Thursday, June 11, 2015


  1. Never expect your family to respect what you do. Don’t even expect them to read what you have written or had published. They may only start noticing when you make enough money to impact their lives.
  2. Share with them both your acceptances and rejections. At least they will know what you’ve been up to. Celebrate the successes with your spouse and/or children. If possible, involve them in stuffing envelopes, licking stamps, etc.
  3. Maintain an established routine and schedule for your writing, and work at sticking to it. Indicate writing times right on your calendar. If you don’t honor that schedule they won’t either.
  4. Make attending writers conferences/events a regular part of your annual routine so they will recognize their importance to your writing career. Share some of the highlights of your trip when you get back.
  5. Don’t let guilt take the joy out of those trips away for speaking engagements or conferences. Getting along without you for short periods of time is good for your spouse or children. (They will learn to appreciate you more.) Keep in mind that they will survive intact and will not starve. You’re the one who will likely have to deal with the aftermath when you get home—so enjoy the time that will immeasurably benefit your writing career.
  6. Although it’s important to keep your family first, you can do that by scheduling family events and writing events so they don’t overlap. Don’t let them talk you into changing your writing schedule or upcoming event at the last minute because they want to do something different. They will only honor your writing time as much as you do.
  7. And, finally, don’t fall into the trap of putting off your writing by waiting for the ideal circumstances. I’ve watched very accomplished writers who have decided to wait to write until the kids are in school or out of school, until the kids all leave home, until they can get away by themselves for uninterrupted blocks of time, or for whatever other reason they can come up to delay the writing. As I remind writers regularly—if you keep waiting for the perfect writing scenario, you’ll end up being a waiter—not a writer.

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