Saturday, August 05, 2006

I'm a writer

Hi. My name's Carla Swafford and I'm a writer. When you say it like that, it sounds like I'm at an AA meeting. True. Writing to me is like a drug. Not counting that I'm a book junkie, I'm also obsessed with all thoughts of writing.

I'm proud to be a mother and more recently a grandmother (though I still feel too young to be one). BUT, I do have to say I take a lot of pleasure in telling people I'm a writer. Of course, I have to quickly tell them I'm not published and more times than I can count, they merely say "Oh." Yet on occasion, someone will become excited about the news and I will walk away feeling like I'm someone special.

My family has mixed feelings about my writing. My husband understands if he wants to remain married to me, he will ignore the messy house and my hours at the computer or at conferences. My two daughters say it's cool to tell their friends, but they refuse to read my work. Too gross to think mom knows about sex. Yeah. They believe they were conceived by immaculate conception.

My sister read one of my first manuscripts and claimed she loved it. Actually, I believe it is more like she loves me. (Thanks, sis.) My brother isn't sure what to think and my sister-in-law finds it interesting. While my dad expects me to write the next great American novel. Isn't he sweet?

But most of my buddies have heard my story about my mom. Bless her heart (Have to say that - I am Southern). When I told her I had written a book and asked if she would like to read it, she declared in her Southern lady-like voice, "Oh, Lord, no! I know it's all about what a horrible mother I've been!" Is it no wonder that I loved the movie, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood? I can relate so well. LOL! BTW, she wasn't a horrible mother - I'm just a very demanding daughter at times. Besides, no one is perfect.

Tell me some of your experiences with family and friends when you told them you planned to or had written a book.

p.s. I added the picture because I like to share my inspirations.


Deborah Matthews said...

It was a while before I told anybody I was writing a book except my husband. This was in the dark ages when I didn't have a computer at home. He was very supportive. We went out and bought me a word processor, then later a used computer that used 5" floppies.

A little later I told Connie. We had shared out love of reading, especially historicals. Then I found she had a yen to write as well.

I don't really remember telling my mother or the rest of my family. I do remember I was chagrined when my mother told my aunts.

My husband is still supportive, even though he's never read anything I've written. I don't let that bother me. He doesn't hesitate to tell strangers or friends or family I'm published. So, he harbors no embarassement. One day when someone asked him why he laughingly said something like, Maybet it's better I don't know.

Gaill said...

When I first decided that I wanted to be a writer my daughter was 5 years old. When I announced to my then husband and family that I wanted to write I met with a great deal would be a good word. My then-husband told me to keep my day job, which at the time was really a night job, and with that kind of support, I stuffed my yearning down where it apparently belonged.
Skip ahead 28 years. My daughter is now 33 years old, and shares my desire to write what blazes in her heart. My then-husband had been an ex for so many years it is hard to remember him, and my now husband is as supportive as a husband can be, to the point that he lets me read my dialogue outloud to him and gives me pointers on what a man might really say and think. My other family members who poo-pooed the idea then are now my estranged family, the ones I consider my FOO, but not my family in the true sense of what family means. Not because they didn't support my desire to write, there are way too many other important reasons we are estranged. My chosen family members read what I write, and in their love for me tell me it is so good, they can't wait to buy it at a bookstore, and I know that they love me. They never bash my writing or my ideas, they just show me love, and that in itself is enough for me to know that no matter how I end up, forever un-pubbed, or a best seller, these are the people who believed that I have a heart to write, and they would never do anything to crush my heart.
My 15yo son thinks it is cool, and what ever I might be doing, he attributes it to writing. If I'm piled on the couch with a cat, a book and a comforter, he will ask me "Doing research?" And if I'm sitting at my desk banging the keys fast and furiously he'll ask "Got a contest deadline?" He believes in me, and that is enough for me to know that no matter how it all ends, I'm in a good place.