Writing can be a very solitary pursuit: staring in silence at a notebook or a computer screen for hours and hours, and some more hours, and maybe some more hours after that. Writers are often lost in their worlds even when they’re not actually writing and when they are ahem supposed to be spending quality time with their loved ones. Managing to write a novel while also maintaining the love and support of family, significant others, and friends demands a whole lot of those people. They invest in every writer’s dreams through support and patience and they live many of the same highs and lows.
Valentine’s Day was this past weekend, and I thought it would be nice to have a post-Valentine’s Day show of thanks for the significant others, family, and friends who read drafts, find ways to occupy themselves during writing time, listen to complaints about the endless frustrations of the writing life, and offer support when doubts creep in.
Is there anyone you’d like to thank for making your writing life possible?
UPDATE: And here I was all focused on writing this post and not giving thanks to the most important person in my writing life, my wife, who believed that I could be a writer way way way before I ever did. I couldn’t have written a novel without her. And to my family and friends for always being so supportive.
Photo by Jnlin
My husband is my first reader, my first editor and my biggest fan. He still believes in me after countless rejections and disappointments. Now, having seen and partaken of the writing life for lo, these many years (I almost typed tears), he has begun a memoir.
My husband has been extremely supportive. We spent Valentine's Day up at his studio in the Marin Headlands, where he drew and I read—outside, even! The weather was uncharacteristically warm and calm for a hill overlooking the Pacific.
Great Valentine's Day.
[Word ver: "ternes" / similar to terns, which do fly around the area]
I definitely have to thank my daughter, Alexandra. Because her father died before she was born I have striven to leave a legacy for her. She will always have my published words with her…. that is, if she doesn't give away my works to the Goodwill in a spring cleaning frenzy!
Jenna St.Hilaire says
In the interest of not posting a comment longer than the original piece, I've taken my thankings to my blog. Thanks for declaring this holiday, Nathan. A lot of people in my life deserve it.
There you go, I must have missed something… I've been watching this blog for two years and I didn't notice your status change from engaged to married. Belated congratulations Nathan!
As for me, I will thank my husband and my parents… mainly because they nag me to write… and though I love to write, if I get out of the daily habit then I do need a good kick up the rear to get going again.
My husband, who reminds me that dinner's getting cold when "just five more minutes" turns into an hour. And my two boys, who deserve a full-time mom, but put up with a part-time one. And I especially thank all three of them for no longer asking if "IT" is almost done.
Nathan: Nice save. 🙂
Fat Bastard says
I'd like to thank my mommy @austingirl. I love u mommy!!
My friend Mary is my cheerleader. Sometimes, I think she believes in me more than I believe in myself.
While I was working on the first draft of my novel, she was always there to encourage me when I was convinced that I couldn't write another word (while whining about how mediocre that word would be even if I did write it.)
And now that the first draft is over, she's still be my side as I go through the revision process.
I could not do this without her. Best Writing Friend EVER!!
Melissa Pearl says
I'd like to thank my best friend, Brenda, who told me to start writing in the first place. I'd also like to thank my husband for putting up with my absentmindedness when I'm trying to pull a story together 🙂
Priya Parmar says
my mom. she has edited every draft multiple times. and before all that, she taught me how to write… 🙂
Ashley A. says
What a wonderful thing to solicit. I chose to divorce a very unsupportive person. My writing cannot be separated from who I am.
I've now been in a relationship for a few years with someone who does everything from just listening to making dinner for my kids if I HAVE to lock myself away after work and get something down.
My kids are excited that I call myself a writer. My parents are interested. My sister-in-law has just signed on as a beta reader.
It really does take a village.
Well done, Nathan! I'm always a sap for love/appreciation stuff so I'm a big fan of this posting topic.
My husband, Lane, is my biggest fan. He is my cheerleader when I am proud of something and want to show off what I created. He is my encourager when I don't know why I got into this business and feel like I have nothing to offer. He is my editor, my partner, and my best friend. He gets it, and for that I am forever thankful.
