Q4U: Significant Others

One of the things we don’t talk much about is how our lives as writers (or agents or editors) affects the significant others in our lives – spouses, kids, etc – and how their response to our work affects us.

I know many people whose spouse is their best cheerleader, beta-reader, and editor. I also know of situations in which the long-suffering spouse just doesn’t get it somehow. Maybe they wish you were spending your time on something that brings more money into the household. Or maybe they don’t begrudge the time but they aren’t interested in reading your work; or maybe they read it but then never give you any feedback (leaving you thinking that of course they must hate it).

So what about you? What’s your situation and how do you deal with it?

Q4U: Is your significant other supportive of your writing, or not so much? Do they read your work? If so, how do they respond? If you don’t get support and positive feedback, how do you cope? Any advice for others?

Feel free to post anonymously if you need to.

Have a good weekend!
Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent

Rachelle Gardner

Literary agent at Books & Such Literary Agency. Coffee & wine enthusiast (not at the same time) and dark chocolate connoisseur. I've worked in publishing since 1995 and I love talking about books!

123 Comments

  1. Joe Iriarte on March 8, 2010 at 12:07 PM

    >My wife and I are each others' biggest fans. We encourage, push, support, read, crit, and cheer for each other. I don't think either of us would still be chasing this dream–and getting closer every year–if not for the other.



  2. Dana Bryant on February 24, 2010 at 4:53 PM

    >This is a test. I have been blogging for over a week and just noticed none of them were posted. So again, this is just a test.



  3. Anonymous on February 22, 2010 at 10:56 AM

    >[Out of town on business last week; just saw this.]

    I've only read the first eight or so responses, and they all report a supportive spouse/SO. I suppose that puts me in the minority with a non-supportive wife. Here's the situation:
    – She reads my novels, but then gives me absolutely no reaction. She just puts them on the table and I have to drag reaction out of her.
    – She shows no interest in reading the short biography I wrote of her great-grandfather, who was a 49er.
    – She never reads my blog. I don't think she's ever even gone there.
    – She never reads my on-line articles. She's expressed some interest in a few things I've told her I've written, but she will never take the initiative to look them up and read them. I've e-mailed her a link a few times; if she read the linked article she never told me.
    – She hates all poetry, so obviously she isn't going to read any of mine. In fact, one night as I was sitting next to her, writing a poem, she said to me, "Don't you think there's enough poetry in the world?"
    – She says she wants me to go to weekly writers group, but when I do I get negative vibes from her. Possibly she doen't even know what she's doing. It was worse when I went to monthly poets roundtable, so I quit that.
    – She's traveled with me to each of the writers conferences I've been to, and treated it as a vacation. That actually worked out pretty good.

    FWIW, every relative I've ever sent anything to has been the same way. My sister and brother gave me no feedback to the poems I wrote about our mother's death when we were young teens. About six of my wife's cousins have never said anything about the 49er book. Another cousin repeatedly asked about my poetry, but when I showed her the book she skimmed it and laid it on the table without comment.
    – My adult children show absolutely no interest in anything I write, on paper or on-line.

    Consequently I have decided that, should I be fortunate enough to have a book published, no relative of mine will read it unless they buy it in the bookstore.



  4. Lindsey on February 22, 2010 at 12:00 AM

    >This may sound strange, but I have not shared my work with anyone I know. I have developed a large following on a blog I started (after seeing the movie Julie and Julia) but my family and friends are not award of this. I feel safer writing for strangers. They can be critical without having to worry about hurting my feelings. It actually has been very rewarding. Would you consider checking it out and giving me some feedback? http://5kidswdisabilities.wordpress.com
    Lindsey Petersen



  5. Amie Boudreau on February 21, 2010 at 6:34 PM

    >My spouse supports me immensely. In fact is probably the main person that holds me accountable and reminds me to get my butt in gear and write something.

    Feedback however is something I wish I could get more of from her, and from others. To me feedback is necessary to know where I am at and that I am on the right track with things. It's like applause for an actor.



  6. Mindy Obenhaus on February 21, 2010 at 4:04 PM

    >I am blessed. My husband is my biggest cheerleader. He wants to read everything I write. He wants to learn what I've learned. However, he's also my harshest critic.
    One night after he'd given me a rather harsh critique, I looked at him across the bed and asked if he had anything nice he'd like to say to me so I wouldn't smother him in his sleep. LOL! He immediately started to back-peddle by saying, "No really, it's good. It's just this one part…" Unfortunately, that one part is all I heard about!



  7. A man called Valance on February 21, 2010 at 11:46 AM

    >Help – None. Support – None. Interest – None. S'ok though. I prefer it that way.



  8. Contemporary Troubadour on February 20, 2010 at 11:38 PM

    >I try to ask specific questions to direct my husband's feedback when he does happen to read my work, but he doesn't ask often if at all and I understand that it's just how his interests lie. I depend more on writer friends I've met for feedback. It's less frustrating that way.



  9. Suzanne on February 20, 2010 at 3:57 PM

    >My hubby is a wonderful supporter and gave me the best writing advice I've ever received: just finish the book.



  10. Anonymous on February 20, 2010 at 2:46 PM

    >Little Bird says,

    Hi Rachelle,
    Wow! I didn't run through all the comments but there seem to be many who really do get support with their writing, and that's wonderful.

    For me, its been a bit of a tough road because twelve years ago God called me to write my memoir and I'm still doing it.I have self published it for my family, but now I'm into seriously re-writing it and cutting it down for hopeful publication someday. Your blog has been a great help, by the way.

    while my family hasn't been 100% behind all the time I've spent on my writing, God has. He's woken me up every day, for the past twelve years, with joy in my heart to write. I consider Him my greatest fan because without Him, I wouldn't have a thing to write about anyway.

    I write because God asked me to. I stick to my guns when family tries to tear me away from it. They'll never stop doing that because they don't share my vision. God is the one who keeps me going when my husband says for the hundredth time "How close are you to finishing your Book?" and I want to throw something at him!



  11. Mechelle Fogelsong on February 20, 2010 at 11:06 AM

    >My husband is a dyslexic fish farmer. Not kidding. The only thing he reads is the Hornady manual. (For those of us who are not well-read, Hornady wrote the difninitive manual on bullet-making.)

    The only reason I get away with being a writer on the sly, is because any money I spend on trips to writers' conferences is counterbalanced by the money he spends making bullets and stalking cute little fuzzy animals.

    Incidentally Rachelle, a while back I offered to guest blog about "Keeping the Cheeto Dust off Your Keyboard", and the theme of the post was really "The Importance of Eating Meals With Your Family" i.e. don't wander off to the computer when you should be spending time with the people you love.

    With that said, I'm going to go make breakfast.



  12. Kathy Nicholls on February 20, 2010 at 11:01 AM

    >I'm blessed in that my husband is quite supportive, although he doesn't read what I write most of the time. Still, he picks up the slack around the house when I have deadlines, he encourages me to push even more, and there's nothing like the "I'm proud of you" that I constantly hear from him. Didn't have that in my first marriage and this one is truly awesome.



  13. Great Lakes Romances on February 20, 2010 at 10:55 AM

    >I have been writing since 1982, published since 1985. At first my husband was skeptical. Then when he saw that I could start and finish a novel he became a believer. When markets disappeared he turned into an ace salesman for a line of books that we trademarked and produced. He doesn't read my work but is instrumental in the development of every story idea, plot, dialog, male POV. I am extremely blessed!

    Donna Winters
    http://greatlakesromances.blogspot.com



  14. Paul and Karen on February 20, 2010 at 10:44 AM

    >My husband is very supportive and keeps me on track with my projects. My children (teens) write as well so they understand the value of the moment and will make their own dinners if I'm off in writing world. I think I have it made over here. I am very thankful!



