This Post is For the Ones You Love

Rachelle Gardner

Blogger: Rachelle Gardner

I frequently hear from writers who are working hard to make their publishing dreams come true—but their significant others are not quite on board. These writers are being persistent, learning the craft, and building their platform. But their loved ones are having a hard time remaining supportive since there’s no income to show for it. They also might not understand the many peculiarities of a writer’s life.

So today I wanted to help out your loved ones. Feel free to send a link to your significant other, or print this out and post it on the fridge.

To Anyone Who Lives with a Writer:

Congratulations on having the fabulous good fortune of sharing close-quarters with a writer-type. There are many great things about being involved with a writer, among them:

  • Awesome income potential.
  • Hollywood premieres and red carpet treatment.
  • A stable, non-emotional partner.
  • Opportunity to try new dinner recipes since you’re probably doing all the cooking.
  • Plenty of time to play Xbox or watch hockey without interruption.
  • Bragging rights when publication finally comes.

The perks are amazing, right? However, there are a few things you should know about your writer friend. The sooner you accept these truths, the more harmony you’ll have in your household.

1. You can’t change them. Most writers can’t help it—they are what they are. Writing is their calling or their mission. To try and get them to stop writing would be like taking away their oxygen. Don’t do this.

2. Success can take a long time. Most writers spend years diligently working on their writing before getting published. Think of it as being in grad school. This is their education, and although the thesis may be taking forever, it’s a normal process.

Writer Puppy

3. A writer’s life is more than just writing. It’s no longer enough to sit at a desk and pound out words. Writers must engage in social networking, they may need to attend conferences, and they’ll certainly need to buy books on writing. Yes, it’s gonna cost, before it ever makes a dime. Think of it as the cost of that graduate degree.

4. Speaking of the cost…money is a sensitive topic for a writer. There’s no way to know if a writer will make a little money from their writing, a boatload of money, or no money at all. It may take years to determine this. If at all possible, try to separate your financial concerns from their writing. Have your money conversations without bringing up the time they spend on writing.

5. Your partner is an artist. This means they may not view money and income as primary motivators for what they’re doing. They are on a quest. They’re attempting to master a very difficult skill; they’re trying to break-in to an extremely competitive field. But underneath it all is an artist dedicated to their art, and there may be a small part of them that’s willing to starve for it. Try to accept this even if you don’t understand it.

6. The life of a writer is mostly thankless. It comes with a lot of rejection and criticism, along with very little kudos or positive reinforcement. On top of that, being an artist means opening oneself up, being vulnerable, and therefore susceptible to insecurity and anxiety. Try not to make the insecurities worse by communicating disdain or disrespect for their work.

7. And it IS work. They may look like they’re sitting at the laptop staring into space, but that’s what the writing life looks like. Paid or not, writing is difficult labor.

The Proper Care and Feeding of Writers:

  • Help them to create a special writing space inside your home, whether it’s an entire room or just a corner somewhere.
  • Help them create time for their writing, and encourage all members of the household to respect that time.
  • Ask them about their writing, or why they like to write, or what their hopes and dreams are for their writing.
  • Get them little writing-related gifts that show you’re taking them seriously: pens and sticky notes, books about writing, a new desk or computer supplies.
  • Give them a gift certificate for something like a weekend “writing retreat” at a local hotel; or a few days away at a writer’s conference.
  • Ask them how you can help support their writing.

Here are a few “don’ts” for you:

  • Don’t belittle or demean your writer-in-residence for their dreams.
  • Don’t assume “success” must be correlated with income.
  • Don’t refer to their writing time as “wasted” and don’t think about how much money they could be making if they spent the time differently. This is who they are.
  • Don’t say “have you finished that book yet?” Instead, say things like, “did you have a good day of writing?”

Most writers are smart, passionate, interesting, driven, and eager to share their words with the world. (And yes, okay, a little moody and sometimes sensitive.) Enjoy the fact that they have depth and ambition, and something to say!

And definitely make sure you have your own hobbies, passions and interests.  You’re going to need them.

Your turn: What would YOU say to the significant others of writers?

Image copyright: damedeeso / 123RF Stock Photo

84 Responses

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  1. Great post! I hope it gets printed and taped up on a LOT of refrigerators.

    One thing I would add is that some writers – like me – really hate to talk about their work. I’m NOT just waiting for that leading question that will allow me to discourse on my favorite subject – my book!

