Good and bad of writing

It’s the first Wednesday of the month again, time for a post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.


DECEMBER QUESTION: In your writing, what stresses you the most? What delights you?

MY ANSWER: What delights me? It is a no brainer: a story. I enjoy making up my own stories, coming up with the characters and their adventures. It’s not always easy, but it is always rewarding. When the story unfolds, it sucks me in, makes me forget all my real-life troubles. It is escapism at its best, better even than reading.

What stresses me? The lack of moral support and encouragement. For all my writing life, the only encouragement I’ve ever got for my writing was from my online friends. Nobody in my real life praises my writing or even reads it. I’m not complaining about my family – far from it. I have a great family, BUT… I and my family and my closest friends are all immigrants from Russia. Nobody among my family and friends knows English enough to enjoy reading it, including my writing (I write exclusively in English). Mostly, they read Russian books.

Furthermore, raised and steeped in the Russian culture, they don’t read light genre fiction, which is what I write. Magic with dragons? Puh! My mom never in her life read anything so frivolous. She enjoys serious mainstream novels and literary fiction. So does my sister. The sci-fi adventure flicks I write, with nothing even remotely resembling true life, is not for them.

My children, on the other hand, know English. They went to school here, in Canada. BUT… My daughter doesn’t read fiction. She is into non-fiction and not interested in my genre stories. My son – the only one of my relatives – did read a few of my stories and even complimented me. He is a good son and a good man, but we have different tastes in reading. I’m reluctant to push my writing on him too often – don’t want to over-exploit his affection for me – and he never asks to read anything of mine without a prompt. So, not much moral support there as well.

Just as I said, the only consistent moral support and encouragement for my writing comes from my online friends: here at IWSG and at WEP.

BTW: we have the last WEP blog hop of 2021 coming up on the theme Narcissus, based on the famous painting by Caravaggio. I’m going to post my story in a few days. Come read it. Give me your moral support. It’ll make me happy. A hint: it will be a sci-fi flash story, an adventure in space.

What about you? What stresses and delights you in your writing?





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24 Responses to Good and bad of writing

  1. I’m really sorry you don’t get much family support. Not sure what it is with writers and families. I have a few friends and family who read what I write, but just a few.
    Speculative fiction gets dumped on, doesn’t it?

  2. That’s too bad that the family you have that read English don’t want to read your books. My family doesn’t read fantasy so I doubt they’d read my stories either.

  3. I am so very sorry to hear that your family support is missing – but I really loved hearing that writing your stories delights you. They delight me each and every time I read them.

  4. soniadogra says:

    Looking forward to your story Olga. I understand how important it is to find moral support when you write. That’s where writing communities step in. Best wishes to you!

  5. spunkonastick says:

    I’m sorry your family isn’t more supportive. It amazes me how many people only read non-fiction. Maybe it’s a left and right brain thing – left brain wants the facts and right brain wants the imagination.

  6. We could be twins. My family either don’t read fiction of the dragon-or-space variety – my mother for one – or they read my stories for the love of me, not of the stories, which I won’t exploit 😉
    And I agree that writing a story, letting the plot unfold is pure delight, and yes even better than reading.
    I thought of writing a blog post on today’s IWSG – now I can just tell people to go here; just forget about the Russian part. I’m Danish and write all my fiction either in Danish or bilingual Danish / English.

    I look forward to your next story. and I’m hoping for a nice long ending to your space story and may it be a happy one for cadet Neville!

  7. patgarcia says:

    It has taken my sisters years to discover that I write. No kidding. The Bible says that a prophet is not recognized in his own country. In fact, it started happening just last year that one of my sisters actually wrote a comment on Facebook. I was shocked! Soi, don’t give up. It can still happen.
    Take care and have a Merry Christmas and a safe crossover into 2022.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

  8. Well, I write steamy romance, and even the family members who enjoy that genre are squicked out by the thought of reading sex scenes written by their mom/aunt/sister, though my mom gave one of my books a try. She said, “It’s well-written for that kind of book.” Thanks, Mom. I wish you and yours a happy holiday season.

  9. My family doesn’t support me either. Although I do send a copy of every poem and short story to my mother. It helps fill up the pages. LOL Funny how I’m always short of words in those letters.

  10. cleemckenzie says:

    It’s interesting that some of us get little to no support from our family and friends. I’m always surprised when someone I KNOW–as in see and socialize with–actually reads one of my books and comments on their experience.

  11. My family is similar. There are some readers, but they don’t really seem into what I write. I do have a few family members who read my stuff, but we never talk about it. I waffle between being fine about that and too embarrassed to discuss it out loud with family and wishing they’d tell me how they liked the story or not.

