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Non-Writing Spouses

7 November 2012

From YA Highway:

But writing might not be something that matters to the people we marry (or date).

. . . .

But sometimes it can be weird when your spouse just cannot fathom how writing could possibly be fun, and when you want them to be able to be part of this thing that matters so much to you. As a person whose spouse is completely uninterested in writing–and in fiction in general–I have navigated these waters, so I thought that I would share some things I have learned.

1. It’s okay that they don’t care about writing–or even reading. Really, it is. Unless they have an actual interest, there’s no reason to try to force them to understand the wonder that is writing. They have their own hobbies, and it doesn’t lessen their quality as a partner if they don’t care about active sentences and the beauty of a carefully crafted book.

2. You don’t have to tell them everything about your writing, but you should tell them something. I don’t remember exactly when I told my husband that writing was something I did a lot, but I know it was fairly early in our relationship. I couldn’t exactly hide the dozens of notebooks that I have always had in storage bins, drawers, and all over the floor. But the point is, even if they can’t relate to it, your significant other should know about the things that you love, especially a hobby as time consuming and (often) emotionally trying as writing.

Link to the rest at YA Highway

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7 Comments to “Non-Writing Spouses”

  1. I’ve been writing for over 30 years, and my husband has yet to finish a single story I’ve given him to read. We’ve been married over 25 years, so obviously we’ve found other common interests. :) Writing is a solitary pursuit, so it doesn’t really *have* to be something you share.

  2. I’d say it depends on what you need from a relationship. Personally, I cannot fathom being married to someone who wasn’t a reader and couldn’t relate at all to my writing obsession. My husband doesn’t write (even though I often tell him I think he could if he wanted to) but he has a deep love of story and we are able to talk about books and writing and my stories naturally. He is very encouraging about my writing. He agrees that it is important. And he is the only one I share everything about my stories with. He’ll also be serving as my beta reader and copy editor because he’s perfect for those jobs. It would be very difficult for me to be happy in any other kind of relationship.

  3. I’d be happy if my spouse helped me find more time to write. Between work & family there are too many reasons not to be selfish for an hour or two just to write something no one else may ever read.

  4. I was a non-writing spouse for most of our marriage (things changed in 2005). Since I never wanted a husband who stuck to me like a barnacle, I considered his profession/obsession a bonus. Like being single without having to sniff trails for a date on Saturday night. It’s all about perspective.

  5. I write this over at YA Highway, but I want to give kudos to my husband for what he did:

    In college I started my first novel by scribbling bits and pieces of it on scraps of paper whenever I had a few minutes to myself. By the time I got married, two years after graduation, those slips of paper filled a folder and, stacked together, formed a pile an inch high.

    THen we had kids and, that first summer after my daughter was born, my husband said to me those magic words: “Honey, I think we’re going to be okay this summer, financially. Why don’t you not teach summer school and write that novel you’re always dabbling with?”

    I KNEW there was a reason I married him! That novel (my first) has yet to be published, but I went on and have now pubbed 7 full-length novels and a bunch of novellas in a different genre. Because of him giving me the kick in the pants…and the time…I needed, I can count myself among the published authors.

    Let’s hear it for supportive spouses!

    Diana

  6. What’s a spouse?

  7. My husband is my second reader.

    My first is a picky reader friend who has has tastes similar to mine and who sees all the spots where not enough of the story got out of my head into the computer file. (Some writers are verbose. I’m the opposite and leave out too much.)

    My husband reads my second draft with an eye to pacing and typos. Then both readers get the ms. one more time to assess the success of my revisions.

    As I’ve forged ahead in this new indie world, my husband has gotten ever more interested in it all, to the point where he is now an avid lurker here on PG’s blog. He’ll undoubtedly read this comment. Grin!

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