Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Note to the Spouses of Writers

I've been swamped with writing projects lately, and unfortunately most of them are in the transcribing stage (which I LOATHE) so finishing them is slow-going. I've been spending a lot of time in the Writing Hut, away from my husband (which I LOATHE EVEN MORE). The other day I spent more than four hours transcribing "Verses of Villainy" revisions and once I called it a day, I headed downstairs to work on writing "PINS". I opened my binder and there, stuck in the middle of stripper slaughter scene, was an envelope with "Jess <3" written on it. I opened it to find a bright yellow card with bumblebees on it (which was slightly strange because I'd just written a scene in which my main character gets a baby shower invite with bees on it, but that's besides the point). Inside the card was a beautiful passage written by my husband Dave, telling me how much he loves me and how proud he is of my hard work. Dave telling me of his admiration is not an odd occurrence; he's very good about doing so, especially when I'm feeling overworked. But this simple gift between my pages made me feel completely adored for my passion. 

As writers, we encounter a lot of rejection. Not only from publishers but from our families and friends too. Although the latter doesn't happen so much anymore, I experienced a lot of it in years past. It's very hard to convince your family that writing is what you want to do. It's not right of them to demand proof of your passion and dedication, but many do demand it. Some also seem unaccepting until you secure a "real job" as well. It's as if as long as you're not a starving artist, you can make as much art as you want. That's why it's really important for writers (or any artists) to have a supportive spouse: one that is unconditionally supportive. Not only are these cutesy notes necessary to boost self-esteem, so is the spouse's involvement in the art. If you're like me, you put more emotion into writing than you express to actual people. Writing can be lonely in that way. That is precisely why it's important for husbands and wives of writers to actually READ their spouse's work. Although my character's beliefs are not always mine, I tap my memories in order to fill those beliefs with true emotion. Your relationship with your spouse can be incredibly intimate, but there's nothing more intimate than dwelling in another person's art. You see the worlds within their mind and touch parts of them hidden deeper than perhaps even they know.

Support goes much deeper than saying "I support you". From love notes to tidying up an individual's writing area to reading a story she/he wrote and discussing how much you enjoyed it, an open mind and support from loved ones are sometimes more important to writers than publication.

But publication is rather cool. ;)


  1. I so agree with this.
    I did do a post on how people thought I had all the time in the world to write, and they did not appreciate the passion and time we sacrifice to improve our work.

    I often get asked "so are you not published yet"...and I usually bite my tongue.

    Your message is one I believe in. All should consider giving and doing that little bit more to show they care.


  2. He's a keeper :)
    Nice to hear something good in the world.