I decided over the weekend my significant other was the most wonderful person for putting up with my solitude while I write. He never complains because I didn't have time to clean or cook. He has become quite proficient at that. He's my best sounding board. I've gotta love him for his faith in me.
Wow, thanks for the opportunity to do this! I definitely want to mention my husband, who understood when I decided to change jobs so I could make more time to write. My friend Karen cheers me on over coffee once a week. And finally, I work with an amazing group at the library who have been supporting me and reading my drafts. I'm a lucky girl, that's for sure.
Well, my husband has certainly taught me all about conflict, drama and a non-stoppable pace. So I guess it's time to learn my lesson and get a cabin in the woods for some peace and quiet!
Lorelei Armstrong says
The dedication on my published novel is "For my family, who believed when I did not."
Well, I live alone, but I'd like to thank the three friends of mine who regularly listen to me ramble on about my plots when I get stuck and am trying to figure something out. It must be boring as heck, but it's so incredibly helpful, and I wouldn't be anywhere near where I am right now without them.
Also have to thank my two comic book nerd friends who regularly tell *me* all about what's going on with their comics. I'm currently writing a superhero story, and I've been able to make all sorts of references to things I've never even read (asking to check accuracy of course) because of it. They also are great at recommending things to read (I'm an Ultimate Spiderman fan, but haven't read much else) for reference.
This is a wonderful post.
Sadly, I'm completely over-stressed and am sort of in a "everyone is out to get me" sort of mood. Especially other drivers. They can't fool me. I know they are doing it on purpose just to bug me. Get off the road, other drivers. Sheesh.
That said, I shall contribute positively to this post, and thank everyone who ever has and ever will put up with me. You are generous and lovely and I am truly grateful.
And thank you Nathan – you've been a great support to me, and very patient, and the above paragraph absolutely applies to you, too.
I'm so encouraged to know so many folks have a spouse or SA who truly stands by them. Writing is lonely and not profitable. We are bitches and bastards. We wake up at weird hours and are seemingly addicted to our computers. We get lost in thought in mid conversations because we just thought of clever dialogue to add to manuscripts. We have to be the hardest S.O.B.s to live with. Okay, I'm generalizing but you get my point. It's only my first book completed and I'm afraid to do another. I worry I might max out the charitable nature of my spouse. The beauty of it all though, is that when you walk out of the house and you see the glow of your loved one's eyes as they talk about your work to other people. Wow. It makes it all worth it: Someone believes in you, and they won't hate you if you fail. It could be a dad, sister, friend or spouse. Whoever it is that believes in your is a treasure. If you happen to share living space with them, even better! Heres to all our devoted and supportive loves in our lives.
My thanks goes to my husband for being willing to go without so I can stay home and write full time. Also, it goes to those of my kids who have been willing to read and critique my work. They are intelligent and articulate and they help me tremendously.
sex scenes at starbucks says
Doubtless my husband and children have sacrificed much for my career. My son sometimes tells people I'm a writer. That always spurs me to be a better writer.
Nancy Coffelt says
My hubby lived on not just take out pizza, but frozen pizza while I was working on my first (and second) novels.
So how does he stay so thin????
Moira Young says
My husband. He's taken over many of the chores (like vaccuuming, washing dishes, and taking out the garbage) so that I have just a little bit more time to myself to write.
Oh, and we carpool to work now, which means I get there an hour before I have to start (also for writing time).
On Sunday I thanked him by making prime rib steaks, sauteed mushrooms, and roasted garlic mashed potatoes. And then he did the dishes again!
three of my high school teachers. not that my family isn't supportive, but it wasn't to the degree that these three were. they invested a lot of time in my writing, even after i graduated, so i credit them with getting me to this point. i've lost touch with them, but they gave me a lot of useful advice, confidence, and support.
and i have a lot of friends on penwrights.com who have been there since the beginning and have cheered me on, critiqued the heck out of me, and helped me mold myself as a better writer.
I have to thank my partner, who finds the whole process baffling but is quite proud of it anyway. I give him permission to remind me when I'm getting a little bit into-the-zone and neglecting him. Love him madly.
