Spouses and Writing

Posted on 08/19/2009


Let me begin by saying my wife is awesome.  (and no, she doesn’t even know about this blog, so I’m not saying this to butter her up) She’s very supportive of my writing job/hobby. Let’s face it, it’s a hobby until you’re getting some money for it. A very addictive hobby, but nonetheless.  She’s good to me and treats me super!

So with that aside, she gets upset sometimes with my time spent on my efforts to create a writing career for myself. Not just the sitting in the office, hour after hour, and beating the hell out of keys, but the other stuff too.

See, I am in the phase now where I am trying every avenue to get over the first hurdle of eventually replacing my current full time job with writing. That first step is getting an agent. And yeah, I know that’s perhaps the easiest and least painful one, but it’s still tough.

I am trying everything I can, using the most important thing my MBA friend told me: network, network, network.

My Myers-Briggs test says I’m an extrovert, but damn it, I hate networking! When you first meet people, you have to get through their normal shields they put up to ward of nuts and crazies, and that take a lot of time and effort! (and yeah, I am a nut!)

So I have been attending writer’s conferences, getting involved with a writer’s group, tweeting, attending workshops, getting involved with hosting a conference, writing this damnable blog, meeting people, meeting people, meeting people.  

All of that, plus my day job, takes up a lot of time.  My wife–a patient person, I am most grateful for–gets a little miffed when I tell her I have to attend one more meeting, or I have to spend money on one more conference or workshop, or tell her I need to spend time on this blog, or writing my latest WIP. She doesn’t outright tell me “no”, but I can sometimes sense when she thinks enough is enough.  Yeah, she still believes in me and what I am doing, but I can tell she has that thought in the back of her head that I am spending all this time on this stuff, and not with her, and it might all be for nothing.  Wasted time that she could be spending with me.  I haven’t been asked the question, but I wonder when it will come, “Have you thought about scaling back on what you’re doing?”  In other words, “Honey, I think it’s about time you quit this pipe dream of writing books and enjoy your family while you’re still somewhat young and ‘doable’.”   I don’t think it’s this year, or the next, but if I don’t get some “wins” here pretty soon, I think it’s going to come up.

And I can’t say I blame her. I am right now, full bore on this thing. I am writing all the time, networking all the time, busy, busy, busy.

And I don’t know when it’s going to let up. I am fighting my ASS off to get my 10 year plan in motion, sooner rather than later. (First step: agent)  I don’t plan on giving up on it, but for how long can I continue at this breakneck pace?  I’ve already been graciously invited to join two other writer’s groups, and I would love to join them, I just don’t know how much more giving of me my wife is going to be. So I had to decline, for now.   There has to be some measure of balance, I guess, but I have not yet begun to fight.

I know everyone reading this is probably in the same boat. How do you balance it? I can only imagine how much more freaking insane this is going to get when I have a freaking deadline from a publisher for my next book.  It can only get worse. 

Bob Mayer asked us in the Warrior Writer Workshop (Attend this, trust me) what our goal was.  Was it just to be published? Was it to be a NYT Best Seller?  Was it to retire on a beach from all the royalties?  What was it?  He told us to write it down, and then break it down to smaller chunks.

My ultimate goal is this: I want to eventually replace the salary I make in my day job, with my writing. I want to do this in a way where I have no debts and can buy a house somehwere in the Southwest part of the country, near some beautiful scenery, hanging out with the wife at night, watching stars–and keep writing.

That’s the final spot I want to be in and have just recently started to fight for it and I’m not just doing it for myself, I’m doing it for my wife too. So the both of us can reap the reward and enjoy it together, but I’ve got to make sure she knows the sacrifices I am making now are for her later too.

What are you fighting for? What’s your goal? If you’ve published some books, what was your initial goal, and is it still the same?  If you changed it, why?

How do you deal with your spouse when he or she has to fight through your writing career? Why am I asking so many questions!?

Posted in: Writing