    Recently I had to borrow some ammo from a neighbor (yes, you read that right). They had house guests, and I was introduced as “the writer up the road”. (I guess it’s better than “that nutcase with the world’s supply of dogs”.)

    I was absolutely tongue-tied when asked about what I write. I can WRITE about what I write, and I can talk about anything from apologetics to welding to the mathematical theory of plate and shell structures…but PLEASE, don’t ask me to talk about my BOOK!

    So my wife has no idea what “Emerald Isle” is about. She’ll read it when it comes out.

    Hey, I may even give her an author copy. But probably not. I need the sales.

    • Andrew, you made me smile in the middle of a hard morning. Thanks for that! I have a hard time sharing about my book beyond the genre. I can do it, but encapsulating all those words into a few succinct ones is tricky. 🙂

      • If I made you smile – I;ve done my job as a writer.
        The words I need to banish to succinctly describe my book are “uh”, “like”, “You know”, and “dude”.

        “Uh, it’s like, a love story, you know? Like two people, dude, a guy and a girl, they, uh, like, you know, meet and fall in love, and, like, you know, things go south, and, like God sticks His Nose into it, and, like, DUDE!”

      • You share your book beautifully, Jeanne! 🙂

      • Grinning big, Andrew. 🙂 Yes. Eliminate some of those words and add in a few descriptors and you’ve got it made. Or something like that. 😉

      • Jenelle. M says:

        Andrew, you made me laugh and smile too 🙂 Well done, and thanks for keeping it real.

        Jeanne, yes, summarizing a story into a few words is quite the challenge. But a fun one to tackle!

    • Rachelle Gardner says:

      Andrew, I have to believe you’re not alone! Many of us don’t like to talk about our writing. Interesting how we can put into words on (virtual) paper what we don’t want to say out loud.

    • Sondra Kraak says:

      Andrew, you’ve given me a great idea. If I say to my husband, “Read this,” he’ll give me a little grin, do it, but then put it from his mind. Maybe a subtle hint on the refrigerator will work. I’ll print it out and put it up and see what happens. Probably my daughter will get to it first.

  2. John Wells says:

    Great subject for mates who are either supportive or neutral, but mine (now deceased from cancer) was antagonistic about my writing and denigrated my efforts. She never understood that writing is one thing; getting published is something else. When my novel was published and I was expected to help promote its sale, she asked (demanded) that I not embarrass her by contacting our friends. I was devastated, but muddled on through the fog. My book did not sell, and although I did love her and supported her through ten months of Hospice, my inner hurt never healed until after she’d been gone. She never understood. An intelligent woman, she never got the nuances of the English language. I’ll post one example, which now that she’d gone, I often repeat to those who haven’t heard it (I try not to bore).

    A friend of my wife’s passed after a long, devastating illness and we were at the viewing. Standing before the casket, she nudged me and said, “He doesn’t look well, does he?” I bit my lip, I clenched my teeth, I pursed my lips; one does not stand in front of a casket at a viewing and laugh. When we got outside, I turned to her and said, “He doesn’t look well? Rheta, he’s dead! He doesn’t look good.” She replied, “You know what I mean.” I nodded and took a moment of retribution. “Yes, I do. It’s a pity that you don’t.”

    Your post is so on target. Husbands and wives, don’t try to understand us and don’t try to advise us. Just be supportive, and if you can’t find the grace to do that, then please just shut the hell up!

    • Jenny Leo says:

      I’m sorry you had to endure that, John. I hope that you’re continuing to write and will never give up on your dream, and that you can connect with your “tribe” of writers and readers, both in your area and online (like those of us here on this blog).

      Even though I’m blessed with a supportive husband, I still feel guilty about spending so much time, money, and other resources on something that may never “pan out” in the traditional sense. In non-artistic fields, you pretty much build a widget or provide a service, and you put it out there and people buy it, and if no one buys it, it must not be a very good widget or service. It’s hard sometimes to come to grips with the fact that I can indeed build a very good “widget” and still nobody might ever want to buy it. And meanwhile, there are bills to be paid. So I try to balance my fiction writing with paid freelance work. But it’s very hard to concentrate on other things when the characters are calling my name.

    • John, I’m truly so sorry for your loss.

      Please don’t give up your dream!

    • Rachelle Gardner says:

      John, I’m sorry about the loss of your wife. Sadly, I’ve heard many stories of openly antagonist or unsupportive spouses. You are not alone!

