This week, I’ve been thinking about my husband. Yeah, Valentines Day is coming up, but just before that we’ll celebrate our wedding anniversary – 16 years of matrimony, to be precise. Holy crap. That makes me feel old … but mostly, really blessed to have spent that much time with someone I really like. And who likes me back.
Now, don’t go rolling your eyes and clicking away to check you emails; this will not be a saccharine-coated, schmoopy tribute to my husband. What I’ve been thinking about is how having someone’s unwavering support plays such an important role in a writer’s life.
The three fine ladies with whom I blog are an awesome support. They’re always there to laugh and commiserate with, to critique each other’s work with honesty and clarity, to cheer each other up when the writing doldrums inevitably strike, and I don’t know what I’d do without them. But for the day to day, my DH is here at ground zero, and I know writing would be so much more difficult if I didn’t have his support.
I once read a letter to the editor in a writing magazine in which a female writer related her husband’s antics whenever she sat down to write; lots of huffing and puffing and stomping around the house, tirades on how selfish she was, how her “little hobby” was taking her away from her family who needed her constant and undivided attention or the world just might end … What a manipulative jerk. But imagine having to face that every single time you sat down to write? It would wear you down to dust. Little wonder the woman had decided to set aside her writing until she was retired … or divorced, more likely.
Now, I’m not saying my DH has always been happy about me writing. I know there have been times when he wanted more of me but my head was off in my fictional world, and I can understand his irritation. But for 99.9% of the time, when it comes to my writing, his attitude is “go for it!” And sometimes, he really pulls out the big guns and shows me how truly he means this … such as a few years back, when the kids were all small, and he booked me in to a hotel for a whole day and night with the instruction to “just go and write.” And in a few weeks’ time he’ll have the kids on his own for a Saturday (no mean feat, as that’s the day they need to be run here, there and everywhere for cricket matches and dance lessons) while I attend an editing course. And, the piece de resistance, his gift to me last Christmas - two French coins, an 1874, five franc piece, and an 1881 two franc piece, the closest he could find to the decade in which my book is set.
I think I’m pretty damn lucky. With that kind of faith and encouragement, I have no excuse at all not to finish my book.
So, who provides you with practical and moral support for your writing? Whoever it is – a partner, a friend, a writing group – just remember to give them a big “thank you” from time to time. They make what can be a tough and solitary gig, a whole lot easier.