Support Person Wanted
If you’re single keep reading anyway because one day you may be in a relationship and the time you devote to your WIP may become a sore point with your darling companion. It’s smart to have some insight and go-to advice at the ready.
Who’s by your side, in your squad, or on your team? It doesn’t matter if they’re in your life for a reason, a season, or forever, it’s vital they are supportive.
Work is work, whether you’re a nine-to-fiver in an office, a blue-collar worker, a teacher, doctor, or writing in your jammies. Whether you’re receiving a paycheck for your efforts or caffeinating and stuffing your face with Oreos to reward yourself, you’re working. Writing IS work. Sure, if you can make money doing what you love that’s absofriggenlutely fantastic. Hell to the yes! Keep doing that. Whenever Benjamins are involved, support seems to flow more naturally.
No? That’s not your situation? Keep reading.
It’s so important for a writer to have a supportive partner. As stated in a previous post, I’ve been married for 35 years. The icing on the heart-shaped cake is that my hubby supports my writing in every which way and twice on Sunday. Though relationships are not all hearts and flowers 24/7, it’s important for writers to have the support of a significant other. Writers often find themselves so caught up in writing that we often forget to eat and shower. Sometimes I sit with my laptop, typing for hours on end, so it’s comforting to have a sympathetic other.
I know I’m lucky to be in this position. My hubby is my confidant, best friend, and collaborator who I bounce ideas off of and brainstorm with. When I’ve been in pajamas all day, having a marathon writing session, where I pour my heart and soul out on my laptop, it’s great to know my hubby isn’t angry that the laundry’s piled up, dinner’s late, and I’m sporting a sideways ponytail. Messy-hair-don’t-care, I’m immersed in nouns and verbs, and adjectives, oh my!
Breaking into traditional publishing or even self-publishing is hard enough between the, hell-to-the-no rejection, cramming in research, polishing your prose and if you’re lucky, your toes, querying, and squeezing in time to write. No one needs the added pressure of an unsupportive mate. Not to mention the commotion and chaos of working, trying to raise kids, rushing here and there, and coming up with never-ending dinner ideas. You deserve encouragement, understanding, and compassion. The block of time you dictate to writing needs to be respected. This is your passion, your dream, your aspiration. Time is so precious in our busy world that we often forget our goals or put our dreams on hold to get everything else done. Stop that! Learn to make writing a priority and carve out time as you would for anything else.
Speak to your partner ahead of writing. Let them know the time you’ve set aside.
Explain the importance of giving you the time you need.
Clarify how passionate you are about writing and how significant it is to you.
Remember, your mate doesn’t necessarily need to love your work, they need to value your work and support YOU and your writing. My hubby isn’t into fantasy or paranormal romance novels which is what I write, so he doesn’t read my work, but he does support my writing as “work” and gives me the space I need.
Be specific about the kind of support you need. Do you need zero distractions? Should he take the kids out for a while? Do you need her to bounce ideas off of? Do you need her to check in with you to make sure you take a break?
In the law of reciprocity, you get back what you give. Approach your partner with kindness and gratitude. Try to leave negativity and complaints on the bookshelf and strike a compromise instead.
Put a DO NOT DISTURB sign on your door. Set a timer and stick to the time you allotted. This let’s other members of your household know what you’re doing and how long you’ll be.
Remember to thank your partner for their support. A little appreciation goes a long way.
Include your significant other when you celebrate accomplishments, big or small. This makes their role as support-mate concrete. They get to join in your happiness and feel a part of things. It creates an atmosphere of ongoing support and teamwork.
Return the favor when your person needs support.