    • Mary R. P. Schutter says:

      John, I got shot down in high school by my mother and my grandmother, two people whose opinions I valued, who both said I’d never make enough money as a writer to support myself. To them, writing wasn’t a ‘real’ job. It was a hobby. They insisted I think about something sensible, like becoming a teacher. Unfortunately, I listened to them because I was young and impressionable. I did become an educator and satisfied my writing bent by helping students learn to write well.
      Now that I’m retired, I take care of the grandchildren and write when the Muse comes knocking. I have had a few pieces of poetry published but do not intend to pursue anything as time consuming and brain busting as a book. I think all I really wanted after being restrained from the writing life by my loved ones’ common sense approach was the proof that writing isn’t just a hobby. It’s part of who I am, and if I don’t open the door when the Muse knocks, I know from experience that I will be most miserable until I throw open that door and usher my Muse into my office.
      John, I am so sorry you suffered through your late wife’s bad attitude and nasty remarks. If my family had treated me as terribly as your late wife treated you, I never would have picked up a pencil again. I applaud your determination and efforts to set your wife straight about what is appropriate to say and what isn’t appropriate in a delicate situation. When my mother died of cancer, my late mother-in-law said to me, ‘She doesn’t look very good.’ I felt like replying, ‘Duh.’ Instead, I told her that my mom looked much better than she had several days before. My sister and I had made sure the funeral director prepared our mother for viewing as best as possible by using a borrowed wig and putting our mom’s own makeup on her. I was dumbfounded that my mother-in-law who was Mom’s friend would say such an unkind thing to me. She obviously hadn’t thought through how her remark would come across. I forgave her because she also was grieving for my mother. I knew she was hoping to see my mother as she had been on their last visit to a favorite restaurant many months before Mom fell ill.
      This is why, before I open my mouth, I try to follow the advice little Thumper the rabbit’s mother gave him in the Bambi movie: ‘If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.’

  3. Forgot to say that I LOVE the dog-with-pencil.

    Looks like one of mine except she’s usually holding a hacksaw or drill, just before hiding it.

  4. Not a spouse or significant other, but talk about a shot to the old ego. This happened to me recently.

    Lady I was talking to: “So what do you do in your spare time?”

    Me: “I’ve written three novels,” I said with pride.

    Lady I was talking to: “Oh really? You don’t look like a writer.”

    I, of course, took it like a man and immediately broke out in tears.

    • Jenny Leo says:

      Ha! I would love to ask her what a writer looks like. Black turtleneck and a beret and skinny as a whip from starving in the garret? lol

      • I’m sure she didn’t mean any harm by it Jenny, but isn’t it funny how we say things sometimes without thinking? On a lighter note, the part about the tears was my puny attempt at humor. Oh, and I did have to Google the word garret. LOL

      • Jenelle. M says:

        Bruce and Jenny thanks for the giggle.

        Bruce, I can relate. For years I was a closet writer and I’ll never forget the night when a group of my college friends found out I wrote a story. Strangely, they all looked at my husband, shocked, like he was hearing the news for the fist time too. Some laughed in disbelief and others said, “SHE wrote an actual story, What the?, No way, that’s hilarious.” Um, I’m standing right here people. And I can put words together and form a sentence, thank you. Sheesh. So glad God gave me a sense of humor.

    • Laughing out loud, Bruce. It would have been interesting to get her description of a writer.

      Oops, just saw Jenny said the same thing. You did, however, make me laugh out loud. 🙂

    • Rachelle Gardner says:

      Oh my goodness. What DOES a writer look like? It seems like it would be hard to generalize that… when you look at someone like Stephen King and then someone like, say… Jackie Collins. Which one looks like a writer?!!

      • Rachelle, the lady obviously didn’t realize that writers are incredibly good-looking and highly intelligent. Now, she knows! Just kidding. Really I’m only good-looking.

    • Thank you all for brightening my day and making me laugh. Oh how us writer-types need to laugh more! 🙂 Bless you all, and thank you, Rachelle, for a great article!

  5. In my situation, I try to remember to say thank you. He doesn’t fully understand me in my writing life. But, he supports me and encourages me. He is great about me attending a conference each year, and often a writing retreat. I am very fortunate.

    • I can relate to this, Jeanne. We are fortunate indeed.

