Family. The one institution where everyone is a member. There’s the obvious family that we’re born into, with parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and cousins. And then there friends who we consider as close as siblings or parents. If you attend a church, you consider people who share the same passion brothers and sisters in the faith. If you’re into sports or in the military, your team is considered a family. And if you’re a writer, you’re part of a family. Fiction or non-fiction, prose or poetry; it doesn’t matter. We all have the same goal: to share our works with the world.
Family comes in many forms, has many definitions, and many ways to say it. No matter how you define it, there’s one word synonymous with family: support. Notice I did not say approval. Approval is fleeting. And not everyone is going to agree with your decision. Instead, we should rally around one another through thick and thin, through good times and bad, through triumph and tragedy. No one is meant to go through life alone. That’s what family is for.
I am fortunate enough to be a member of a number of families. Most “members” know who I am and what I do. And they seem to approve of my choice. Some offer advice on what I should do, to “write what I know.” I know they mean well, but sometimes I have to shake my head.
I don’t always agree with them, but I am glad I have them in my life.