My second wife once burst into my study and said – I'm a fulltime writer -, 'Living with you is like living with someone who's having a affair.'
My son…who learned how to tell time with "one more page" or "one more email". My husband who has copies of my books in his repair shop. And my daughters who are my true cheerleaders.
I want to thank my partner, Chad. He accepted my creative ambitions since day one, without any questions, and he continues to offer down to earth (and sometimes harsh) advice whenever I'm feeling doubtful or pouty. His otherwise quiet support means more to me than he'll ever realize.
Also, my mother has been a wonderful editor and reader, which she can thankfully separate from being the most encouraging and loving person I know!
Yeah, what he/she/they said above, plus my deepest appreciation to my wife for understanding what writing means to the soul of a writer, without the slightest desire to experience it herself.
Andi Newton says
If not for my husband, I wouldn't be doing this. He's done so much to further my writing career, not least of which is supporting my decision to quit my day job and write full time. He's my sounding board when I'm hashing out a plot. He's patient when I zone out while he's talking to me because I'm thinking about a story. He helps me find writing and editing work. Nags me to submit stories when I'm dragging my feet. Encourages me to keep going when I feel like a failure. Celebrates with me when I get something published. Helps me promote myself and my work. And all while working a full-time job and writing his own stuff. The man is a godsend, and I'd be lost without him.
Wanda B. Ontheshelves says
My thanks go to two of my friends who are "creatives" also – it has to do with, you don't have to just WRITE to be a writer. You can work in other mediums, try your hand at different things – you don't have to be perfect at everything, just try something if you feel like it – if you want to continue creating in that other medium, that's great, keep going, see where it leads you.
I feel like writing, and only writing, can start to feel dry and hard – you know how mud gets, kids ride through it in the rain, it hardens, and then the sun beats down on it – those tire tracks aren't changing direction anytime soon.
So I like to try different things – it's great having friends who are the same way – creatively flexible – even if writing is their main thing.
I like also what my dad said, "trying to change a person's mind by the time they're 18, is like trying to change the shape of cement after it's hardened. You have to take a sledgehammer to it."
He didn't mean it literally, of course – but still, after a point, maybe continued creativity IS a bit like changing the shape of cement – everyone complains how hard writing/revision is – I always find it helps to draw or paint or whip out the old bottle of glitter glue for some relief.
Thanks to my friends who are the same way (did you know people are making sculpture out of toilet paper rolls?)
With all this love in the air I am de-lurking 🙂 I want to add my thanks, but maybe from a slightly different perspective. I want to thank my husband for being brave enough to write and passionate enough to pursue his own dreams. For me "twoolwuuuvvvee" (Princess Bride reference) is about being with someone who is unafraid to chase dreams, and not because they are guaranteed of any result. And so I am proud to tip-toe around the kitchen to bake snacks, to be the tough love critic when he bounces pages off me, and to grouchily steal back the covers when he gets up to write because I love that he chases what he loves. <3
Thomas Burchfield says
That's easy. My darling Elizabeth, the first and only ever to say "I do."
Late to this post. It's been a terrible week. I am thankful for having my husband to walk through all of it with.
And I'm thankful for him asking, as if he finds me and my stories so fascinating, "What are you working on?" every time he sees me tapping away.
I would like to say thanks to my sister, Crystal, for always being there for me and for joining me on this writing adventure. I would also like to thank my parents who have always encouraged us to do whatever we are passionate about. And last, but certainly not least, I want to thank my dog for always being available to listen and provide much needed hugs.
Kathryn Paterson says
My husband, undoubtedly. He puts up with what he calls my "existential writing angst" and does it lovingly and (mostly) uncomplainingly. He's amazing.
Without a doubt I too have to thank my wife. As I said in the unofficial dedication of my first completed manuscript I never would have been able to write the book without her. And even if I had been able to it would have been a much worse book.
in the deep end of the pool says
i'd simply like to thank my wiener dog, Sloppy Joe, for snuggling up to me while i type away at all hours of the night. thanks, Joe!!