    • I should add that one (of many) ways my husband supports me is by talking out plot points. I’ve ruined movies for him forever. We talk through various aspects of story structure. Now he’ll ask something like, “Do you have a black moment/the kind of ending that could go many different ways? 🙂

      • Jen says:

        Same here, Jeanne. My husband helps with plotting as well. He doesn’t even look at me funny anymore when I say things like, “OK, so if you were a woman living in 1925…”

    • Ekta Garg says:

      Jeanne, I have a similar situation. My husband loves me and encourages me, but the encouragement comes in a somewhat generic form. I get “Don’t give up” but not “What story are you working on? Where did you get the idea?”

      I would love for my family to ask and be actively involved, but in the last year I’ve received a lot of grace in learning to understand that the level of active interest my family shows shouldn’t determine my own dedication to my craft. Once God affirmed that idea for me, I felt a great sense of freedom. Now I only feel sad for a few minutes when I get this reaction and then allow it to become part of my determination to succeed.

      Thanks for listening, everyone, and I pray that you’ll all feel an extra burst of encouragement today.

  6. I love this post!

    Like Jeanne, I don’t think mine fully understands either. I think his journey to understanding parallels to my writing journey … it has its ups and downs, highs and lows. He tries. 🙂 And though I love this post, sending it to him would NOT help my cause! 🙂

  7. Rachelle, I have the world’s most supportive spouse (and family). When my mother was recovering from open heart surgery, I came home one afternoon to find my office furniture had arrived. For the next five or so hours, my love slaved over the easy-to-assembles which now grace my beach-themed hideaway. I think he was as tickled as I was!

    And… this is the note I have propped up on my desk: “Mama, don’t stress about your book and stuff. Everything will work out. I believe in you and I know you will succeed! You are going to be a big hit!” (And then my teenage daughter is kind enough to remind me not to wear denim on denim so I won’t embarrass myself. Or her.)

    And then this from our educator-son: “Mom, we’ve discussed this. This passage is too wordy. Take it out and try again. Love ya.”

    I. Love. My. Family! 🙂

  8. Rachelle, I appreciate your comparison of writing to earning a graduate degree. I’m thankful that my husband is quite supportive. For us, it’s a mutual thing. So far, I’ve supported him through a master’s degree and into the middle of a Ph.D. Just a little further to go, hopefully for both of us.

  9. Anna Berck says:

    Great post! I’m going to forward it to my husband. 🙂

  10. Nick says:

    I would add: Don’t get frustrated when you’ve just finished a fifteen minute explanation of something to your loved one and his/her response is a blank look as if they hadn’t been paying attention. That’s because they weren’t. They didn’t hear a word you said. They were busy mentally resolving the plot twist gone awry in chapter seven.

  11. Angela Mills says:

    This post made me SO thankful for my husband. He has done almost everything you suggested. I think I am my own worst enemy, as I have thought some of those negative things about myself!

  12. Sarah Sundin says:

    Oh, I wish I’d had this article 14 years ago to show my poor, confused, extremely left-brained pharmacist husband, who had married a sensible left-brained pharmacist and ended up with a…writer. I feel so sorry for him 🙂

    • Jenny Leo says:

      Similar situation here, Sarah. My husband thought he was marrying a briefcase-toting career woman, when actually he married a dreamy-headed writer disguised as a briefcase-toting career woman. Fortunately he’s been able to roll with the punches. Pretty sure the dreamy-headed thing was no surprise, no matter what job I was working at the time.

    • Sarah, I love it! And in my husband’s defense, I’ve only been on this fiction venture for a year now. He has been perfectly fine and supportive with my writing career, until it turned fiction (without pay) … he’s not sure how to take it! 🙂 And in all fairness, I’m not either! 🙂

    • Rachelle Gardner says:

      Sarah, no doubt you’ve added quite a bit of excitement to the pharmacist’s life!

  13. Elissa says:

    I love this post. Fortunately for me, I don’t really have to show it to my husband.

    He’s a musician.

    • Sondra Kraak says:

      I was just thinking how similar writers and musicians are–both creators. And I happen to be both, so my poor husband has to deal with a lot of creative spirit. He’s great about it. In some ways, I think if he were more involved, I would feel less supported and more intruded upon. He supports well from a distance.

