Monday, August 6, 2012

Space to Dream

We writers come in all shapes and sizes and stages of life.

Some of us are married, some aren't.

Of those who are in relationships, some have their biggest cheerleader and most awesome critique partner in their significant other, while others work quietly on the home front alone.

My dashingly handsome sidekick is amazing, but he's a scientist, not a writer. He reads non-fiction and sports columns and geology magazines, not kidlit.

Do I love him? Absolutely.

Do I feel supported by him in my writing? Yes. But quietly supported. Sometimes I'm telling him about my WiP and he gets a look on his face that's probably similar to the look on my face when he's trying to explain rocks to me.

We love each other, we support each other, but we have a lot of different interests.

We went to the ocean on an extended family vacation recently and I brought the laptop along. My goal was to finish my edit BEFORE the vacation, but it didn't happen, so I worked on my book at night when the kids were in bed and the adults were playing board games in a different room.

I didn't mind missing out. I'm not a big game-playing person and I needed the relaxation that comes from writing and, because I'm an introvert, the space.

Still, I don't think the DHS quite understood why I was choosing to write instead of being involved with the family. We worked it out, but I know my writing takes its toll on him sometimes. He'd rather I be involved than hiding away with my laptop. I try to be careful with the time I spend, but you know ... there's only so many hours in the day.

That's why what happened this last week meant so much to me.

My laptop went out.

The battery has been dead for a while, so it had to be constantly plugged in. And then the power cord went out.

For the few days of waiting for a new power cord and battery to arrive, I decided to take a break from writing.

I told the DHS about this decision.

A couple days passed and, toward the end of one day he asked, "Did the new cord come for the laptop yet?"

"No, not yet."

"Oh, that's too bad." He seemed genuinely sad for me.

I didn't know if he was just being polite, so I added facetiously, "Why? Because you miss me writing my book SO much?"

"No," he said, smiling. "Because I know how much you enjoy it."

My heart did a little skip when he said that. It's nice to feel supported, to feel like you have the space you need to pursue a dream.

How about you? Do the people in your life understand your passion and encourage you in it? 


  1. My husband encourages me, but he's not into reading. He prefers the entertainment of movies and video games. There are times I wish he took a more active interest in my writing, but he does his best. I'm just glad he understands how important my writing is, even though he too wishes I would be more involved in other activities sometimes.

  2. I dedicated my first novel to my husband because he gave me the best gift of all: time.

    He has never once complained about the time I spend writing, revising, networking...the list is endless, as are the hours spent.

    That to me is more important than reading it.

  3. Awww, that was so sweet and touching that he said that to you. You've got a keeper there!

  4. I love it Amy!
    That, to me, is real love, when you can let someone follow their dream, their passion, and support them to do it.
    And I'm sure you support him to follow his dreams too.
    My hubby has supported me in my passions too, even though they're completely different to his. He doesn't like aromatherapy, yet he minded the kids all the weekends i was doing my training (for 2 years!).
    And now I'm into music, he supports that too!
    Isn't it sweet to be so loved?

  5. What a great guy. :) Even though my husband is a writer, too, we both still need to work on the balance of writing vs family time sometimes. We're so similar (both introverts) that we'd probably just hole up at home all the time if we didn't work at it!

  6. Your DHS is adorable, as is my Mr A of course and we have the same differences as you two. His interest is in major building projects, costings and quantity surveying. Need I continue. It got harder for me to write recently since he's fully retired. It's not that he objects. It's just that he's always around!

  7. I can so relate to every bit of your sweet story as I experienced something similar last week on vacation.

    My husband is my rock!! He encourages me through every bit of it.

  8. It's so good that your husband recognizes you need to write and sacrifices his own need to be with you.

    My husband too is a quiet supporter of my writing, and that has made all the difference. I try to balance family time with quiet time, but sometimes it's tough, esp. if I'm on a tight deadline. But everybody chips in, and our socializing happens during mealtimes and household chores.

    Truly we are blessed. I hear of many writers who do not get that support, and it causes much strife in the family.

  9. I have a wonderful support system and they encourage me to write if only to keep my crazy under control.

  10. I get a lot of blank stares. I suppose I could interpret them as silent cheers, but not so much...

  11. Aw, that's so sweet! It's definitely hard to say no to people when you need to be writing (and I don't even have a husband or kids!).

  12. That is SO sweet!

    I actually didn't realize how much support i had for my writing until I told people about my publication contract. They were all super excited, telling me they knew how hard I worked. I guess I didn't realize they paid that must attention. It was totally sweet

  13. My husband's support is very similar to yours--quiet. But he did surprise me once by agreeing to read one of my manuscripts (it helped to have it as a PDF on my iPad). He read the whole thing (300ish pages of verse) in one sitting! I'll take that kind of support any day.

  14. Hi Amy - he sounds lovely .. especially as you have the children too (four I think) ... lucky you -

    Enjoy your family life - sounds a good one ... cheers Hilary