When Family Doesn’t Understand Your Writing

By Mark Antony Rossi

Your family doesn’t understand your writing: it’s an age-old dilemma that rears its two-faced head again and again.    I won’t recommend offering disrespect to loved ones. Especially if you deeply feel their conduct towards your pursuit is exceedingly disrespectful.

I am not one to counsel patience or forgiveness. Your family’s behavior is not much different from society in general. It simply feels more acute since they share blood lines. You must face the truth of reality and identify the ignorance as a form of anti-intellectual denial.

It festers and strikes out when feeling threatened like the benighted schoolyard bully. It stops when you punch back. That is to say stand up to the family member and inform them your writing has value and you are committed to pursue it.

Beyond that I cannot speak. Writing like love doesn’t usually have a logical end or a tangible goal. A multi-book contract or the emotional equivalent — marriage —might not be present at the close of the journey. And to the unimaginative these results indicate futility and failure.

The practical people are unable to see genuine merit in the arts. Theirs is a world of visible distance and measurement. If they can’t see it, eat it or sleep with it — it defies meaning for their lives. While creativity is fueled by faith in an unseen world. This is the supreme reason you have to discern the difference between practicality and creativity.

One approach to life is not better than the other. If we waited for the creative person to build a home or milk a cow chances are most of us would starve under the starry night. The same goes for the practical person safe in a warm home without a thought beyond biscuits and the bayou. Such an existence absent a happy song or an engaging story is barely removed from furry beasts roaming the forest for food.

I can play semantical games like suggesting you have to be more tolerant or the bigger person or stronger in conviction. But you know such a performance is base politics and politics is always present to sooth imbalance and disguise unfairness. The fact remains being a creative person in a crowd of uncreative people is agreeing to wear an orange jumpsuit in a black and white world. You stand out a mile away as a human target.

Maybe it’s a cruel irony that the writer is a loud prophet unwelcome in his quiet homeland. But maybe that occupational detachment serves the artist as a primary means to deliver wisdom to a world more likely to listen to an outsider. As the prodigal son a returning writer might be viewed with different eyes. Those governed by the heart accept irony as opportunity instead of mislabeling it a battlefield of bad luck.

About the Author: Mark Antony Rossi is a poet, playwright and author of the bioethics volume “Dark Tech” now available from Amazon. His most recent plays have been produced in Liverpool and New York. 

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  1. Dear Mark
    I can relate very well to what you write. Keep writing need to…coz you do it too well..

  2. Thanks so much.