A number of years ago, my mother sent me a comic strip clipping. (What’s the digital-era equivalent of that practice?) It depicted a youngish woman signing books at a bookstore, and an older couple standing in front of the table. The caption read: If I’d known you were going to be a writer, I would have been a better parent.
I’m the only writer in my immediate family, although not the only storyteller or creative type. I kind of like being the only one, sort of in the same way I liked being the only girl in my family growing up. I have two brothers, and when the younger of the two was a fetus of unknown gender, one of my elementary school buddies told me that I should hope for a girl: “That way you won’t have to share a room.”
As the only writer, I don’t have to share a room with anyone. My brother Y can be good at animation and music, my brother O can be good at architecture, my husband can be good at art and engineering, my mom can be a great nurse, my dad a great professor. And I can be The Writer.
Sounds selfish from one angle, I know. But it also means I’m surrounded by people who are different than I am and make me see the world from different directions.
Of course, if I’d had a sister, I’m sure that would have been cool, and perhaps would have made my life–and me–different. If I were closely related to a writer, that would have turned out OK, too. I have sisters-in-law now, and I love them, and I have loads of friends who are writers, and I couldn’t do without them.
And Mom, you had plenty of warning that I was going to be a writer. I told you so when I was six.
Readers who are related or married to writers, feel free to tell your side of the story.