Sep 032014


It’s no secret writing is a solitary business. Not only that, it’s a business that by its nature, brings with it rejection and disappointment more often than acceptance and success.

Being the daughter of a writer, I learned all of this at a young age. There were so many conversations in our living room about agents, proposals, submissions, sales, edits and – yes – rejection.

However, in my naïve mind, that was life. Didn’t everybody’s dad make their living that way?

I remember one instance where a line my father considered particularly clever was edited out of a script he’d written. He lamented about that line to all who would listen. Some commiserated with his grief. Others, me included, had no clue what all the fuss was about.

Some would say I should have known better, yet here I am, a willing participant in the family business. Writing stories about people whose backgrounds and problems and goals and triumphs and struggles pop into my head. While I honestly have no idea how so much information, about complete strangers no less, gets there in the first place.

Phyllis Whitney once said, and I paraphrase here – I much preferred having written to the actual chore of writing.

I heartily agree. It is a thrill for me to have written a number of books and short stories. However, the chore of actually writing them is the only way they can come to life.

Now let’s go see what the other participants of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group Hop are saying!

  • That’s so great that writing is your “family business,” Margo, and that you’ve followed in your dad’s footsteps. Now you’ve got me wondering what my kids think of my writing career. I’m sure one of them, at least, will be a writer. My 10 year-old has already gotten his first agent rejection. I told him that it’s a badge of honor for a kid his age – he’s already 20+ years ahead of where I was at 10 years old. 🙂

    • Kristen, A new and budding writer. I LOVE it. As I said, writing was such a way of life, I didn’t know any better.

  • Unlike Phyllis, I love the chore of writing. And it is HARD work. I’m not so crazy about the rest–editing and promo, to be precise. I don’t let rejection bother me too much, however. I have enough self-confidence (unlike most of the writers I know who have severe angst about their work) to look at a rejection as their loss!

    • Jannine. Darn right the rejections are their loss. Thick skin, and then some is required!

  • Diane Burton

    It’s great to see you here, Margo. This is a fab group. I do like the writing aspect. It’s the editing and revisions that suck. Best wishes.

    • Diane. Following your capable footsteps. Give me editing et al any day over writing. But, that’s just me I guess.

  • It’s an ongoing problem, isn’t it? But knowing it will eventually be written will push us through. But then it will have to have been rewritten, and then again, and again. Oh well! My daughter has an incredible imagination, so I hope she’ll follow in my footsteps. As long as she’s not put off by my moaning!

    • Nick. If she wants it bad enough, she’ll do it! Sorry for the late reply. Thanks for stopping.

  • Congrats on being a part of the family business. Writing is tough but the finished product is worth it. IWSG Co-Host

  • I enjoyed your post very much. I laughed at the part about ‘should have known better.’

    That’s one benefit of self-publishing, not having to face rejection. Of course, the weight of editing decisions (and everything else) falls squarely on one’s shoulders.

    IWSG #179 until Alex culls the list again.

    • Thanks, Melissa. Glad you enjoyed it! I dipped my toe in the self pub waters a couple of weeks ago. So far, so good!

  • I’m pleased that you have such a family business. I think it made you appreciate the words and written language more. What does your father think of your career choice as an author?

    • Melissa. My father’s been gone for a while now. When he realized I wouldn’t be deterred, he wished me luck. Gave me my first assignment and byline in fact.

  • Margo, what a wonderful experience to follow in your dad’s creative footsteps. My dad gave me my first introduction to books as a child by reading to me every day. A WWII veteran, he was also a minister who wrote poetry, painted in oils and pastels – quite an eclectic personality for his time. I learned a lot from him but somehow missed out on the ability to paint pictures. Still working on the writing part, though.

    • Oils AND pastels, Loralee? What a talent. Your gift for writing is a pretty powerful one. (I know, I’ve read your stuff! 😉

  • Geez, Margo, you have to do MATH to comment?? Great post, especially since I ‘m in the middle of copy edits!

    • Nancy. Florence made me do it! Ah, yes, the copy edits. Good luck with them!

  • Oh, why does your blog have to give me math problems? I hate math problems!

    I think you are lucky to have writing as a family profession. At least you knew what you were getting in to. The only writers in my family were a great-aunt I never met— maybe she was my dad’s great-aunt— who wrote a novel in the 1920s, and my dad’s cousin, a Catholic brother, who writes poetry. But both my parents were big-time readers and that’s a step in the right direction.

    • Nissa. Readers and writers. In my mind, cut from the same cloth.

  • Welcome to the IWSG!
    You had an advantage growing up with your dad as a writer, but some things you only learn by experiencing it yourself, right?

    • Exactly right, Alex. You really don’t know the emotion of it until you do it.

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