Friday Speak Out!: Hop on the Dream Train, Guest Post by Von Rupert

Friday, December 06, 2013
Am I bothering you? Because seriously, if I’m bothering you, I can go someplace else. If my fingers tapping on this keyboard gets on your nerves, I can stop. I can find something else to do. Maybe clean something or bake Challah or, I don’t know, maybe I could knit.

That’s me, the big apologizer for writing, the big guilty marshmallow for using my time to write. And the thing is the people who live with me, let me. Of course they do. Let’s see, would my family rather I write, or do something for them? I guarantee writing would appear low on their list of expectations of me.

It’s like classic mom behavior that I’ve been guilty of in the past. You’re so busy feeding everyone else that you grab bites of food (and indigestion) between fetching condiments and mopping up spills. Or worse, you eat a sandwich at the kitchen counter while you’re cleaning the kitchen or preparing supper (because you know how mealtimes usually run).

But it’s not my family’s fault. It’s mine. I don’t apologize for going to the grocery store or for playing cards with the children or for proofreading a friend’s story. I simply do those things, and to heck if someone thinks it’s a nuisance or a waste of my time.

Why? Why do I apologize for pursuing my dream, for dedicating time to my career? I would never accept those apologies from anyone else. If a friend apologized for writing while I was visiting, I’d say, “Don’t worry about it. I’m glad you’re writing.” If my husband apologized for not fixing me a sandwich because he was at work, pursuing his dream, I’d say, “No worries. I can fix a sandwich myself.”

But the people around us get used to our apologies. Subconsciously, they start to believe that we’re actually doing something to apologize for. They buy into our lines of insecurity.

No more apologies, women. Sit down and eat with your family. Let someone else get the ketchup. Sit down and write your stories. Let someone else answer the phone or take the dog out to pee. And don’t apologize.

Seriously, don’t apologize. You are not bothering anyone. And if someone thinks you are, really ask yourself why. Is it because you’re doing something wrong? Or is it because they’re worried you won’t be doing something for them? Or, is it because they’ve picked up on your insecurities?

The Dream train has arrived, and, darn it, I’m sitting in front this time. I’m riding with everyone else. I’m waving from the window and winking at the conductor as he strides past. I’ll skip right past that Am-I-bothering-you train car--it’s dark, crowded and smells a little off. And it always travels last.

Who’s joining me on the dream train? Here, sit up front with me. I love the sound of tapping fingers and dreams coming true.

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Von Rupert is a wife, homeschooling mom, writer, and podcast producer. She's a writing mentor at Writer's Village University, and she produces the crowdfunding podcast DJ Grandpa's Crib. She blogs at

Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!



Unknown said...

Love this! We absolutely do not need to apologize for pursing our dream careers. I'm going to go make myself a breakfast sandwich as sustenance for today's journey. :-)

Von Rupert said...

Oh Wow, great idea, Kathleen!!! Breakfast sandwiches are perfect for the dream train. :) Thanks so much for reading.

Denise Jaden said...

This is such a timely post for me. I've just been thinking that I may have to give up writing for a while to please my family. Starting to realize how much I've been apologizing! Thank you for the perspective.

Mysti said...

Oh my gosh, how true is this?? I swear we must have been separated at birth, Von. I'm constantly apologizing for things I do for myself, especially writing.

When I really think about it, no one is that bothered by my writing, but my constant apologies could make them think I'm doing something wrong.

Scoot over, chick. I'm gonna ride this train when I feel the urge. The laundry can wait :)

Unknown said...

Well said!

Angela Mackintosh said...

Excellent post! I apologize for spending too much time in front of the computer, but I also get upset if I don't accomplish something. It's so hard to find the balance! And I'm always doing things for friends--like walking their dog every afternoon--because it's hard to say no. Thanks for the nudge to hop on the dream train! :)

Von Rupert said...

I'm so glad you read this post, too, Denise. Don't give up on you're writing dream! I think our families naturally don't like things that take us away from them, but I also think if we change the way we approach our writing (not apologizing, treating it as a career choice, etc. ), we can also change the ways others view it. :) It's definitely made a difference in my house. (((Hugs))) You can do it!

Von Rupert said...

Oh Mysti, my twin, I'm in total agreement. A brief FB post you wrote a while back actually helped inspire this post. We DO spend far too much time apologizing for taking the steps necessary to forward our writing careers. The arts tend to follow a different path than other careers, and I think it's easy for others to overlook the fact that we are in fact working when we're networking or reading or researching (as well as writing). No more apologizing for it. The Dream Train ROCKS--and did I mention the chocolate... ;)

Von Rupert said...

Thank you, Rebecca! With everything you do--writing, photography, teaching at The Carnival, blogging--you're an inspiration to me. You could give me some tips.

Von Rupert said...

Oh Angela, thank YOU for reading my post. I'm so glad it spoke to you. I'm still working on the balance, too. My big Achilles heal is editing for friends. I LOVE editing, but sometimes I find myself editing more stories for other people than I do for myself. I'm learning to keep a better balance, but it IS hard. And it's always hard to turn down puppy dogs. :)

Unknown said...

Great post, Von! Your family will respect your time when YOU respect it. :-) I love your attitude.

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