  14. Jenelle. M says:

    This post was 100% delightful. Brilliant idea, Rachelle, thank you for thinking of the “others” in writer’s lives. They are such a huge part of the process and can feel lonely as well because they might not fully understand what the heck goes on in our brains 😉

  15. LeAnne says:

    Wonderful post! I have one of those “middle of the road” spouses. He was the first one to encourage me to follow my dreams…but no his enthusiasm is waning and I’m getting complaints…the house isn’t clean, dinner is never ready, no clean clothes…I mean, really? Who needs clean clothes??? 🙂 I am printing this out and stapling it to his forehead, um, I mean, tape it on the refrigerator.

    • Jenny Leo says:

      I can relate, LeAnne. Not that my husband complains (much), but I sometimes can’t believe how the house looks, or how the refrigerator contains nothing but a few wilted vegetables and half a jar of olives, when I’ve been “home all day” for several days in a row. And I feel like saying, “What’s wrong with a dinner of sliced olives on a bed of aged lettuce?”

  16. Elisabeth says:

    Brilliant! Already in my husband’s inbox.
    And Thank you!!

  17. Barbara Cameron says:

    I was so surprised when my ex had trouble understanding my need to write. After all, I was a reporter for the local city newspaper where he worked in circulation when we met. Years later, I was a stay at home mom and decided to try freelance writing so that I could make some income and stay home with my kids–something I had wanted so much after growing up as a latch key kid. He couldn’t have been less supportive even after I sold my first book and the next month won the first Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award. A church marriage counselor whose son was an artist tried to get through to him. Nothing worked. The counselor said sometimes a spouse is either insensitive or is too insecure to handle a partner going after something he doesn’t agree with. Finally we had to agree that sometimes people are too different and when they can’t support each other in goals and hopes and dreams it’s time to part. The good thing is my children have always been very supportive and my 8 year old grandson feels so secure that writing and creativity are okay that he calls me to read the books he’s written.

    • Rachelle Gardner says:

      What a story, Barbara. I’m sure it’s not an uncommon one. It can be really difficult to cope with a partner who is pursuing their dreams – for all kinds of reasons. I, for one, am SO GLAD you stuck with the writing. And I know your readers are too!

  18. Elba says:

    Rachel this is a marvelous post. It’s incredible how you think of things that seem so simple, yet are so important for a writer. I have a very supportive family and am a full time, at home writer. I find that it’s important to stick to a schedule that provides a balanced life and enables me to continue this lifestyle wile also having a happy, healthy family and marriage. For me, that means going to the gym, or any form or exercise, and cooking dinner. Other members of the family share the rest of the chores. When I fail to keep up with my end of things, and everyone comes home to a messy house and there’s no plan for dinner, the whole family is cranky, tired, hungry, and we all know how that can spiral in one direction: down. So, for me, having the privilege to work at home also comes with some responsibilities. I thank my family for this opportunity, I demand that they respect my work, and keep up with their end of the responsibilities, but that means I also have to do mine. That’s what works for me, and I Thank God every day for this blessed life.

  19. Anna Labno says:

    That is such a wonderful post! Thank you. Yes, my husband doesn’t understand. Even my employer said to me she doesn’t read fiction. I’m a dreamer to them playing like a child in a sandbox. Sigh.
    And that’s okay with me because I love to dream and love words. Take it away from me, and I won breathe.

    • Rachelle Gardner says:

      It’s the fate of all artists and creative people. *sigh* But worth it, right?

    • “Dare to dream girl . . . and never let a few words that anyone might say – stop you from doing what you want to do. There is an unknown world just around the corner of your mind, where magic and the unexpected awaits. You need no secret password, no wizard’s wand or magic lamp; all you need is a leap of imagination and a wee bit of curiosity about things that could be – that never were.”

  20. Jen Colson says:

    I have a husband and four kids who support my writing 110%. This post reminded me how blessed I am.

    Thanks, Rachelle!

  21. Kasey Ferris says:

    What a terrific post – it nearly made me cry “She understands me!” I will be retweeting/facebooking this!

  22. My late husband wasn’t a reader, but he always supported and encouraged my writing. He paid for writers conferences and willingly stayed in another room when a critique group met at our house. Once in a while he’d even read something I’d had published, as long as it wasn’t very long.

  23. Eleanor Mell says:

    I love the BLOG. You gave me new ways to put into words how I feel at times. I posted it on my Facebook page for all who know me to read. I am blessed with a husband that is supportive, he even chauffeurs me around to events.

