Anonymous Success

Lately my parents have been saying things in regards to my creative side and dreams that leave me confused and a bit sad.

First, there was all this push for self-publishing, which I have no intentions of doing (because we all know how unsuccessful that can be). I want to believe my work is good enough to actually be published by a real publishing house, not just fall back after a few queries and self-publish because I think I know I’m good enough. I have no interest in self-publishing. Period.

Then, around Christmas, when briefly explaining my old book to my father he cut me off to ask why I wasn’t using a penname. The question struck me odd because why would I? I mean I’ve even already had conversations with my fiancé about the fact that if I’m published after we’re married, that I will still use my maiden name (Whisted) instead of my married name (Harris) because 1. Whisted is a lot more unusual than Harris and 2. It’s the end of the line for the Whisted name in our family. There are no boys to carry it on. I would have thought it’d make my family proud to see the Whisted name on a bookshelf.

Last weekend both of my parents approached me about ghost writing and how they’d read that it’s one of the best jobs for older people, bringing in an income around 200K a year to write books for others, without your name being attached. They seemed to love this idea, saying that who cares if you don’t get credit for it, 200K a year is worth it. All I kept thinking was: when did this dream career hold any monetary value? It’s not about the money it will bring in. Sure, I’d love to make enough to work from home and write books for the rest of my life, but if I can’t that doesn’t automatically persuade me to just give up the dream. It’s not about making it rich. When was it ever?

And then yesterday, after having another really successful photo shoot with my nephew on Monday, I asked my parents if they’d seen the pictures. First my father said that I have all these creative abilities that I hardly take advantage of (I’m sure the piano is included in that, as if I have an option to still play when I currently don’t have a piano). When I corrected him and said that I’ve actually been studying photography lately to improve my skills and actually giving thought to taking pictures of people other than my family since I’m getting so much better he said, “That's good,” but then followed it up with, “But it’d be better if you posted these pictures anonymously. You shouldn’t need to be credited for this.” What?!  Then the same comment was thrown at me in regards to my book. He wondered why I couldn’t just be satisfied with only my family enjoying it (which is just baffling in itself since none of them read my work). It really feels like they’re trying to talk me out of my dreams or something.

I am so confused right now. I’m trying to tell myself that there’s not some deeper meaning to this sudden push for anonymity in regards to my creativity, but honestly all it feels like is that my family will be ashamed having a tie to my name if/when I make it out in the world.

What does that say about me and the talents I think I have?


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6 Responses to "Anonymous Success"

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  1. edgyauthor

    February 22, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    I have no idea why your family is saying things like this to you, but I’m just as confused as you are. I’d feel like there’s some deeper meaning, too, since not only does it keep coming up, but it keeps coming up for different talents. I can’t imagine how disheartening this is for you to deal with. *hugs*

    However, although I may not know why they’re saying things like that, I do know that it says nothing about you and your talents. (Which I personally know you do have! ^^) Whatever issues your family has is theirs and theirs alone, especially since–as you said–they don’t read your work. How are they able to judge?!

    Don’t let them deject you too much! They don’t know what they’re talking about!

    • SarahWhisted

      February 22, 2012 at 6:27 pm

      It is weighing me down at the moment. I’m trying real hard to release it and get back in that “I Can Do It!” mind frame. That’s why I blogged about it. At least I’m getting if off my chest in some way and not just walking around letting curiosity get the best of me. I mean it’s not like they say it meanly, but it still makes no sense.

      I tried to ask my father what he meant last night and why he was suggesting these things. Why he made it seem wrong to want to be proud of myself, but he just handed the phone to my mom and the conversation died.

      It’s already hard enough that they don’t exactly take interest in my dreams. At this point, I’d almost rather them say nothing at all because all this is doing is messing with my head. *sigh*

      Thanks for listening to me bitch, and believing in my abilities. I’m forever grateful.

      • edgyauthor

        February 22, 2012 at 7:05 pm


        I’m really sorry that your father hasn’t given you an answer. That sucks and is bound to do nothing to give you peace of mind. :(

        I wish your family was more supportive like mine. It’s really confusing to me that they’re not. Since they’re not, though…rant away! You have to get this off your mind somehow, and I’m always willing to listen and help with that! Because guess what? YOU CAN DO IT! GO SARAH GO! *\o/*

        • SarahWhisted

          February 22, 2012 at 8:58 pm

          I mean they are supportive sort of (mostly just my Mom and only sometimes), but they’re just not interested. She used to read my work before, but she just doesn’t understand all that goes into writing, I guess. The lack of interest is what’s worse. I will bring it up at a family gathering and be completely talked over. I don’t even waste my breath anymore.

          Thanks for the cheering. I need it and I appreciate it tons coming from you especially.

          • edgyauthor

            February 22, 2012 at 9:36 pm

            Oh, I see. Still a shame, though, that they’re apparently so disinterested. :(

            Since you need all the cheering you can get…

            *\o/* *\o/* *\o/*

            *needs to make a cheerleading icon*

          • SarahWhisted

            February 22, 2012 at 9:40 pm

            Make a cheerleading icon out of a picture of your ACTUAL pom-poms! 😉 (Or our boys cheering would do. :D)

            Thanks again. :)

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