  15. Anonymous on February 20, 2010 at 10:39 AM

    >When I say to my husband "I would like your opinion on this chapter."

    Then hand him over the pages of what I have been writing, he takes it to a quiet part of the house and reads with genuine interest.

    I wait, and pace and wait and usually begin to make supper while he reads.

    He is a man of few words, my blue collar husband with calloused hands and a weathered face.

    When he is finished reading, his eyes are full of compassion telling me the one word that always remains true, he says he is 'engaged' and he wants to read more.

    He believes I have something to say.

    I am blessed to have his support in my journey of writing and in all aspects of our life together.



  16. M.B. Sandefur on February 20, 2010 at 10:35 AM

    >The hubby is infinitely supportive of my writing. He pushes me when I want to quit and I love him for it. He's not much of a reader so I don't really expect him to read all of what I write but sometimes he may ask to see a chapter or two of it. I have other friends that I usually give my work to for suggestions, anyway.



  17. Shannon Taylor Vannatter on February 20, 2010 at 12:46 AM

    >I'm very thankful to have a supportive husband. He's my biggest fan. He's taken me to more conferences, writers' meetings and workshops than I can count. We make a working vacation out of it all.

    If it's not during school, my son comes with us and they do fun boy stuff while I'm learning and networking. At night, we do fun family stuff.

    He doesn't read my books until they are in book form. So far, only one really badly written POD in 2001. This year, he gets to read 2 and at least 1 more next year. And they're not badly written, thanks to all those workshops, meetings, conferences, and most of all, my editor.



  18. Dineen A. Miller on February 20, 2010 at 12:00 AM

    >The true depth of my husband's encouragement and faith in me only recently came to full light. He's always been very supportive, but this is the tops. My first book contract is for a nonfiction book about thriving in a spiritually mismatched marriage. Yes, he's an atheist, yet he knows what the book's about. He was SO excited when I and my co-writer were offered a contract. And he's the one I literally jumped up and down with and squealed. This sweet man is one of the biggest blessings in my life. 🙂



  19. Anonymous on February 19, 2010 at 11:43 PM

    >I have to say this was one of the things in my life that I found hard to balance. I let writing take a hold of my life. I didn't want to stop. It did put a strain on our marriage.
    Hubby likes to spend time with wifey when he comes home from work.
    It would make me so upset that he would make comments about how I am married to the computer.
    Anyway, long story short, he was still supppotive in different ways. He bought me an external harddrive and a new printer. But everytime I would place an Amazon order he would make a comment like: Again."

    I prayed and prayed and gave it up to God. Whatever will be will be His will. And you know what? Things started happening when I put God really first and family second. I noticed things in my writing career that only God could have done.
    It's all about letting go no matter how much you love something–and what I mean is about writing. Careful not to put it on a pedestal.
    Now I find time for everything and God has made some major changes in my life. I feel that he is taking full control of my life now.
    Balance is a hard thing to learn

    Thanks Rachel for inviting us to share and compare notes!



  20. Anonymous on February 19, 2010 at 10:58 PM

    >My hubs is very supportive of me pursuing my passion but does tend to get jealous if I spend extended amounts of time writing when he is home. (Which is good, he still likes me! :))

    But I write non-fiction humor,about our family, which is usually not so funny to him. OTHER people find it hilarious when I write about my kids throwing up all over a rental car in the middle of nowhere and my husband having to take off his shirt to clean to puke off of the kids in 30 degree weather. For some reason, he doesn't find it very funny…huh. Go figure.



  21. LilySea on February 19, 2010 at 10:48 PM

    >She's great. She's always saying she wishes she made enough money to get me a full-time nanny and just support my writing. And when I read it aloud to her she always loves it–which makes her useless as a feedback-giver. But she honestly does love it which makes me feel great too. And she says she loves the special look on my face when I'm writing that I don't have any other time. I have no idea what that is!



  22. DebraLSchubert on February 19, 2010 at 10:46 PM

    >My honey is my biggest fan and reads everything I write (over and over again!). Besides being a doctor, he's an artist (we met when I moved to CA years ago to start a band w/his best friend, and we're still making music together today!), so he totally "gets" it. Thanks for asking – great question!



  23. Livia on February 19, 2010 at 9:39 PM

    >Hubby loves that I write, because it means he can watch football without interruption 😛



  24. Doreen McGettigan on February 19, 2010 at 9:22 PM

    >I wrote a non-fiction book and the actual story happened before I met my husband..he read the entire book in 2 days and he actually cried..I knew he was a keeper!! But then again he compliments me on my shopping lists (I'm a bit compulsive). With my second book he offers ideas when I ask and is my biggest supporter!!



  25. Carrie Turansky on February 19, 2010 at 5:02 PM

    >My husband has always been my biggest supporter, and I am very grateful for his love and encouragement. He doesn't read my books until they are finished. One of the sweetest things he ever did was admit he cried when he read the ending to one of my books. Now that takes a lot of courage for a man to admit that!



  26. MZMackay on February 19, 2010 at 5:01 PM

    >My husband is extremely supportive of my writing. I think he knew I wanted to be writer long before I actually admitted it to myself. He however, does not read my work, unless I ask him to. He does not critique it, unless I ask specifics. In a way, that works out pretty well for me. It is easier for me to receive critique, even if it is harsh, from someone I do not know.

    I don't know if that's just me.



  27. Liesl on February 19, 2010 at 4:55 PM

    >My husband is by biggest cheerleader and my toughest critic. He always gets the first read and his criticism is always to the point and brutally honest. I can't say it doesn't ever hurt my feelings, but after I take a day to get over it, I realize how right he is and that he's just trying to help me be the best I can be (and help me develop a thick skin.)

    Huzzah for super-husbands!



  28. Liesl on February 19, 2010 at 4:55 PM

    >My husband is by biggest cheerleader and my toughest critic. He always gets the first read and his criticism is always to the point and brutally honest. I can't say it doesn't ever hurt my feelings, but after I take a day to get over it, I realize how right he is and that he's just trying to help me be the best I can be (and help me develop a thick skin.)

    Huzzah for super-husbands!



  29. Linda Lee Foltz on February 19, 2010 at 4:17 PM

    >When I first started writing my first book, my husband said, “Maybe she’ll finish it.” When I finished it he said, “Maybe she’ll get it published.” When I got a publisher, he said, “Maybe she’ll book some speaking engagements.” And yes, I put my marketing hat on and secured lots and lots of speaking engagements that took me all across the county. But the real eye opener (for both of us) came when an editor from Seventeen Magazine called to say she wanted to do an article about my book, and shortly thereafter, I was invited to appear on the Montel Williams Show. My husband was so proud and completely surprised that his small town wife could do all that. Truth is, I was surprised, too.
    Now I’m working on my second book, a Memoir, and my husband has all the confidence in the world that this book will be just as successful as the first. I hope he’s right. I’m a little nervous, but just as driven and focused. And I concur – the second book is definitely more daunting. Thanks for that blog, too.



  30. Steve G on February 19, 2010 at 4:14 PM

    >I am the "other". When I married my wife one of my goals was to help her reach hers, to be all she could be. Being an author wasn't even on the horizon then (10 years ago) but I just finished the next to final draft last night of her 2nd fiction. It is amazing!

    The "funnest" part of the last 3 years has been watching her develop this "strength" of being a story teller. I get front row seats for it – woohoo!



  31. HM on February 19, 2010 at 4:11 PM

    >Oh, and my advice for anyone whose spouse doesn't get it, or doesn't get the particular project they're working on, is just keep going! As long as you know why you're doing what you're doing, and you feel good about that–I feel like it builds a good dynamic in your marriage, that neither of you have to restrict yourself only to endeavors the other understands. But also be considerate, and don't let the work come before family or drive a wedge between you. And be confident! The more confident you are, the more he gets the feeling that this is good for you–and a good spouse is always happy about that!



