Love Means Never Having to Say "Stop Writing"

The path to publication is paved with sacrifice.  There's no question that writers make a lot of sacrifices along the way: personal time, money, sanity... but sometimes I think some of the greatest sacrifices along the way are made not by the writers themselves, but by the people who love them.  A line in the author's acknowledgments or even a dedication doesn't begin to do justice to the people who love writers and the sacrifices that they make to allow someone to follow a dream.

Writing is a profession, but it's one that generally doesn't pay very well. I know there are wild success stories out there, but even the most successful authors started working for free. For every author that makes a living writing, there are hundreds, perhaps thousands who put in thousands of hours to hone their craft, to get their break, to support their habit, all with no real assurance that they will ever be paid with anything more substantial than a mother's praise.

And it's not only the thousands of hours of unpaid work that can wear on family members.  *Some* writers have been known to disappear into their story in a room full of people, drifting in and out of new plot twists, character revelations and story ideas.  You can take a writer away from the computer, but you can't take a writer away from the story.

Living with a writer is hard.  I've asked my real life love interest to share some of his secrets for "living with the crazy."  Here's what he had to say:

When your writer comes to you with a brilliant new plot idea, just agree with everything she says.  Now is not the time to point out plot holes or that this book sounds an awful lot like Veronica Mars.

When you suggest amazing new concepts and your writer does not jump at the chance to write what is sure to be a bestseller, keep pitching.

You do not need to love or even read the work in progress.  You just need to encourage your writer to keep going.

When your writer asks if its okay for her to have a "book boyfriend" to discuss books and characters and plots and writing with, say YES.

When the first advance check comes and it ends up looking like an ordinary paycheck, celebrate the moment by getting a giant replica check made to hang on the wall or photograph Publisher's Clearinghouse Style.

When your sister reads the manuscript while visiting and comments that "It is not the best book she's ever read," do not repeat this comment to writer.  Do. Not. 

When writer starts writing about a Saint Bernard and two days later asks you if she can get a puppy, go with it, you'll love him too.
 
When all else fails, watch baseball.

6 comments

LOVE this post! Thank you for sharing the advice of someone supporting the crazy in the real world. And tell him to keep pitching!

AWESOME POST! Jeez, this might be one of my favorite weeks ever. Three for three so far. Great job, Ladies.

Talia, so wonderful! Very sound advice. Inspiring me to think of a story about a labradoodle puppy to share with my husband.....

Ah, so true. We need to toast the people who support us, especially the significant others who put up with so much, who know when to keep their mouths shut, and know when to just say, "keep going."

I love this series you muses are doing!

Very nice, Talia!

I'm glad you all are enjoying RLLI's advice. He's amazingly supportive, and is actually the one who kept encouraging me to write (and finish) a book. PB, I hope you get your labradoodle! Think of all the inspiration it would bring... Beth, let's drink a toast to our significant other's tonight, and one to our "book boyfriends" too! It takes a village to raise a book!

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