A Poet/Writer’s Family Critique – Survey Conclusions

Many of you, dear readers of The River Journal, are poets and writers. Many of you spend hours each day with the quill in your hands, guiding to light, in the two-dimensional space of a page, the multi-dimensional outcome of your imagination. To some of you this comes easy, to others it doesn’t, but one important aspect in this matter is the degree of support you get in pursuing your goal from the people composing your family and friends environment.

Therefore we recently decided, here at The River Journal, to conduct a survey meant to find out the usual circumstances that surround a poet/writer’s activity – and we warmly thank all of you who accepted to sacrifice a few minutes from your precious time to provide us with information.

The first thing that simply amazed me, honestly, was the high percentage of respondents who declared to have been writing for more than 15 years – some of them even for over 25. I’d say that such a consistency deserves a big slice of appreciation, no matter if the writing activity was viewed as a hobby or as a profession. We all know that the main satisfaction coming from writing is of a spiritual nature, and only in rarer cases of a financial one, so first of all allow me to thank those who chose to put themselves with love in the service of the word.

An overwhelming majority of respondents declared that they write every chance they get, and I believe that this comes to complete my previous statement regarding the consistency of this activity. Writing takes time – and time is precious, so the declared willingness to use any possible moment to do this proves again that poets and writers love what they do and that they take it seriously.

How do those around them react to this? That was the core question mark of our survey, aiming to reveal the level of support a poet/writer enjoys from those around him/her. And although there were many who answered that their friends and families are truly supportive, there still were enough respondents who said that their activity, though serious, represents no more than a hobby in the eyes of the others. Some even declared that the others don’t support them or that they laugh at them because of what they do.

That is something that shouldn’t happen. True, not always is writing a source of material satisfactions, and it is probably for this reason that most people look at this activity and at those involved in it with skepticism. Another reason for which poets and writers meet such a wall of resistance is probably the fact that most often they appear to be just common people, people from whom the others would not expect literary jewels. And yet so many of world’s greatest authors have started in similar situations, growing and revealing their value in time, some of them being recognized only after dying.

Writing is no less serious than any other activities or jobs, and shouldn’t be looked at in that way. Poets and writers deserve just as much support – be it spiritual or material – as do scientists or sportsmen or cooks or any other category of people.

I will end this article with two personal advices for you, dear readers. The first one goes to those of you who write: don’t give up. Never give up. The first supporter of you is you yourself, so keep on writing, no matter what. And the second one goes to those of you who do not write, but who know someone who does: take them seriously. Treat them with respect and provide them with an ounce of hope – sometimes that is all it takes to find the diamond in the pile of coal.

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5 thoughts on “A Poet/Writer’s Family Critique – Survey Conclusions

  1. So nice. And I want to say that somehow I missed the survey, probably saw it and tucked it away, sorry. Now I have just come to appreciate writing, so my view is new. I’m in awe when I see words that speak to me and only ‘me’ knows that, that is what is beautiful or enlightening.
    I am in awe with the writer more than ever and what they produce. Very glad that entertainers give credit to the writers onstage. Deserved.

  2. Lillian, you have hit the nail on the proverbial head. It can be so demeaning to hear the criticism of those whose agendas conflict with the seemingly casual event of writing. It seems as if you’re wrong for wasting your time, time is money after all.
    Thank you for the trouble you went through to gather and garner this excellent piece.

  3. I’ve been writing since I was 11 and if something happened to me to prevent me from writing, I’m not sure I could recover from that. It’s such a huge part of my identity. My husband has never read anything I’ve written. He’s just not a reader, but he has given me the space and the time to write as much as I want. Sure I have other obligations, including a job and children, but he never says that it’s stupid any more. About 8 months ago he reminded me that despite how much time I put into fiction writing, it’s still in the hobby classification because the royalties don’t pay bills. Two months later, I had a bestseller. Never give up. Never let anyone derail your passion.

  4. First, I have to say excellent article Liliana. You know how I feel. 🙂 I do have to admit I was surprised by the number of people that said they were supported in their writings. Initially, I thought we would have fewer but…maybe the right question wasn’t proposed to them. I know from my life its a mix of support and frustration. Many support my writing but are frustrated I make no money from it. That I spend so much time on something that leaves my hands empty of the green they so value. We live in such a world of money, it is sad they miss out on what writers bring to the world.

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