  32. Raquel Byrnes on February 19, 2010 at 4:05 PM

    >This question made me stop and say a prayer of thanks for my awesome husband. Not only is he supportive, he believes in me when I get discouraged. I write romance suspense and he loves to kick around plot ideas with me. He loves to suggest character quirks. He is honest, funny, and my most incredible blessing.



  33. HM on February 19, 2010 at 4:05 PM

    >My husband is absolutely wonderful and very supportive. His response to my writing, though, is interesting. I write in several different genres, and there are areas of my writing that he'll get very excited and involved with, and other areas that kind of leave him cold. Unfortunately, one of the areas that leaves him cold is the one I've been working on most for the last couple years! And also unfortunately, I complained so much about that project at the outset that he concluded it was bad for me and started encouraging me to drop it, though he later took that back. He hasn't actually read the novel (still in final revision), and I suspect that when he does he'll actually like it, even if it's not his genre or his favorite book of all time.

    At the same time, the genres of my writing he gets most excited about–poetry and short biblical retellings I call midrash–are the ones closest to my heart. So he does help keep me true to myself!



  34. Nordicblogger on February 19, 2010 at 3:59 PM

    >My husband is pleasantly tolerant of my writing. However, genre is apparently keeping him from starting a fan club in my honor. If I wrote criminal suspense with lots of James Bond gadgets remotely beamed from another galaxy via Superman's olympic athlete ski-jumping double who also happens to be a lawyer fleeing for his life because of his background in the CSI and ability to psychologically profile mummified bones, it would probably be a different story. But hey, I would need to do way too much research for that, which would force me to spend more time on the computer…and ultimately he would lose tolerance for my writing.

    I'm happy with "pleasantly tolerant".



  35. AnnieO on February 19, 2010 at 3:58 PM

    >My husband has been extremely supportive over the years and has never once even hinted that I might be wasting my time. He's willing to read what I write, but since he's more of a scholar and not so much into fiction, he can correct my grammar but, bless his heart, can't give me a decent critique. I have a critique group for that, though, so it's all good.



  36. lynnrush on February 19, 2010 at 3:51 PM

    >My sweet hubby is so supportive. More of a constant rock versus reading and critique partner, though. **smile** I'm okay with that.

    But when I received my first agent contract and book contract last month, he's quick to read through and pray over my stuff so I make the right decisions, that's for sure.

    I trust him with all the business side of things and couldn't do any of this without him.

    Great topic, Rachelle. Happy Friday, everyone.



  37. nightwriter on February 19, 2010 at 3:49 PM

    >I'm so lucky that my husband is able and willing to read my mss. and see the big picture while I often get bogged down in the details. He's a fast reader and has asked questions that needed to be explained and even suggested subplots that made the story better and deeper! Though he prefers sci-fi (which I don't like or understand) he can switch gears to mysteries without missing a beat.

    Writing is so much more fun when you can share with someone who cares.Guess who I'm dedicating my first novel to?



  38. Kate Thompson on February 19, 2010 at 2:58 PM

    >Seems like my partner belongs to a really big club — how great! He is extremely supportive of my ability, drive, and desire to write. He's actually supporting me financially for a while so I can get a big jump on my third book. He does not read my stuff until it's done, saying he doesn't really know how to make helpful comments. He just plain likes what I write most of the time and is proud of me for the work I do. I'm very grateful.



  39. Heather on February 19, 2010 at 2:58 PM

    >I never understood the authors who complained that they had no one to support them. I've been blessed throughout my life with many supporters (and a few dissenters, but I don't listen to them.) :0)
    My parents and siblings have always supported me, encouraged me to talk about frustrating plots, and so on. The only thing I regret is taking so long to come to the realization that my mom's editing skills could be useful. :0) My little brother gave me my first compliment about a story plot.
    Then there's my wonderful fiance–who was drawn to me by the very fact that I was pressing hard to meet a goal I'd had in mind since I was 12! He understands my nerdiness and laughs at it, but at the same time is very serious about my writing, about reading and giving me feedback, and about not letting me quit.
    I love him so much more for being supportive of me and pushing me toward my goals. He knows when I need to take a break, even when I don't know it myself–and he knows when to let me press ahead. I was always half-afraid that I would fall in love with someone who wasn't totally supportive of my God-given career. I should've trusted God to find me the right guy when He'd already found me the right career!



  40. moonduster on February 19, 2010 at 2:22 PM

    >He is usually supportive, but he also wishes that either a) I would spend more time keeping the house clean or b) I would spend more time on something that actually brings in money for us.



  41. Blee Bonn on February 19, 2010 at 2:19 PM

    >My husband is very supportive of my writing and attending conferences and critique meetings and all that good stuff. But he's not too much of a reader. He has read a little and in fact we just had a conversation about this the other day. What he tells me, whenever I ask if he wants to read my current work, is that he'll read it once it's published. Ha, I think he thinks there's a high chance that might be never!

    What I didn't tell him – yet, was that he'll have to buy it when it is!

    🙂



  42. Julie Kibler on February 19, 2010 at 2:18 PM

    >My husband took on a wife, three kids, an onsite mother-in-law, and assorted pets when he married me, only to amaze me again three years later by giving me the opportunity to quit a job with great benefits to pursue this dream full time.

    He frequently gets called Knight in Shining Armor, but he reassures me I'll be supporting him like a king in his retirement. I told him not to hold his breath or purchase his throne early, but thanks anyway.

    He's the best. Not a beta reader, but still the best. (He is very much a reader, though, which I find very, very … appealing.) 🙂



  43. Heather on February 19, 2010 at 2:08 PM

    >I am insanely lucky in that my future husband is my biggest cheerleader, and my biggest fan. He reads everything I write (but he prefers if I read it to him — which helps me with the editing) and if it's a blog post? He comments every.single.time.

    I will say this. I know that he wishes my writing was a little more scheduled. While he would prefer that I block out time to write on the schedule, I can't do it. I have to write when it comes to me. If he figures out that I have the itch, he'll tell me to drop everything and he'll cover (we have 4 children between us) but I do try to respect the family time that we have as well.

    He is the first man who has ever taken an interest in my writing or saw it as more than just a "thing that I do."

    But the best part?

    This is coming from a man, who, prior to meeting me, didn't know what a blog was, nor did he own (and still doesn't) a computer.



  44. Misty on February 19, 2010 at 2:04 PM

    >My DH believes he is supportive. He has never read anything of real significance that i've written. The novel i'm seeking publication for, for instance. He's not a reader, so I give him that credit. but he also doesn't see my writing as a "viable" career opportunity, because it does not bring with it the consistent income he experiences…



  45. Rachelle on February 19, 2010 at 1:42 PM

    >Wow, I'm moved by all of these responses! Thanks, everyone, for sharing your stories. This seems to touch a very deep place in people.

    I can echo the sentiments of many here… my husband is incredibly supportive and he's even learned a lot about publishing over the last few years. Sometimes it surprises me because it means he really is listening when I babble on. He doesn't read my blog or the books I've written or edited, but he does everything he can to support me, including building me a new office with his own two hands. Couldn't really ask for more.

    He regularly offers to "take care of all those queries" for me, but lucky for you all, I decline!



  46. Heather on February 19, 2010 at 1:33 PM

    >What perfect timing you have, Rachelle!

    My husband and I just had a long discussion the other night about my writing and our relationship. He's supportive, but it makes him sad I think that I can't spend as much time with him because I'm always on my computer. We've been married less than a year, so we're still in the stage of our relationship where it's important to discuss these things. He was also hurt a little because I would stay up so late writing or reading and never come to bed with him. We eventually decided that when he came home, I would come to a good stopping point and then spend 15 or 20 minutes just sitting and talking with him. Once a week we'd watch a movie or read together, and on that night he couldn't complain about how late I came to bed, no matter what. It's working out great so far. We're still trying to figure out how to balance having totally opposite work schedules – usually I'm just getting into my writing stride by the time he gets home from work.