  24. Iris Hill says:

    I’ve known for years that I’m married to a prince among men. With our two kids now in college, I have more uncommitted time. I’d get home from work, he’d make and then serve me dinner at my laptop, then snooze watching movies beside me as I wrote every night until somewhere between 12:30 and 2 am. He’d even get up with me at 6:30 the next morning even though he’s retired. When I put on 5 pounds in 6 months with that routine, he made me exactly what I asked for and what I needed most: a laptop tray on our exercise bike. Now I can write and ride for an hour every day!

    Best of all, he gave me insight into how a truly good man would respond to a woman on a ship who was crying herself to sleep every night after having horrible nightmares about her father’s death. When I suggested that the hero would read to her until she could go back to sleep, he said that was unrealistic. If it were him, he would have tied a rope around her and trolled for sharks until she promised not to wake him up like that again. (You can guess which version made it into the novel.)

  25. Guess I’m out of luck. Rachelle said their server ran out of digital storage room to post any more reply’s. But . . .she said nothing about posting my reply in another language.

    C’est la vie, Oh ma chère et charmante épouse. Je t’aime parce que vous avez à faire avec un écrivain comme un mari. Et à mon avis, vous aimez toujours moi et je l’aime toujours vous.

  26. Peter DeHaan says:

    I’m blessed with a wife who is tolerate and patient with my writing, so I’m in a great position. She even looks forward to the times when I’m at a critique group or away at a writing conference so she can have some alone time.

    So, the only thing I’d add to your list is to tell her, “Thank you!”

  27. Sara Ella says:

    Great post once again, Rachelle! I’m thankful my girls and hubby support my writing, even when some other family members outside our home don’t. Maybe I should tell them about the whole bragging rights thing, haha. For me I think the biggest thing is when those who love me cheer me on. Their actions show they believe in me. My aunt sent me a gift card for Starbucks before the ACFW conference just to show her support. Little things like that go a long way.

  28. My husband and I are both retired and finally on the same schedule for the last six years of our 42 year marriage. He’s the talker and I’m the writer. He’s extremely supportive and flexible with dinner, messy home (bothers me more than him), and other day-to-day activities. One thing he enjoys is my asking his opinion about my WIP from time to time. When I engage him, he beams and I feel supported.

  29. Kenneth R. McClelland says:

    my wife is as supportive as she can be, telling me often that I could be a great writer someday, if only I had talent. but she’s never actually read what I’ve written. to date, the person who’s been most acquainted with my writing has been the postman. he faithfully shows up each week to collect my manuscripts and drives away with a smile, occasionally bringing some back to me along with the cease and desist letters from various publishers who just ‘don’t get me.’

    but things are looking up for me. I recently discovered the home address of a major publisher, and I know if I could just sit down with them for awhile, and explain or maybe even act out my novel, that they’d want to call and tell others about me.

    yup! it won’t be long now before i’m a rising star in the literary world, and i can imagine myself getting a 5 to 10 year contract 🙂 .

  30. The comment I left at the first iteration of this post still stands…recognize that some writers don’t like to talk about their work.
    * For me, it’s even more the case now, as my writing’s changed a lot. Now it’s a personal divining of how life can have meaning in the shadow of death, and that’s maybe not a topic for dinner-table conversation…
    “So, what have you been writing today?”
    “Well, it’s about my Three-Foot World, and how Nietzsche said, ‘… if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.’ It’s like, I live from one cigar to the next, and try not to think about a broader future, because it’s really going to suck.”

  31. My one comment? Remember that your writer loves you, no matter how many movie nights they skip while on deadline or how many times you feel a little left out of their imaginary world.

    All right, I suppose we writers would do well to avoid skipping EVERY movie night, even if we’re thinking about an unwritten paragraph during the climax of the movie.

    • “…how many times you feel a little left out of their imaginary world.”
      Bullseye, Angela.

      • Yet, how often I have brought them into worlds, stories, and places they may never have discovered had I not explained these things to them. My imagination and creativity was my safe place after age six. Books I read served to fuel this even more. It gave me hope that things could be different. I became a registered nurse so I could help the hurting. It lasted for over thirty years until my hands became arthritic and lost their flexibility and strength, followed be vocal cord surgery from the challenge of communicating with too many hard of hearing homecare patients who had lost or broken hearing aids. These were followed by left rotator cuff repair from an earlier injury that only worsened with caring my heavy bags. Eventually, I could no longer do nursing in person or on the phone for regular work hours. My creativity is a gift from God, and has blessed not only my life but other’s lives. I am so grateful to a husband who allows me to dream and create. He fully supports me, even though we don’t have much. It is both a gift and calling. My son has benefited from these abilities in helping him to overcome some very significant challenges. My husband is very aware of the importance of creating and writing for me, as well as those I share it with.

