I’m lucky in that my wife supports my writing. If I’m working to meet a deadline when she wants to do something else, she understands. She is patient. Without complaint, she allows me time to write. She lets me write without criticizing. She even offers encouragement and celebrates the results of my work. I am indeed fortunate.
Yes, there is a balance in this, too. There are times I set my writing aside to spend time with her, to focus on family. Yet, I suspect, she is more flexible than I am.
I’ve heard from other writers who don’t have it as good as I do. Their spouses begrudge the time spent writing; they complain, and they criticize. These writers don’t dare write when their spouse is present; they sneak it in when they are alone or their spouse is asleep. Not only do their spouses begrudge the time spent writing, but they also resent the costs associated with writing: computers and programs, membership fees, convention registrations, travel expenses, and so on. To offset that, there is pressure to produce, to earn income through writing. This just adds to their burden.
Though I understand the plight of writers with unsupportive families, I don’t fully comprehend. Any advice I might offer would be mere theory, falling short of providing practical help. What I can offer is an encouragement. Do not let your writing dreams flounder. Continue to navigate the difficult course of balancing your writing with the needs of others. Seek creative ways to find time and money to pursue the craft of writing. Then, when you succeed, your reward will be doubled.
And for those of us with supportive families and spouses, be sure to thank them. I just did.
Do your family and friends offer you support or opposition in your writing? What should you do to thank them or improve the situation? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.