    He hasn't read my stuff yet, but that's at my insistence, not his. I don't want him to see it until right before I send it out on query. He's not a writer, so I would rather he see something closer to the finished product than all the messy steps in between.



  47. Lynnda - Passionate for the Glory of God on February 19, 2010 at 1:31 PM

    >Hello, Rachelle,

    I've enjoyed reading the responses to your blog, today. It's interesting that only one or two people without significant others choose to respond as well.

    Let me speak out as one who has no significant other. I was married for 19 years and have been divorced for 23. I did a lot of professional (technical) writing in my previous career. I begin writng the book I just self-published – Changing Me, Change the World – nine years ago. I began working as a freelance writer last year.

    In all that time, writing, for me, has been a private world. My family – mother, sister and brother-in-law, and two daughters – read the third draft of my book. They were very supportive, but unknowledgeable about the writing process. They are my cheer leaders, but not my critics. For that, I have a mentor through the Christian Writers Guild. Joyce is the one who stretches my boundaries and hones my skills.

    God always provides just the person I need at just the right time. He is my most significant other who guides every step of my adventure into publishing. Life is exciting!

    Have a great weekend,

    Lynnda



  48. Anonymous on February 19, 2010 at 1:30 PM

    >Writing has, in many ways, been the most tender part of our marriage.

    I signed my first contract with Zondervan last year — but we had no celebration because dh was concerned that might seem proud, self-centered. I quietly deferred, and knew his heart was gentle… He has never read anything I have written.

    Which is hard when your male agent reads, and your male editor reads, and you find yourself discussing your most transparent self with other men and not your husband. Yes — at times there is aching sadness in this.

    And yet, on the other hand, he has made *months* of meals while I have written, been the full-time parent of our kids while I have been on deadline, and hand built me a writing studio. He has faithfully, tirelessly loved.

    Writing is this terrifyingly vulnerable work in a complicated business of waiting and rejections and networking — all fraught with spiritual precipices: platforms and self-promotion and branding and pride.

    I think our spouses love simply in the ways they know how and it's best to gratefully accept the love in the ways they give.

    And pray for God to build bridges across the chasms that remain.

    Thank you, Rachelle… just for a forum to listen and share.



  49. Kent on February 19, 2010 at 1:27 PM

    >Another guy chiming in here. I've been married to the world's most amazing editor for the past 25 years. Her analytical skill astounds me as I watch her boil down incredibly complex concepts into simple to understand prose. That said, as a guy who's spent the last 30 writing only captions for my photographs (we work at the same newspaper), it was a bit daunting to dip my toe into a word pool where she churned by like Michael Phelps while I dog paddled in my blow up water wings.

    I'd been writing for months before I showed her a bit of what I was working on. When she said, "Yes, that makes me want to keep reading," I was forever hooked.

    She offers great support and advice, but Interestingly, I've yet to have her actually edit my work. I foresee much collaboration in the future, but both of us agree the long road to getting published should be all me. Neither of us want to hear, yes, he is a published author, but really, look who he's married to.

    So, I'd better get back to writing, pitching and honing my skills so I can get that first book out of the way and gain access to the feisty wordsmith that sits across from me at the dinner table.



  50. Chantal on February 19, 2010 at 1:16 PM

    >My husband is very supportive. He thinks I'm going to make millions on my best sellers so he can retire ;). I haven't had him read too many of my things, though, because of an old fear of mine! When he gets back (he's on military training right now) he'll be reading the novel I just finished. Sometimes it does annoy me because he'll read a bit in an "announcer" voice or try to make the characters sound different and it sounds like he's making fun of my writing. 🙁 He says he isn't though, he's just being silly, though I've told him sternly to stop! Haha.



  51. Michael Joshua on February 19, 2010 at 1:11 PM

    >My wife supports my writing, although she liked my nonfiction first ms more than she likes my fiction. She says my fiction is warped… But that's ok, she tells me, "Hurry up and get published!" So, yeah, she's supportive…..



  52. Zeke Pipher on February 19, 2010 at 12:27 PM

    >Ooops. I wrote "Jamie and I," and it should have been "Jamie and me"… I guess I should have asked Jamie to edit that comment before I posted, huh?



  53. Malissa on February 19, 2010 at 12:25 PM

    >My husband is supportive. He bought me my netbook and hopes my dreams of becoming a published writer come true. He's only read one of my pieces and he had good feedback but he doesn't want to read it all. Other than that, he's the greatest.



  54. Julia Kelly on February 19, 2010 at 12:21 PM

    >I was just thinking to put up a blog post that said- if you see me today or this week and have read my blog- I'll give you a $100 dollar- think I am pretty safe! My husband is very supportive- if not intrigued with my writing- he moved his office to another town to be a block from our childrens school- and has taken much of the rearing responsibility now that they are teenagers- giving me a lot of freedom to write and do art! I am lucky.



  55. Anonymous on February 19, 2010 at 12:21 PM

    >My spouse couldn't care less about my writing. Thinks is's a waste of time and I could be doing something more productive. Ah, well, that's life.



  56. Zeke Pipher on February 19, 2010 at 12:18 PM

    >My wife, Jamie, is the perfect companion for me as a writer. First of all, she’s a reader. She’s one of the few people I know who actually read War and Peace. She scored a perfect score on the “English” section of the GRE. She’s reading a book on the couch right now as I write this comment.

    Jamie is also tactful, gentle, and patient. These are all qualities that anyone associated with me needs to have, especially patience – a little bit of Zeke can go a long way. She’s more than happy to read, and re-read, everything I write. Her feedback is always helpful – I make 90% of the changes she suggests – and delivered in a way that doesn’t offend even me, Mr. S-E-N-S-I-T-I-V-I-T-Y.

    I’ve been writing for publication for about four years now. For Jamie and I, it’s been something that has combined our lives in a special way. Not that we don’t have our issues (like I said, a little bit of Zeke tends to go a long way), but as far as writing is concerned, we make a great team.



  57. Keli Gwyn on February 19, 2010 at 12:17 PM

    >Rachelle, thanks for giving us the opportunity to address this subject. It's wonderful to see so many tributes to supportive partners, however, I feel for those who aren't blessed with one.

    My husband is incredibly supportive of my writing and has been from the time I started my first story over four years ago. Gwynly believed in me long before I began to believe in myself. He serves as my plotting partner, and his ideas are superb. He suggested a new beginning to one of my stories, which is so good it enabled my entry to win in several contests. He's not only an award-winning plotting partner who totally gets my writing, but he's also the nicest person I've ever know. I'm blessed–and beyond grateful.



  58. Serenissima on February 19, 2010 at 12:12 PM

    >My husband is incredibly supportive. He watches the kids 3-4 times a week so I can get out to a "quiet" coffee shop.

    By mutual consent, he hasn't read any of my manuscripts. I'd be hurt if he didn't looove them. So, for now, the plan is that if I sell a book, he can read it before it comes out.



  59. Dana King on February 19, 2010 at 12:09 PM

    >I read everything aloud to my Beloved Spouse, novels a chapter at a time. This is when they've been through a first draft and some clean-up, so she can make suggestions, which are spot on about 2/3 of the time, and almost always merit serious consideration.

    I've asked her several times about it, and she says she looks forward to it. Based on her comments, I believe her.

    Yes, I do appreciate how lucky I am, and not just because of this.



  60. Liberty Speidel on February 19, 2010 at 12:05 PM

    >My husband is not a reader. When he does read, it's usually non-fiction. The whole time we've been together (more than 8 years between dating and marriage), I've only seen him read something fiction once–and that was a 5-page short story I wrote last year. While he usually keeps his mouth shut about my writing needs/desires, he does wish I'd get my projects done and get an agent/contract. And, he gets vocal about that about twice a year, unless I get to talking about being *really* close to getting ready to sending a project out to a batch of agents.

