I had been blogging for a while before I told my parents about it. I was just blogging as a hobby at that stage so I didn’t really tell anybody. Once I’d been blogging for a couple of months, I fell in love with it and I realised it was really important to me. That’s when I decided to tell my family.
When I told my parents, they reacted in pretty much the same way as when I told them I was going to attend my first comic book convention. They were supportive, but I could tell that they didn’t really ‘get it’.
I’ll admit that I felt pretty let down by their reaction. Starting my own blog and writing about the things that I was passionate about was a huge deal to me. I had expected them to be over the moon when they heard that I had made a step towards doing something that I loved. But they weren’t.
I think that part of that was because of the way I told them. I was pretty shy about my writing at that stage, so I had timidly dropped the topic of my blog into our regular dinner conversation. Perhaps if I’d made a bigger deal out of it, they would have reacted more strongly.
Also, I think that part of the dampened reaction might have come from the fact that neither of my parents read blogs, so they weren’t really familiar with what it was that I was doing.
As time went on, I think that my mum and dad started to cotton on to the fact that blogging was a big part of my life. When I started attending blogger events, they saw that blogging was really ‘a thing’ and that loads of people did it. There were several blogging milestones that each garnered a “oh, well done’ from my parents. Although they were happy to hear about my achievements, I don’t think that they were fully able to grasp their importance.
It’s only recently that I’ve started to feel as though my parents are really supportive of my blogging. They will get excited for me when I tell them about a big writing project that I’m working on or when I get good feedback from a reader. The fact that I usually answer the question, “What have you been up to?” with “Writing” clued them in to the fact that I spend a lot of time blogging. Also, the fact that I actually earn some cash through my blog made them sit up and realise that this is, basically, a job for me.
Do I feel disappointed that my parents aren’t more interested in my blogging? A little. But I also understand that it’s somewhat unusual. I have to accept the fact that my own bashfulness about my blogging backed me into a corner. When you’re too shy to communicate the importance of your work, it’s difficult for other people to see the value in it.
I have no shortage of blog supporters though. Ross is incredibly supportive and is very involved with my writing work. My brother is super-helpful with brainstorming marketing strategies. Even my mother-in-law will occasionally drop a sneaky thumbs-up onto my blog’s Facebook page. I appreciate all that support more than words can say.
So if you’re struggling to explain blogging to your family, these are my pearls of wisdom:
– If blogging is something that you truly love, be honest about that. Don’t try to understate the importance of it, tell your family how passionate you are about blogging.
– Encourage your family to visit your blog. Intermittently show them your work or send a link to something you’ve written.
– Tell your family about important blogging milestones. Be sure to add the sentence, “This is a really big deal to me”, when you do.
– Don’t get your expectations up too high. Don’t expect them to be over-the-moon and to immediately slap you on the back, bake a cake or crack open the champers. If they do, awesome! But if they don’t, that’s O.K too.
If you have a blog, how did you explain it to your family? Are they supportive or ambivalent about it?