I've said this before and I repeat again: if you don't take your writing seriously, no one else will.
Unfortunately, I grew up in a home where my writing was only tolerated as far as to gain me top grades in my literature class. My creative storytelling was disdainfully labeled as "scribbling" and considered a waste of time. Still I used to shut myself in my room for hours, feverishly writing away, filling notebook after notebook - because this is what I love most and, in my opinion, do best. I couldn't stop writing if I tried.
This lack of support at home stunted my growth as a writer for a long time. I had nobody to share my stories with, nobody to give me feedback on my work. Fortunately, I did read many good books and learned from their authors this way. Eventually I began publishing some poetry and short stories on the internet and could compare notes with other authors.
Naturally, when time came to choose a course of higher education, I was pressed to choose something "sensible", not something which would satisfy my true leaning.
It was only when I got married, with a lot of support and positive feedback from my husband, that I began, very slowly, to perceive that maybe I really have a talent; that maybe my writing is actually better than some of the many books that get published each year. That maybe someday people would even be willing to pay to read my books. I owe my husband everything. I never wrote a full-length novel before I got married.
I guess what I'm saying is this:
- If you have a person close to you who loves writing - your spouse, sibling, child, friend - support and encourage them.
- If you are a writer, and there is a person who supports and encourages your writing, appreciate their person and show your gratitude. Whole novels have been lost for lack of that one committed, supportive first reader.