    It gets frustrating sometimes to have the silent apathetic partner–I do wish he'd read my work and give me feedback. But I also have to realize it's just not his thing. I know he'll be proud of me when I do get something sold, but I also realize that unless something changes with him, I'll have to look elsewhere for writerly support–my critique group and online writer friends, and other friends/family that are more supportive.



  61. Gina on February 19, 2010 at 12:01 PM

    >Interesting question. I don't have a significant other yet, but this has helped me know a little about what to expect if I ever get one! 🙂



  62. Ashley on February 19, 2010 at 11:57 AM

    >I don't have a significant other at the moment, but I do have highly supportive friends, some of which are probably too nice, but sometimes I don't really mind that.

    I have found that although I may not end up with a husband who 100% supports me, I want him to at least understand what it means to me. A number of guys I've dated or I'm just really good friends with tend have gotten that humored look whenever I mentioned my writing. Last guy I sorta dated/turned best friend still has absolutely no idea what my current project is about, because he's cut me off every time I've tried.

    So, without a current significant other to talk about, the future one will have to be at some level about humor. "Oh, honey, that's so cute, you think you can write and you'll sell it and you think it's a valuable effort." Yeah, we're not gonna go there.



  63. Arabella on February 19, 2010 at 11:46 AM

    >It all depends on how obnoxious I'm being. Writers are annoying, after all. Well, it's true, isn't it? I annoy myself.



  64. Jenny on February 19, 2010 at 11:45 AM

    >My spouse is completely supportive of my writing and always telling me I can do it. He's like the Stanley Tucci character in Julie & Julia.

    If there's a downside to this, it would be that he can be pushy! 🙂 Also, sometimes I don't know if he's too close to me to give me an objective response to my writing (though he's a writer himself). But overall I feel very lucky to have the support (and occasional kick in the behind.)



  65. Erica Vetsch on February 19, 2010 at 11:44 AM

    >My DH is wonderfully supportive. When he took me out to celebrate selling my first novel, he reached across the table, took my hand, and said, "I knew it wasn't a matter of IF you got published, but WHEN."

    That confidence spurs me on when I want to give in to doubts.



  66. Anonymous on February 19, 2010 at 11:41 AM

    >To all the Anons whose husbands don't support them: Why not try writing and publishing short stories and/or articles first? Once you get published and PAID, I'm sure your husbands will be much more enthusisastic. Aim for the regional or nat'l markets that pay better. Good luck!



  67. Jen on February 19, 2010 at 11:41 AM

    >While he's always been my biggest cheerleader, my husband doesn't generally read my work. He's a man's man, and reading romance (my genre) isn't really up his alley.

    When my eyes light up talking about the next big idea, he's excited for me and anxious to hear about it. When I've wanted to give up, he won't let me. Instead, he poses questions like, "Do you really want to give up your passion? What would your life be like without writing?" I'm forced to stop and reevaluate what I'm saying.

    While I admit my husband is probably going to be the last to read my books, he's the first in line to be my cheerleader, first to congratulate me on my tiny accomplishments in the right direction, and the first to be a shoulder to cry on when I'm deeply disappointed.



  68. Jess on February 19, 2010 at 11:37 AM

    >My husband is my strongest believer. When I whine about not knowing what I'm doing he's the first to tell me to knock it off. *G* He challenged me to get to work – was even gutsy enough to tell me if I didn't waste so much time on the internet I'd be published by now! That hurt mostly because I'm sure he's right. I need his tough love.

    And he hasn't read a thing I've written. I'm afraid to show him! (Not his cuppa, either.) But he knows me, and that's enough for him to think I can do this thing. And that means more to me than any beta reader telling me I have nice characters. 🙂



  69. Cassandra Frear on February 19, 2010 at 11:34 AM

    >Sent you a tweet about this. It was the only way I could express it.



  70. Shelley Sly on February 19, 2010 at 11:34 AM

    >My husband believes in me even more than I believe in myself. He always tells me to keep writing, and even offered to support us if I wanted to quit my job to write (Not that I would, but wow!)

    He's always the first to read my novels and even though the genres (romance, chick lit) aren't his cup of tea, he still enjoys them. Love that man.



  71. Dara on February 19, 2010 at 11:28 AM

    >Hubby is definitely encouraging. If anything, he's the one who gets on my case if I'm not writing like I should be.

    He doesn't read anything though, just because I'm odd in that I don't really like my "unfinished" draft read by others (although I have my crit group, but it's different). I know if I let him read my current WiPs, which I have on only a few occassions, he's not the kind to really give critique on it. He says he's afraid it'll cause an argument 😛

    But he does listen to me rave about new ideas, interesting tidbits I've found in my research or when I bemoan that nothing's coming out like it should. Very glad for him and his support!



  72. Michelle on February 19, 2010 at 11:18 AM

    >I wouldn't be writing without my wonderful hub. He loves to help me brainstorm, and his ideas seem to sell; he's more "over the top" than I am, and pushes me to take risks.

    He takes vacation times and sends me away to conferences (no small feat, we have 9 children!)

    When I'm in a slump, he says, "I haven't seen you sub anything lately, what are you working on?"

    He also co-writes plays and musicals with me, which is a blast!

    And when I make a sale, telling him is my favorite part! We're about to celebrate 20 yrs, of marriage, and I am one blessed gal.



  73. lexcade on February 19, 2010 at 11:17 AM

    >eh, my boyfriend isn't really into it. he's not an avid reader and he pretty much sits there when i go on my tangents. he'll nod and smile and that's about it. but at least he lets me be frustrated. and he never begrudges me the time. i'll usually write when he's in video game mode or watching something i have no interest in. it works.



  74. Nathan on February 19, 2010 at 10:59 AM

    >It's like washing the dishes… but making sure she sees me doing it.

    If the wifey has seen me doing other, helpful, attentive things aroung the house, then when I sit down to tap the plastic she suffers it… sometimes even suggesting it, since I'd been so helpful earlier.



  75. Anonymous on February 19, 2010 at 10:56 AM

    >Rachelle, thanks for this. I asked about it in the comments awhile ago. Reading the responses helped me put it in perspective: My husband doesn't "get" my writing or even like it–I write literary fiction and he doesn't read any fiction but if he did, it would be something more action-packed. So it's not necessarily personal to me, but I was taking it that way.

    BUT I realized that he totally supports my writing as a pursuit. He bought me my new laptop for my birthday last year, and he is always saying keep at it. So as I think about it, it's really not so dire.

    Thanks again. This was really helpful, at least for me. 🙂



  76. Beth on February 19, 2010 at 10:55 AM

    >I'm going to brag about my husband, because during Nanowrimo last year, he also wrote a 50,000 word novel in November too just so we could write together. How awesome is that?



  77. Chantal on February 19, 2010 at 10:39 AM

    >In my house, it's a little different than many others, I think. My husband is happy that I'm doing something I enjoy. And he'll read it the night before I send in a response to a full or partial request, but then he comes-up with great ideas for how the plot should have been…yikes. He's awesome, yet so frustrating sometimes.



  78. Stina Rose on February 19, 2010 at 10:37 AM

    >My husband is my biggest cheerleader. It was his belief in my work that got me writing again. My own family never "got it". I had become a closet writer, afraid of the fall out when mom found out I was "scribbling" again. But my husband came along and gave me the courage to write in the open. I love him more for it.



  79. Bethany from Confessions of an Organized Homeschool Mom on February 19, 2010 at 10:16 AM

    >My hubby is OK with my writing as long as I also edit (for $$), homeschool, do all the housework, and cook a hot meal every night. He has never read a word I've written. The kids have a hard time understanding the "please don't interrupt, I'm on a roll here" concept – and they're teens!

