I have seen so many status updates from fellow writers upset that they lack support from friends and/or family. Time and again I am heartbroken for them. I understand that the genres might not sit too well with a lot of people, but surely, as people who claim to love you, shouldn't they at least provide token support? They don't have to read the books if the genre and subject makes them uncomfortable, but is it too much to ask that they say "Well, although it isn't to my taste, I'm pleased that you have found something you enjoy doing and I wish you success with it"? Is it really too much to ask that?
We all say that we're supportive of our friends and family, but when it comes to topics that society thinks is taboo, or something that makes us personally uncomfortable it seems most people are willing to degrade each other and try to get them to quit it. At certain times trying to get someone to quit something is acceptable: ie a drug addicted family member, someone with a gambling problem etc. Things that cause financial/health issues. That is fine. I'm not calling that in to question here. I'm talking about support for hobbies/jobs that make the person happy and yet people around them are uncomfortable about.
I consider myself lucky that those who know I write erotica and romance do support it. My dear other half isn't much of a reader so I don't expect him to read everything I write, but if I'm stuck we'll often bounce ideas off each other until I find a path that works for the story. My family has expressed real interest in buying my work when it is published (a few months off yet, but it's coming!) and my mother has said that it's a pity it's only in digital format (they're reluctant to get the internet, though maybe my sisters and I should consider splitting costs for an e-reader for her birthday...), and my friends love what I've allowed them to read so far, so I find it hard to grasp the concept of non-supportive people. But I know they exist.
To these people out there who are having trouble accepting that someone in your family is doing something you're uncomfortable about (ie writing "smut"), know this: As long as they aren't causing any actual harm to anyone (they don't allow their kids to know until they're old enough to handle it, and they don't make their kids read it or anything like that, so don't claim it's not good for the kids!), then there is no harm. They're doing something they love, bringing in a little extra cash (or in some cases it is their job, and main source of income), and it wouldn't hurt for you to just say to them that, although it isn't something you would read, you are happy for them that they are doing something they love. It won't cost you ANYTHING and it will mean A LOT to them. And if you don't want them talking details about it to you, let them know there are boundaries, and they will respect it. Just let them know you are happy for them to be doing something they enjoy. It isn't that hard!
If anyone is willing to post personal experiences, The Phoenix would love to hear about it. Change names or leave the comment anonymously if you'd prefer. But I'd like to hear from all sides: the writers, those who support them and those who are having trouble supporting them!