        Thank-you Rachelle, for this post. It reminds me how grateful I need to be for the support my husband and family gives me.

    • Yes, we shouldn’t skip movies, even if in and out of our imaginary world, because I’ve often had one word or one line from a movie trigger a writing topic, or just what I needed to move on in my writing. 🙂 And I loved seeing this older post.

    • Sometimes one foot in each world is a good thing (even it your brain isn’t in the same world as your foot).

  32. Renee Garrick says:

    Your post makes me realize how truly blessed I am. My husband encourages me at every turn. And yes, he does most of the cooking around here–but that could be a self-preservation issue.

  33. Great post!!
    I’m blessed with a husband who totally gets the need for research, since he’s a research scientist and has spent eons, and MANY birthdays and anniversaries, gone from home to do the stuff that he does. He also gets the long hours put in on writing, since he writes up his research into scientific papers. He also knows that I’m a night owl, and that I’ll write until 3am if I need to. Since he works in science, he totally understands the combination of weirdness and brilliance. And I’ll leave that right there.
    He’s done more than I ever imagined in order to support my dreams, and ALL that darling man wants is for me to put “a hail of bullets” into my books. So, in the dedication of my first book? “To my favourite physiological geneticist, here’s your hail of bullets.”
    Advice for on the fridge? Be supportive even if you don’t get it. Be the dinner chef, even if it’s toast and eggs. Realize that YOU don’t have to get it in order for someone else to LOVE it. This whole gig is not about you, it’s about your spouse. If you can get over yourself, the adventure will be that much sweeter.

  34. My ex didn’t care for my art work either (never mind that’s what I paid 5 yrs. of college to accomplish). The only reason he excused me–I was bringing in a pay check as a teacher. He was very old fashioned (I thought this a good thing at first) and did not care to see me “wasting time” painting. (Can’t imagine what he might say today with the writing! As both of us were only children and expected to be doted on, things went downhill from there. But everyone has a strong and weak side. Too bad we didn’t recognize them and try to work around them from the beginning.

  35. Wow, yes and amen to this. I am so very fortunate to have a husband who supports me in this crazy writing life. I love this post, and I’m sending it to him anyway, because I think you bring to light things I haven’t put to words for him yet.

    So well spoken, Rachelle!

  36. Mary Kay Moody says:

    Rachelle, you’ve obviously found that tender spot we’ve all wished would heal! To those who love/live with writers … there’s a group that meets down the road that might be of help. It starts each meeting with someone saying “Hi, I’m ABC and I live with a houseful of imaginary friends … oh, and an author.” They will understand you and help you through the tough times!

  37. Margo Carmichael says:

    This is wonderful. My husband even remarked that it is very accurate!

    • Margo Carmichael says:

      He never reads fiction, but he did read my whole book and make constructive, supportive comments. My father read it, too, and actually cried discreetly in the right place! So I do have the support I need. And I’m so grateful. Being a sensitive writer, you know! Haha

  38. I love the analogy of these years of training being like earning a post -graduate degree. The process of editing and revising in response to the suggestions and concerns of agents is like working with your committee chair to prepare for your dissertation defense. And if you defend your dissertation successfully, your work is published (or at least bound and put on a shelf in the university library). It ‘s an image that communicates how very difficult this process is and what a huge accomplishment we are pursuing.

  39. My wife is not supportive of my writing. It seems to her to be a hairbrained idea. So, I am resisted. I have to finish my first novel so she may see it is a worthy task. I also find there are many more supportive structures in place for Christian women writers than men. Unless it’s just I don’t know where to find them. I do subscribe to a couple of magazine’s that encourage me.

  40. This is 2018 and I read all of the 82 responses…I started writing full time in 2014 and I’m still plugging along. My husband, my family are supportive and pray for my success. Yes, they sometimes roll their eyes when I try to talk out plot points, but for the most part, let me do my thing. On the other hand, I also need to be supportive back and that means every so often I need to talk about gardening and help to spread mulch, wash windows or strip wallpaper. I have the best family in the world.