On Writing When Others Say No

This isn’t an inspirational article. I’m not here to say that I know it’s greener on the other side, or follow your dreams no matter what.

I’m here to say that I get it. 

I wanted to use this day to talk about another writing topic as I work on Outlanders, but something happened.

My mother and I had a talk because she found it difficult seeing me write constantly but not searching for jobs enough.

Here’s the thing…

The truth was, I did look for jobs, but she thought differently. 

She also goes on a steady campaign to convince me writing isn’t a valuable career anytime I am unemployed or work part-time. 

When we had that ‘writing is not a career’ talk, I understood her perspective, especially as a child of an immigrant. I graduated with an English degree, while other people my age and younger than I were pursuing financially stable careers and making more money.

I could have said, “This is my passion, and I’m going to pursue it with or without you!”

But common sense said, “You live with her and she’s paying the bills”. I should be paying the bills, not her.

Here’s when things shifted…

The only thing that I did not want to do, was stop writing, even after I agreed to cut writing down from 4:00am-9:00am to 4:00am-5:00am.

She began telling me that writing will not do anything for me and I should quit altogether. I did not get upset, but gently told her that will never happen.

“You wouldn’t understand unless you were me, mom. There is something in me that always tells me to write. Even when I like it or not, I still write. I don’t go out and party and get drunk. I don’t sleep around or disrespect you. All I do is write.”

Well, that got her quiet.

Just when I expected to be in a coffin somewhere under 23 inches of snow, she calmed down and said, “Okay.”

African parents never get quiet when you say no.

Maybe I seemed odd when I spoke that way. But I knew it was because I sounded alot like myself when I first moved back to America at 11 years old  

Do what you cannot stop doing, remember to pay the bills and be prepared for the people who think you won’t get anywhere.

Have two separate purposes: do something that will pay the bills and something that will lift you up when you’re down.

I tried to quit writing for a month, and it backfired. I learned a huge lesson that day and it’s that lesson that’s making me write this project.


I have a job interview tomorrow. 

Novel Diaries – Day 6 – Lessons Learned: 

  • Patience really helps.
  • Keep pushing.  





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