    E.D. Lindquist, you are indeed a lucky woman!!! And probably the envy of many here!



  80. T. Anne on February 19, 2010 at 10:06 AM

    >My husband is supportive and yet has no real desire to read my work. I'm OK with the later since he's not a big reader unless it involves USC football. Perhaps that will be my next story? 😉



  81. REG on February 19, 2010 at 10:03 AM

    >My husband suggested the story line for my first novel which I started this year on NaNoWriMo. It's a romance/mystery. We role play the characters. He sends me flowers once a week with a love note from my protagonist. I read passages aloud and he tells me when they don't make sense. It has really infused out marriage with romance.



  82. Andrea L. Mack on February 19, 2010 at 9:51 AM

    >My husband probably doesn't fully understand why I'm always stealing away to my writing desk while he's reading his NY Times and watching The Simpsons, but I wouldn't say he's not supportive. One of the great things he does for me is to take take our daughters out for a few hours from time to time, giving me uninterrupted hours to myself. And the whole family puts up with my grumpy moods when I haven't had enough writing time.



  83. Richard Mabry on February 19, 2010 at 9:34 AM

    >Let me chime in with the male perspective. My wife, Kay, is my first reader. She's attended every writer's conference I have, and probably paid more attention than I did. She has a sharp eye, and doesn't hesitate to tell me when something doesn't ring true or doesn't work. Her input has been invaluable to me in writing from the standpoint of a female protagonist. And when Kay tells me something is good, I light up, because I know I've passed a test based on quality, not just the love we share.
    Thanks, Rachelle, for the opportunity to express our appreciation to the significant others who rarely receive the recognition they deserve.



  84. CKHB on February 19, 2010 at 9:28 AM

    >My husband is VERY supportive, but he won't be a beta reader. I think he doesn't ever want to discover a single line he doesn't like!



  85. Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought on February 19, 2010 at 9:21 AM

    >Tender spot. My husband openly admits he “doesn’t get it”. He understands my passion, but has things he’s far more interested in than reading or writing. We are polar opposites in so many ways. Though he supports me and understands my time investment, sometimes I long for him to delight in writing the way I do. He doesn’t read my work b/c quite honestly grammar scares him the way numbers scare me.

    I’ve had to remind myself he is not the one who has changed. He’s always loved numbers and sports. And while I’ve always loved reading and writing, I was consumed with caring for our babies for years and my passion didn’t get the concentrated attention I give it now. I’m a huge fan of boundaries, carving out certain things in life so I can pour into my husband and give him the time he needs. And I also try to express (hint—not nag) how much writing means to me. He’s received these conversations well. I try to hop in his shoes…reading large chunks of a MS for him would equate to my being forced to attend a calculus class (blech!).

    This makes me all the more grateful for those I’ve connected with online. I’m also grateful for my left-brained man.
    ~ Wendy



  86. Wendy Saxton on February 19, 2010 at 9:15 AM

    >I try very hard to maintain boundaries around the time that I write. If I don't, "I'll be there in fifteen minutes" quickly turns into "start the movie without me."

    I want my family to know how important they are to me. When I make them my highest priority, everything else falls into place.

    I try to remember to ask my husband about his day before I tell him about mine. And I try to find special ways to express my gratitude when he mans the fort so I can go to writer's conferences.

    I couldn't ask for a more supportive family.



  87. Book Minstrel on February 19, 2010 at 9:10 AM

    >I am just aspiring at this point, so I think the level of understanding is in conjunction with the level of success. I go to writers meetings and their are no complaints. Writing in the house though can be a bit challenging. Unless I hunker down and get a bit snippy he doesn't see a problem with interrupting me to come and see such and such on TV or the internet. A bit frustrating, but I work around it. He's not much of a reader, and some days I wish he would take more interest in reading what I wrote, but other days I am glad about that. See I let my sister read a few things, and I ran a few concepts past her, because she was a reader. That was a bad idea. She doesn't have critic group experience at all, so what I got from her was not helpful. Since then I am keeping the people I love out of it, because it really would seam that no matter how well they mean, criticism or support, I can't accept what they say with out judging their opinion based on our relationship. I don't think it's fair to strain a relationship like that. So until it reaches print I don't think I have the guts to let them have a poke at what I write. My writing group however can tear it asunder and I take it with good grace, hunker down and revise what is necessary.

    Also speaking of support, my mom, was e-mailing me various online writing jobs. I understood that she was trying to be supportive but I had to eventually tell her that what I was chasing was to write on my own work, not get my foot in the door in the wrong direction on a project I don't care about. It was just counterproductive to what little free spare time I had.

    Overall though I think both my family and my hubby take it well. They are involved at the level I want them to be at this stage. Maybe things will change in the future, to a point where they are move involved. Maybe they won't. So long as I have the time to write, I am fine with everything else.



  88. Anonymous on February 19, 2010 at 9:10 AM

    >My husband works in publishing and maybe that's why he's neither super-supportive nor discouraging. He's just kind of Zen about my writing perhaps because he knows how hard it is to get published and he doesn't want me to get my hopes up. He has read my mss and he gives me honest feedback(ouch!), but that's it. I am my only writing cheerleader and it gets hard sometimes.



  89. Jessica on February 19, 2010 at 9:09 AM

    >Hahaaa! I meant I probably DON'T ask enough.
    He might do it if I bothered to ask. 🙂

    I liked Krista's advice. I couldn't imagine having to deal with a loved one who made snide comments or put down something so close to my heart.
    Good writer friends are incredible blessing and worth pursuing. 🙂



  90. JentheAmazing on February 19, 2010 at 9:08 AM

    >My husband is a mix of everything. He's a big reader so he's pretty helpful when it comes to the planning and outlining stages. He's also a whiz with grammar so I make sure he looks over everything I write at least once.

    That said, he isn't much of a fiction reader. He prefers his war books and books on planes, etc etc.

    But he's incredibly supportive. On days when the writing is rough, he makes dinner and does the dishes. He double checks to make sure I still have enough coffee to keep going. He knows when to back off and leave me in silence and when to offer advice.

    He's really quite lovely you know.



  91. Caroline Starr Rose on February 19, 2010 at 9:02 AM

    >I think I was hard for my husband to fully get what I was doing when I started this writing thing. He watched me for 10+ years get nothing but rejections, and while he admired my tenacity, I know he also thought maybe I could find fulfillment at something not so disappointing. It's hard to watch people we love continually be rejected.

    For him to see some of the positives that have come from the process — winning an award, signing with an agent — it has helped him better understand this is the way the writing world works, that the rejection is part of the journey.

    Writing is complicated, isn't it?



  92. Jessica on February 19, 2010 at 9:01 AM

    >Oooh, good questions! I'd say my family is pretty supportive. No one has made me feel bad or anything for writing toward publication. They're all like, oh, that's cool.
    My husband will probably never, ever read my book because he doesn't read. Period. LOL (yeah, I don't get it). Also, he's not one for watching the kiddos to give me writing time, but then again, I probably ask enough.
    In other ways though, he's so incredibly supportive. One, he thinks I'll be a bestseller. LOL Two, he was fine with me getting my own laptop for work. As in writing work. And three, as much as he hates having to watch toddlers, he's watched them so I could go to conferences and meetings.
    I feel very blessed to have him.
    🙂



  93. Rachel on February 19, 2010 at 8:55 AM

    >My husband encouraged me to quit my job as a violinist in a chamber orchestra so that I had more time to write. It was scary for me (felt like a "point of no return"), and presented a slight financial hardship, but I did it. I wouldn't have taken myself seriously enough to make this step without his encouragement.



