Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Great Mate for a Writer

Some professions more than others require some patience from their partners. Firefighter, policeman and military personnel need partners who accept that their spouses lives are in danger on a daily basis. Celebrities partners have to put up with paparazzi and fans. Other partners have to account or adjust to partners who have careers with long hours, little pay or travel.

This leads me to the big question of who are good partners/spouses for writers?

Support & Interest
My writing career began with a gentle, loving nudge from one of the loves of my life, Laura. Laura found some writings of mine, read them and said she loved them. She urged me to keep writing, engaged me in conversations about the characters. She even once ordered Chinese food and put it under Farryn (a character from Trail Swap).

A Reader
Can a writer ever be in a successful relationship with someone who does not read? To add to that, can a writer ever be happy with someone who does not read their books? I understand if I wrote a nonfiction medical book or about the insects of Texas, not everyone is interested in that. I would think, however, that a spouse should read a book general fiction book.

I've had the horrible experience of my wife (now ex-wife but not for this reason alone) would not read my book. I begged her. She stated that she didn't like reading. It crushed me to think that my wife would not read a book that strangers took the time to read. My first book was about hiking and travel. She liked both of those things. I couldn't fathom the idea and then I slowly just accepted it. When I told friends, co-workers and future partners about this, they were in awe. I feel comfortable about writing so candidly about this because she won't read this.

I have found that my writing is at its strongest when I am with someone who is inspiring. Right now I am dating someone who is different from any other person I have ever met. She isn't leaping buildings in a single bound but close. She reads, she's smart, she's passionate, has interests and is stimulating intellectually. It does help that when I'm with her, my soul and creativity comes alive.

I will give credit where credit is due... my ex-wife was good with computers. At times I need help technically. Other times I just need some help with ideas. I have been known to blurt out things like: name an alcoholic beverage, name and animal, what should my character wear, somewhere to go for a date. Now my kids are good at ideas or this and they are very creative. There are times that I have the answer before I even finish my question, but sometimes it helps to brainstorm with someone.  It helps if I'm just not met with a blank stare.

Respectful of Time for Writing
One of my ex's once planned a surprise getaway and packed my journal. It's important to be with someone who respects that you have to set time aside for writing. Even better if you date someone who enjoys watching you type away your creations.

Understands the Hunt for Characters & Ideas
When I'm out in public, watching television, at work, etc I'm constantly foraging or hunting for new stars or plots for my books. It's great to be able to say to someone, "That's a great idea for a book." It's even better when the person comes home from work and tells you a story that sends you rushing to a computer or a notebook.

I'm sure there are other important qualities for a writer's partner to have, but these are the first that came to my mind. Writing is hard enough work and it's only made harder by being partnered with someone who doesn't understand it, read it or support it.

What other qualities do you think is important?
How does your spouse or partner support you?


  1. I found your great blog through the WLC Blog Follows at the World Literary Cafe! I’m happy to connect with you! Come by and visit my blog: http://www.lindastrawn.com
    PS-Having a good friend and, better yet, a spouse who appreciates our calling as writers is priceless. My husband really tries. Unless you're a writer yourself, you won't totally "get" us. How we think, what drives us, and especially the phenom of having conversations with our characters. Keep writing!

  2. Thanks Linda. For me, I guess it is more about appreciating than understanding.

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