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Recently, I met my mother’s friend whom I have not seen for several years.  She was visiting my mother.  After the niceties, her first questions were, “With you education, how come you do not have a better job?  Writing is great, but don’t you want to own a house and have more money?”  My mother seemed to silently nod her head to these questions, agreeing with her friend.  Surely, I would love to have more money.  I also agree that having a Security Guard and Private Investigator License and a job in this field with a Master’s Degree behind me does not make me look very successful.  However, the job I have allows me to have time to write and it pays the bills.  I would not want to switch jobs, if it means having to end up less time writing.  When I explained this logic to my mother and her friend, they both frowned.

I heard similar stories from other writers.  Becoming a successful writer takes time.  This fact is often not appreciated by loved ones and friends.  All they see is that you are well educated with a less than ideal paycheck or/and a less than ideal job.  They do not appreciate the love you have for writing.  For example, in the past two years, I have written two books, participated in seven short story competitions and produced nearly seventy blogs.  I love writing, even though English is not my first language.  I can’t help it!  I must have been an English born person in my past life!  Still, my family and friends do not seem to understand this passion.  All they see is the lack of dollar signs.

What can you do in this situation?  Well, do not try to argue with the sceptics.  It is never healthy because they might just put you down.  If they are unsupportive, explain your passion and switch topics, if you see that they are unconvinced.  Psychologically, you can also help yourself by reminding yourself that when you do become successful, you can always rub it in.  It is interesting that people try to keep discouraging artists until the moment they become successful.  Then, they couldn’t be prouder!  Think of that moment!  Afterward, go back to what you love doing!  After all, you don’t have to make them happy.  But, you do have to make yourself happy!

Happy writing!

M. J. Mandoki

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