  94. Donna M. Kohlstrom on February 19, 2010 at 8:54 AM

    >My hubby, who has no idea how to write a story (and doesn't want to!) is my best cheerleader, encourager, beta reader and critiquer!

    He's always telling me to "go write". (Do you think he's trying to get rid of me?! LOL!)

    He's the first to point out the areas that need work. And he faithfully reads, rereads again and again until I get the revision right.



  95. Rowenna on February 19, 2010 at 8:49 AM

    >My husband is extremely supportive–he even bought me a laptop for Christmas/birthday when my computer started to frazzle so I would have somewhere reliable to write.

    …But, and I think I'm the problem on this one…I don't let him read what I write. Silly, isn't it? I let strangers read it, but I'm terrified that he won't like it and that would be the hugest rejection of all. Online crit groups can rail on all the things they don't like, agents can reject me, but if he doesn't like it there's such a deeper current of personal rejection there for me–can't quite bring myself to risk that yet. And the manuscript has been done for months. I'll have to just buck up soon!



  96. Sherri on February 19, 2010 at 8:40 AM

    >DH gives the inactive type of support, where he doesn't mind me doing it, but he doesn't care to participate in the process. I think for a long time he supported my writing because it means I will continue to be a housewife even though the kids are all in school now. He likes not having to fold his own laundry. 😉 And if I make money from it someday…bonus!

    In his defense, he hasn't read a novel in years; he much prefers nonfiction. Years ago he tried to get through one of my books but stopped halfway through.

    I think he is proud of the progress I've made, completing works and getting an agent, and lately he seems to be more interested in my babbling about it, but I don't know if that's an anomaly or a trend.

    So…yeah. At least he's not shoving me out the door to get a job, even though we could use the money.



  97. Nicole on February 19, 2010 at 8:38 AM

    >So glad you posted this today as my hubby and I are celebrating our 1 year anniversary tomorrow 🙂 Super-excited! He is my total support and backbone. If it weren't for him and God in my life I don't think I could make it through the rejections, queries, multiple drafts, etc. He is also my grammatical editor which is a great help 🙂 I love him dearly and am so glad he get's it. I think it is easier for him to get it because he is starting his own business and running after a dream too. So we both understand and support each others plights. I love him dearly and can't wait to figure out how one year old de-frosted cake tastes like…hopefully good.



  98. Anonymous on February 19, 2010 at 8:34 AM

    >Thank you so much for posting this Rachel, this is probably the biggest thing that I struggle with as a writer. Nathan just blogged about the same thing only it was just the positive significant others that were mentioned.

    My husband completely does not get it and it's nice to hear that you work with people who are in the same boat. He has never read anything that I've written, including short stories, even though I've asked him to repeatedly. Any amount of time I spend on writing is too much for him. I hope that I'm in the minority here, but I pray that everyone out there who has a supportive spouse/friend realizes how blessed they are.

    How to cope with it? Well, for starters, I try to write when he's not around which sometimes means in the middle of the night so that I don't have to hear snide comments. Also, every husband I write usually turns out to be an insensitive louse who doesn't understand his wife, it makes me feel better but I'm trying to work on not doing that so much. I also try to remind myself that you can't count on others to make you fulfilled. You can't control how others respond to you, you can only control how you respond to them.



  99. Katy McKenna on February 19, 2010 at 8:22 AM

    >My Very Extremely Supportive Husband sometimes even reads this blog (like I sometimes read HIS favorite blogs about engineering physics and search engine optimization and artificial intelligence linguistics) and I just gotta say Happy 33rd Anniversary, Baby! (Got You On My Mind.)



  100. Marla Taviano on February 19, 2010 at 8:19 AM

    >My husband is super supportive. He thinks I'm a great writer and does whatever he can to help–website, marketing, social networking.

    He doesn't really "get" the whole publishing industry though. I'm constantly defending people to him. He doesn't understand why "everything takes so long" and "why he hasn't gotten back to you" and "why the publisher didn't do anything to market your books" and on and on and on.

    It gets tiring trying to explain it.

    But I love him dearly and wouldn't trade him for the world. (And he's a big Rachelle fan.)



  101. Nikki on February 19, 2010 at 8:14 AM

    >HA! Rachelle, I've been reading your blog for years, but I never commented until today.
    On so many message boards/support groups, writer friends of mine complain abut their unsupportive families, so I don't crow about mine. My husband supports me wholeheartedly, and my kids race home from school, more eager to hear my day's work than to play with their friends.
    Of course, it could be because I've done a far more difficult job.
    When we were engaged, I asked my husband a question, out of the blue — Would it be okay if I went into minsitry for my career? We both laughed at the question, since I wasn't even a practicing Chrsitian at the time, but he said "sure."
    Now, after a (surprise!) career in the church, me being a writer is cake for us all.
    I am so blessed.



  102. Tchann on February 19, 2010 at 7:47 AM

    >My husband is wonderfully supportive of my writing. I asked him last year to help edit a contest entry of mine and his suggestions were so thorough, he's reading the first draft of my novel for me.

    Writing doesn't take any time away from us, either, as I only write during my lunch break at work. It's only an hour a day, and I'm already away from home in the first place, so there's no interruption in our life from it. 🙂



  103. Jill on February 19, 2010 at 7:35 AM

    >My husband doesn't read fiction. He did read the first chapter of my novel, which begins with a missionary wife who was widowed just before the story opens. "You killed me off before the first chapter?" He asked. "Not unless you're an intelligence agent masquerading as a missionary," I said.

    He hasn't read any more of my book, but he does brainstorm with me, checks on my progress and encourages me to keep pursuing my dream. So I'll let him live–for now. : )



  104. Christine Danek on February 19, 2010 at 7:34 AM

    >My hubby trys to be supportive to a point. I think he just doesn't understand my love for writing so he doesn't press on discussing my passion. He seems to glaze over when I say anything about it and his usual comment is "just don't let it interfere with everything else." Another reason of his lack of interest is because of the lack of income that is not immediately generated. So he sees my passion as more of a hobby than work. I wish he could be more of a cheerleader but I think it pushes the drive in me and makes it stronger–to prove that I can do this.



  105. Amy Sue Nathan on February 19, 2010 at 7:28 AM

    >I don't have a significant other, but I do have kids who are understanding of the times I 'just have to finish this scene' and whose jaws dropped (they're teenagers) when I said I'd finished a 75,000 word novel. No more complaints about 2-page essays in our house!



  106. Sue Harrison on February 19, 2010 at 7:26 AM

    >I'm very fortunate in that my husband is my first reader, best supporter and PR partner. He's a pilot and has flown us thousands of miles to take my books "on the road" (in the sky?). We were high school sweethearts, and even then he believed in me and that I could achieve my dream to become a novelist.



  107. Krista Phillips on February 19, 2010 at 7:18 AM

    >I am thankful EVERYDAY for a very supportive husband. He doesn't always read my stuff timely… but he does enjoy reading it and is a good tip-giver. He also brainstorms with me (i.e. listens while I talk to my character and nodds his head if he likes it or grimaces if it isn't working for him… he's a man of little words!)

    As far as my time, he knows better than to complain. He has a billion non-money-making hobbies that wilL NEVER make us a dime. At least mine has the chance to bring in something someday!

    My heart goes out to those with an unsupportive spouse/family. My suggestion is to find a great writers group to be involved in, whether it be online or in person or both. It doesn't replace it, but it might help some.



  108. Laura Pauling on February 19, 2010 at 7:13 AM

    >My husband helps read query letters and first pages, but he can't stay awake to save his life – when reading any book. I don't take it personally. 🙂



  109. Mary Anne on February 19, 2010 at 6:47 AM

    >My hubby doesn't read my work. He's not a fan of romance novels. He made it through one book but I don't know that our 20 year marriage would survive him slogging through another.

