter 1). I just find the whole dynamic fascinating. I guess it’s possible they hate it (and there are some not very nice mothers in there, so it’s possible I’ve offended, though neither of these are based on MY mother—other than the neat freak thing, but the BOOK neat freak is sort of a cold fish and my neat freak mother is very warm (possibly too warm… she doesn’t grasp why I am more aloof)—my point being, neither mother has anything to do with mine.

I am really curious what other writers have found. I am PARTICULARLY curious if it changes on publication... if maybe people keep their distance because they are skeptical--incapable of being supportive without evidence. It's possible I have a really wonky batch of friends ( I KNOW I have a wonky family), or maybe this is why so many writers stay in the closet so long... but I'd love to hear.

Also from FOLLOWERS… is it a curiosity about the WRITING or the WRITER? Though I suppose that is an awkward one to throw out there… I am just deeply curious about the WHY of the people who are interested.  Hoping for some insight on the NOT.


NaNoWriMo

All that said... there is another parade of peeps going on... I have been comfortable with my writing legs for a little while now. It has been four years since starting to share what I write, three since diving into CONFLUENCE in a committed way—my first original. I now have two books under my belt and am well into a third. But this NaNoWriMo thing has sent me running for the comfort of companions who have been part of this process with me all along.

I mentioned Tara and Maria both joining yesterday. [everybody pray to the computer gods for Tara’s laptop] I found out about another taker, Auriga, who I admire all to heck, because not only does she tell a great story, she tells them in English, when her native tongue is German. A couple more might join and I just have to say, that as much as I ADORE the new writing community I've become a part of, it gives me a little extra courage to be surrounded by peeps who've been with me since I first came out. (Tara was my first ever reader!)

11 comments:

Tundiel said...

Aww! You know I'll always support you, Tami! And you may not have been my FIRST reader, but you are definitely my most supportive, so have a huge squishy *glomp* from me:)

As to the other stuff, you're in the same boat as me. I get far more support from my online buddies than I do from real-life friends. Hubby is skeptical (though that's not ALL his fault, he knows how I dither), and while I have a couple of friends who occasionally ask how the writing is going, it's not very often. I don't think I'd be writing at all without my online support system.

Not Hannah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Not Hannah said...

I'm gonna say that the reason folks who aren't artists can't relate or be as supportive of writers is that we work on something, actually create something, that doesn't have a tangible use. Even if it can be read, it might never be a book. So we work and work and work, maybe for hours, and don't have a completed project at the end of the day that can be used.

My family, who think I'm an awesome writer, always attach to me the idea that if I can just write "that novel," I will be able to buy back the family farm. They see anything I write not as an expression of my soul (ahem), but as a means to an end at which they can do REAL work.

Maybe.

Marjorie said...

Creative work is not generally thought of as work unless a person is making money at it. That is probably another reason why schools cut out music and art programs first. It's a sad truth. Somehow creativity is not important to people who don't have it. I think that instead of discouraging creativity that schools should have more programs focusing on creative media. I mean my kids have music and art just once a week each. Disgraceful in my opinion.

Watery Tart said...

*hugs Tara*

I think all of that--creative work not being REAL work is so true... my little hobby, aren't I cute? I know with my mom there is also the 'it isn't something you can support yourself with' which may be forever true. I have a decent income and frankly, will need to probably be making a hundred grand a year before my loss of salary, benefits, retirement, etc. balances my 'day job' (even though I don't make nearly that.) May never get there... will certainly need a stack of royalty checks to supplement any incoming contracts unless I can pull a Dan Brown (eyes Stephanie Meyer with annoyance)...

Marjorie-I totally agree on arts at school. Our schools are better on music--they get 3 days a week all through, and in 5th grade all kids get to play an instrument, and in 6th music is still required for all (though they can do choir, band or orchastra)-and in elementary they get art twice a week-that is the result of a high ratio of PhDs among the voting populace though. What is ironic though, is the proven relationship of math to music (and in actuality other arts).

Funny thing though, I have NEVER thought of myself as artistic, because words are the only medium with which i have any skill. I'm glad the other artists out there don't seem to have my bias!

Joris said...

On art education; we had music only in first year (singing only) and drawing/CKV (Culturaly/Arty Education -ish) only up to fourth year... Then again, year 5 and 6 of Dutch schools are comparable more to the first two years of college than the last two years of high school... Oh, and nothing in Primary school (wait, is that right? *thinks back* maybe some drawing. And I built fantastic stuff out of cardboard and plastic in the unspecified hours...)

On a side note (I digress... Mari would be so proud :) ), my oldest little brother is currently playing some wicked tunes on his viola... Not sure how artistic he is though, unless it comes out in tinkering with computer programming -- or were you saying music IS artistic...? I think I tend to think of it more as skill, come to think of it...

hopelessbratt said...

I totally understand what you are asking here Tami. A few months ago I put together a little collection of my short farm related stories as a little booklet and started passing them out to friends and family. My friends from college were tickled pink by it, but the people i see most often, mainly my family, didn't hardly say boo, though when questioned, admitted they liked it. It was sorta strange how different people react to something you have created depending on how much interaction there is between you. The ones who are thrilled ask a lot of questions and are supportive, but others look at me like I'm crazy.

(I know I am one of the online buddies, but I think you expected a one sided response anyways)

Chary Johnson said...

I get the same from my family. They also call it my "cute little hobby." This angers me to no end. However, I absolutely understand. I get more support from my online friends than from anyone else.

I hope you get published soon. Then maybe those closest to you will see that this is not just a little hobby but something that is meaningful and fulfilling.

*hugs*

*stands in the bleachers and cheers Hart on*

Rayna M. Iyer said...

My family thinks writing is a waste of time. And even when I come up with something I am rather proud of, getting any reaction more than a grunt is near impossible. Which probably is why I have just not been able to bring up the traction to write :-(

And Tami, you are almost inspiring me to take up the NaNoWriMo challenge. I know I can't, but ....

Watery Tart said...

Awwww! *big group hug* Maria, I think your family is much like mine. People who've made their living on hard labor (solid practical jobs) don't really look at writing as a vocation (art either) and so don't get it.

Chary and Natasha-you've hit on different tones but the same problem. The Puerto Rican 'well isn't that cute?' and the Indian "why are you bothering?" SOUND different, but are really so similar. You should be banging head together! I don't tolerate that kind of thing well!

Nothing I am receiving is quite that direct. From my family of origin it is mostly silence. From my family family, it is more just a resentment that I am not spending more time doing stuff for THEM. My daughter is eager for me to be rich, as she is sure once I succeed, she can finally have all the things her friends have. My son is the only one who occassionally asks me how it's going...

My husband has shut up because a neighbor and I talked about my writing recently with Bob standing there, and I said jokingly when I succeeded the family got NOTHING because they weren't supportive. Silence is better than the pestering. I will go with it.

Creative Chronicler said...

I thhink we may be kindred spirits.