Thursday, May 12, 2011

When People Don’t Understand

Thursdays – Dawn’s Devotions for Writers

“A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his
glory to overlook an offense.”  (Proverbs 19:11 NIV)

Unless you’re trying to make a make a career in the creative arts, it’s difficult to understand just how difficult it can be to break in and be successful.

My oldest daughter graduated from college with a degree in theater and has pursued an acting career for the past eight years—the same amount of time I’ve seriously focused on writing. We’re fortunate to both have husbands who support our dreams, and they’ve learned along the way that gigs don’t come easy.

After establishing her place in the Seattle theater community, two years ago my daughter’s husband was promoted and transferred to New York City. They were both thrilled. After all, one of the best places for an actor to grow and find work is in NYC. But, it meant that she had to start over in a city where there are not only more opportunities for actors, there’s also a lot more competition.

In the meantime, there are “other” relatives who keep hinting that it’s time to quit her hobby, get a real job, and start having babies. Ouch!!! It’s painful.

They don’t “get it.” They don’t understand what drives her—the need to create and express herself. But, I do …

For years, friends didn’t take my writing seriously. I think they believed it was just another “thing” I was trying out. They didn’t—and some still don’t—have a clue as to how things work in the industry. The expectation can be that you write a book in a month, send it in, and get it published a few months later. They may wonder why nothing is “happening.”

You may experience similar situations.

Perhaps your spouse isn’t supportive of you taking time to write. Maybe conferences are looked at as a waste of funds. You might even be receiving comments from friends, relatives, or fellow church members who can’t find it in themselves to believe in you.

It can be hurtful when people don’t take us—or our writing ministry—seriously.

That’s when we need to lean on God and our writer friends for support. We need to turn to people who DO understand. That’s what this blog is all about—offering writers not only education, but encouragement for those days when we feel discouraged.

When possible, we need to be patient with those who try to shoot us down and make us feel that our pursuit of publication or even just becoming a better writer is insignificant—unimportant. We need to be patient when their expectations become unrealistic.

Remember that they come from a place of not understanding. They just don’t “get it.” But there are those who do. And more importantly … God does.

(Update. My daughter just called. She was offered the role as the oldest daughter in the production of Fiddler on the Roof with a national touring company out of New York!)


  1. Congratulations to your daughter! Great post. In my situation it's much more about me being discouraged rather than anyone else in my life being unsupportive.

  2. Thanks, Mary! It's a huge deal for her. As you can probably tell, I'm excited. She's worked so hard.

    I appreciate knowing that you liked the post. I think most of us can relate to feeling discouraged now and then. You're not alone! It's difficult to break in and get published. But one of the wonderful things about being involved in Christian publishing is that there are so many people who want to help and encourage.

    Hang in there! :-D

  3. Hey readers, Blogger went down last night and deleted comments, apparently... They took this post off (Thursday) and waited until almost 11 a.m. PDT to restore this post and put up today's post (Friday).

    Here's what Mary said: Congratulations to your daughter! Great post. In my situation it's much more about me being discouraged rather than anyone else in my life being unsupportive.

    Dawn responded with encouragement. I agree. We're behind you, Mary, as you follow the call. May God send good news your way to encourage you today. Hugs, Annette


We'd love to hear your thoughts! Please leave comments. We'll moderate and post them!