Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Spouse of a Writer

Today's blog is a tribute to all the spouses of a writer. Only recently have I started to understand how much my writing journey is impacting my husband. He cheers, uplifts, and supports me in ways that I don't even see. If it wasn't for him, we'd never have clean dishes, clean clothes, or a home cooked meal. This isn't because I neglect my family, but because I also have a full-time job and writing takes place in the evenings, early morning hours, and on the weekends--time that would otherwise belong to my family or my sleep.

A writer makes many sacrifices, but so does the spouse and children of a writer. My husband has always supported my writing, but when I switched to Christian fiction, he became engaged in a way that I never dreamed possible. Now he reads everything I write. If I never get a book published, if I never have a raving review, and I never develop a readership, I know one thing: In Dwayne I have a true fan.

He now critiques more movie scripts and storylines than I do. One day he jumped up from the couch and exclaimed, "That became a movie and here you have all these great books you've written and they're not even published!" You gotta love a spouse like that. He ranted and raved about how he couldn't believe someone would even sponsor that movie.

Now he gives me great feedback. If he doesn't like something in my story or a character's behavior, he tells me and then he tells me why. He's great at telling me why a guy wouldn't say this or do that. I'm receiving insight from him that I didn't get 2-3 years ago.

The last rejection I received, he moped around for a couple of days. He'd say things like, "I think I feel worse than you do" or "how do you keep writing with rejection after rejection--all these years?" Good question. Sometimes I react to the sting and cry and mope. And sometimes, I'm just numb inside. I pray and keep moving on with my current story. I don't know what else to do, but keep trying.

This morning my husband said something to me that almost made me cry. He said, "You know, I think a manuscript is almost like a baby. You can't give up on it. You have to keep working on it, and taking care of it until it's ready." He isn't on any of my writing loops and I rarely, if ever, refer to my manuscripts as "my babies", but that doesn't mean I don't think of them that way. I can't imagine him knowing that we writers refer to our manuscripts as our "babies".

To me, this means he's really coming to understand me. My journey is becoming our journey. My husband doesn't know it, but he's a writer at heart. He writes poems, and anyone who writes beautiful poems, has a writer's heart, even if that person never writes a complete manuscript. That person will be able to understand the writer's heart of a spouse.

If you are a writer, take some time today to think about all the wonderful things your spouse has done to support you in your writing journey. What special thing can you do for that person? And remember to thank God for that person in your life.

I want to thank my spouse, Dwayne Taylor, for being there and uplifting me whenever I didn't think I could take one more rejection, one more harsh critique, or one more day of writing. Your faith in me means the world to me.

6 comments:

  1. AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW! This was so totally sweet, Jenn. Isn't it great to have him on board? I'm very lucky that Richard has been with me every step of this journey. Although he doesn't know the craft, he knows what he likes and doesn't neglect to let me know. He's also very gracious to me about anything writing related. You're right. I owe him a big thank you. Maybe I will get him just one more present :-)

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  2. I also meant to say, your husband is very handsome :-)

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  3. Jenn,

    Your hubby is handsome--i agree with mindy.
    And you're right about the support being uplifting. I can't imagine taking on this endeavor without support. But I know it happens. I'm very thankful your hubby is reading your work and offering his opinion on the guy stuff. That's awesome!

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  4. Great post! What would we do without our supportive husbands? Mine's been funding my "writing habit" for over 20 years. He celebrates when I make a sale, commiserates when I don't, prays with me about my fits-and-starts writing career, and doesn't even question the postage and conference bills. Gotta love a guy like that!

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  5. I needed to read this today:-) I just found out my hubby is so proud of me. He's never read my books. But he goes around town telling everyone all about me and my website. He tells them my accomplishments! When someone tells me how proud he is of me, I'm always surprised and feel so loved.

    Thanks Jenn,
    Angie

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  6. Okay, pass me a Kleenex!

    Great post, Jenn. I'm so thankful to have a supportive husband as well.

    Great photo, by the way! :)

    Missy

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