    But my hubby is my business partner in my self publishing endeavors, which has been wonderful. He's a computer programmer and gifted graphic artist. He designs all the covers. When I'm publishing to a forum (Kindle, CreateSpace, Smashwords, etc.), John formats the text for me.

    At my request, Hubby blogged about how he creates the covers for my books. It's tongue in cheek but a fun read that shows one way a couple can support each other in publishing matters.



  110. writer jim on February 19, 2010 at 6:34 AM

    >In the early days of my book project I asked God to do a sign that my wife could witness…to prepare her for what I knew would be many long years of writing.
    Quickly, God sent rainbow colored flickering tounges going to and fro all through our bedroom. They stayed for 2 hours. We were in utter awe. It changed her life.
    Over 15 years of writing later, my wife is still as strong a supporter as I could ever hope for.

    My advice to others is that if you are writing FOR God, He will give you whatever help is neccesary in your case. I sort of hope your project isn't so persevering as mine; but then remember: you may not need such a sign as my wife and I received.



  111. Lance on February 19, 2010 at 6:29 AM

    >My wife supports me, but she's not a reader nor able to critique written work.

    Fortunately, I have a 14-year-old daughter who is a voracious reader and has been my biggest cheerleader. She'll read my chapters and offer advice – often pretty good.



  112. BnB Paulson on February 19, 2010 at 6:21 AM

    >My hubs is awesome! He's not only supportive, encouraging and every other superlative you can think of, he also TYPES my longhand. I am a transcriptionist full-time and he helps me with my writing by taking the brunt off my wrists. I write it out longhand (which is also the way I reach my creativity) and he puts it to the comp.

    I edit on the comp and all that, but he gets the first look at what I have done and lets me know if something works or not.

    I write romance and some scenes are, well, a little warm. With him typing, it's probably why we are having number four…

    The Lord has blessed me with an amazing hub and three children. Even if my writing goes no where, the time I've spent with my spouse on it has been invaluable.



  113. Sandy Williams on February 19, 2010 at 6:08 AM

    >I feel like the luckiest girl in the world because, from the moment we met, my husband has supported my writing. He let me go from a full-time job to part-time so I could have more time to pursue my dream, and even though I write urban fantasy (not his preferred genre), he reads my books and gives me constructive feedback (just fixed a plot-hole he found that none of my other betas did).

    My only complaint (well, my only complaint when it comes to writing/reading 🙂 ) is that he reads only one book at a time and can't understand why I need a whole stack of books to choose from. I try to explain that what I want to read depends on my mood, but he just doesn't get it. I don't think he ever will.



  114. Sandy Williams on February 19, 2010 at 6:08 AM

    >I feel like the luckiest girl in the world because, from the moment we met, my husband has supported my writing. He let me go from a full-time job to part-time so I could have more time to pursue my dream, and even though I write urban fantasy (not his preferred genre), he reads my books and gives me constructive feedback (just fixed a plot-hole he found that none of my other betas did).

    My only complaint (well, my only complaint when it comes to writing/reading 🙂 ) is that he reads only one book at a time and can't understand why I need a whole stack of books to choose from. I try to explain that what I want to read depends on my mood, but he just doesn't get it. I don't think he ever will.



  115. Sharon A. Lavy on February 19, 2010 at 6:00 AM

    >My husband is supportive. But when I first started writing fiction I absorbed the thought that your family were not the best first readers. So I told him it was not ready for him to read.

    And when he started bragging to people that I am a writer I told him that was bad luck.

    Now that I am "out of the closet", I still squirm when non writers ask me how my book is coming because "normals" don't understand spending twelve years on the first novel and six on another, etc.



  116. Katie Ganshert on February 19, 2010 at 5:42 AM

    >This Q makes me praise God for giving me exactly who he has given me for a husband. I'm incredibly blessed and don't deserve him.

    He's my biggest supporter. He's my first reader, which is saying A LOT since I write romance. Regardless of the genre, he genuinely gets excited to read my stuff and boosts my tempermental ego with encouragment and praise. Yet he isn't afraid to tell me if something confuses him or bores him. I know his feedback is FAR from objective, but I love it anyway.

    Plus, he believes in me more than I believe in myself. He's convinced I will be published. To him, it's a matter of when, not if. And he makes a lot of sacrifices to give me time. I truly could not do this without him.

    As for my little guy….he's too young to know anything different. My goodness, I love them both.



  117. Lost Wanderer on February 19, 2010 at 5:26 AM

    >My husband just isn't into books or writing, so he is not exactly supportive. But he is also not non-supportive. He lets me get on with it, and as listens to my passing comments. But I don't discuss plots or anything, and I don't ask him to read anything.

    As long as he reads my book once it's published, I am okay with that.

    Because I know that the books he enjoys reading, are not the type of books I write, I wouldn't really want feedback of my story from him because it would only confuse me.



  118. kathryn on February 19, 2010 at 5:11 AM

    >My husband told me repeatedly over twenty years that I had to start writing. I am a historian so I do write non-fiction, technical pieces. He talked me into doing NaNoWriMo. I sat down and the novel flowed out effortlessly. It was shocking! He said, "I knew it!" I added another 40k.

    In March of that year he went on a business trip and brought me a present: A MacBook Air "Your second novel will come out of this." So I sat down and wrote two m ore novels, each 125,000 words long.

    He is wonderfully, perfectly supportive. He is an architect, so he understands creative process and about not getting paid :))



  119. Amalia T. on February 19, 2010 at 3:21 AM

    >My SO is totally supportive and amazing– but he doesn't read my stuff. The times that he has, I either got annoyed because all I got was an "I like it, it's good" or because he made nit picky suggestions that didn't do anything for me, so I think we came to an unspoken agreement that he would be supportive and positive, and I would not ask him to read anything anymore. haha. It works out just fine 🙂



  120. E.D. Lindquist on February 19, 2010 at 3:15 AM

    >… Wow. those were some typos. Please accept these corrections:

    I consider myself the luckiest author in all the world! My husband is my co-author. Every single day, he takes walks and lunch breaks with me to discuss the scenes I'm working on, helps me outline and writes the first drafts of all our action scenes. He helps me flesh out my characters and is my very first beta reader for each chapter.



  121. E.D. Lindquist on February 19, 2010 at 3:13 AM

    >I consider myself the luckiest author in all the world! My husband is my co-author. Every singe day, he takes walks and lunch breaks with me to discuss my scenes the scenes I'm working on, helps me outline and writes the first drafts of all our action scenes. He helps me flesh out my characters and is my very first beta reader for each chapter.

    He's got an absorbent shoulder for crying on when things aren't going smoothly (not to mention a heap of helpful advice) and is the first to suggest a frozen yogurt celebration when I overcome an obstacle or reach a goal.

    Aron's my muse and my hero. He works a 9-5 job to pay the bills, too, on top of being my co-author. I could do this without him… barely… but it wouldn't be half as much fun. See my Aron and envy me! 😉



  122. Terresa on February 19, 2010 at 2:36 AM

    >My husband is supportive of my writing. He's the one who drove me to buy a MacBook Pro last year as a declaration of writerly intent. And for that, I'm grateful.

    We have four children who are much less supportive. But they are young and don't understand yet.

    My hope is that some distant day they will understand that it's good to have a mama passionate about what she puts into her mixing bowl: mothering and writing and life.

    And while the dough is iffy and the finished product uncertain, I wouldn't miss any of it for the world.



  123. Elizabeth L on February 19, 2010 at 2:21 AM

    >I'm lucky in that my DH is supportive of my writing. Even though I hadn't written anything for about six years (since right after we got together until last summer), when he found out, he wasn't surprised I had finally gotten back to it. Unfortunately, since he is not a big reader (loves books on CD though), he's only read about 20 pgs of my current project. Ah well, I write romance and he's not into romance, so it's not that surprising he can't push himself into reading the whole thing.



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