I’ve heard a lot of authors talk about how their friends and family don’t support their work. I would like to think that wasn’t a universally applicable statement, however I do feel it when someone says something relating to that, and I see it mentioned enough to know that it’s a thing people struggle with. It happens to me too. The vast majority of my group of friends and family haven’t even picked my book up. My dad’s read my first three books, but put hasn’t picked up the fourth yet, and that’s been out for a minute. He did tell me that he sent my first book to a prison library though. A guy he used to work with has been an inmate since the nineties and I guess they trade books. From what I understand I’m popular on death row at the Florida State Prison. My sister has also read my books, and apparently the crew on her C-130 really enjoyed them. Family wise though that’s it. My aunts, uncles and cousins seem to be completely disinterested. One of my aunts dismissed my first book as smut when I asked her about it. That struck me as a little off, as immediately prior she was regaling me with the all the insights of the Game of Thrones and Fifty Shades of Grey book series. Part of me was disappointed, but I did take solace in that someone who enjoyed the never-ending monotony of A Song of Ice and Fire and the outright tripe that is Fifty Shaded of Gray for their grittiness, violence, and overt sexual actions couldn’t even stand to read through the first few chapters of my work. Personal friends haven’t been much better. I’d say that I have four friends that read all six of my books. Two of them are amazingly supportive, one of them read them and told me he loved them then moved on with the conversation, and one friend keeps trying to tell me about things she read in the books that I didn’t write in the damn things. I really do appreciate everyone who’s taken the time to sit down and read what I’ve wrote, but the majority of those people are strangers on the internet. I do find it a strange phenomenon. There are a lot of supper supportive people out there that have never met me in person. And if you want my opinion, I think that’s better than the alternative. I wrote my books for people who have been in the same kind of struggled I’ve been in. My target audience post 9/11 combat veterans. What do upper-class, house wife, aunts know about trying not to get killed 24-7 for months on end only to come home and not be able to turn off that part of the brain since it’s been on so long. How are snooty, overprivileged cousins who know that one day they’re going to be rich off inheritance supposed to relate to staying at a bar all night until your pay posts and you can close your tab because you don’t want to go back to the barracks and stare at cinderblocks until you go insane? What do the people who partied hard in high school, peaked at nineteen, then had six kids before they turned twenty five and are stuck in middle America with some bullshit job know about attempting to form meaningful relationships with people you only get to see two or three times a year between training and deployments that usually crumble so you’re left to adapt to living the life of one night stands and drunken escapades. THEY DON’T. If you’re writing just for your friends and family, then why bother put it out to the world? If that’s the case, go to Kinkos, print off a few copies and give them to them. You didn’t grow up with your parents or their generation, and your siblings, cousins, and friends from your home town probably had completely different lives after you moved out and started your own life, and they just can’t relate. The good news is, there are people out in the world that think like you and want your work to relate to. The only issue with them is finding them and getting your work to them. Strangers praising your work on the internet is the greatest thing that can happen. Think about it, they don’t owe you anything, you’re not paying them to say the things they do, they have literally ZERO reason to give a flying fuck about you and your work. So, when someone does say something good about your work, they mean it. They have nothing to gain from telling you that they enjoyed your book, or art, or music, or whatever it is. Savor the strangers on the internet.
Alright, this was supposed to be a completely different rant, so you can probably expect another one coming up later tonight or tomorrow.
Appreciate the people who appreciate you.