  12. Loni Townsend says:

    I faced similar problems with my family. In the words of my husband: “I don’t want to read what you wrote because I don’t want to end up not liking it.” Bit of ignorance is bliss type of thing. And really, he’s right, because he’s super critical and opinionated, and honestly, he’d probably just upset me with anything he had to say about it because it doesn’t fit exactly with how he thinks it should be. (Example: one character throws lightning bolts and my husband says, it wouldn’t hit the other character because physics don’t work that way. I’m all, “It’s freaking fantasy!”) So, I’m okay there. My sis-in-law is in my corner, and has actually read an early draft of my first book. Though she’s a lot like her brother in the critical regards, perhaps even more so. Her words: “I hate your main characters.” +1 to bluntness.

    Maybe it’s better for my psyche that they don’t read my work…

  13. Olga Godim says:

    Oh, folks, I’m sorry many of you face the same problem. I didn’t know. I thought mine stems from my family’s language barrier. But most of you are native speakers, and still… Maybe this is a problem common for writers, no matter the language.

  14. mlouisebarbourfundyblue says:

    Hi, Olga! Jesus pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own land. I think that’s true of writers as well. My family is supportive and encouraging, but not one of my siblings bought the anthology with my story in it. I was stunned, but I’m over it now! My husband, on the other hand, was amazing ~ and he only enjoys non-fiction typically. But as writers we have to write regardless! Happy writing to you. Have a lovely holiday season!

  15. That’s funny about your family. I have one sister who raves about my writing and the rest of my siblings ignore it. My brother went so far as to say he doesn’t read–who would he buy my book!

    Good grief. Family. Can’t live with them. Can’t live without ’em.

  16. Jemi Fraser says:

    A few of my family members have read my nonfiction on dementia, but none of them read romance and I’m not sure how many even remember I write most of the time 🙂

  17. Jenni says:

    I have a pretty supportive family, but I think they probably only read my writing because I wrote it, not because they’d pick it up themselves. (I write for kids.)

    I’ve found most of my support online as well. I do find that online critique partners tend to be more brutally honest than in-person critters, so online can be a good thing.

    I’ve been involved in my local in-person writing groups, but most of them are not meeting right now. I do have a writing friend I started meeting with last spring, and that’s been wonderful to be able talk shop face-to-face.

    It sounds like you have found your tribe, even if it’s online.

  18. 3mpodcast says:

    I’m sorry to hear you don’t get support in your writing. That seems to happen so much in the writing world. Your WEP piece sounds intriguing. Looking forward to it! (Shannon @thewarriormuse dot com)

  19. Julia Quay says:

    Olga, I’m so sorry your family doesn’t appreciate your work. If not for my husband and writing groups, I would never share mine either. Would love to read your stories!

  20. Diane Burton says:

    I feel bad that you don’t get much family support. Hubs is not a fiction reader, but he does support my efforts. He will read my ms, but gives a “that’s good” comment. My sisters don’t like any sci-fi romances. They do read my cozy mysteries but don’t say much. My kids are encouraging my efforts. Not all the time or even often. They’re busy with young families, etc. Although I’m blessed that they encourage my writing, I don’t take it for granted. I know so many writers who get no/little support from those closest to them Enjoy the support of those of us online. We want the best for you.

  21. Denise+Covey says:

    Hi Olga. I got no family support until I made a print book, then they all scurried to buy it. Now none of them ‘do’ Amazon reviews, so I’m having the dickens of a time to get people to review.
    Pretty excited to see my book in the advertisement!

  22. yvettecarol says:

    I remember hearing a comedian comment once on how it doesn’t matter how famous you get, your family still won’t be interested in you. When I published my trilogy, I gave them to everyone in the family. Maybe two people read them!
    The story writing part is wonderful and makes up for everything, right?

  23. lissa says:

    What stress me is in editing. I keep thinking I’ll get better at editing my own work but no, it never gets any easier. What I delight in is same as you – the story. I write a lot of fantasy and sometimes science fiction and I think it’s not for everyone but I enjoy writing and reading it. Sometimes what comes out of my head delights me, it’s silly, I think I enjoy my stories more than readers.

    Have a lovely day.

  24. denizb33 says:

    I can totally see how that would be a source of stress! My mother and my sister read my stuff, which is great! But my writing friends are definitely way more interested in the day to day ups and downs of my stories than my non-writer friends. On the other hand, I’m also not very good at talking up myself and my stories either…

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