Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Significance of a Significant's Opinion

The scene: I am standing in the kitchen with my baby on my hip, chopping onions for the dinner I am making ahead of time since I have cub scouts in the afternoon, while simultaneously cleaning the kitchen, drawing a food pyramid for afore mentioned scouts, entertaining crabby 3-year-old, and watching for 8-year-old to come home.

Me=Me. Jaime=Husband.

Me: Jaime, you seem a little miffed that I asked you to watch the kids for an hour so I could work on my writing.
Jaime: Shrug.
Me: Just out of curiosity, how do you see my writing?
Jaime: I'm glad you have something you enjoy doing, and that it gives you a sense of accomplishment.
Me: But it's more than that. I have the potential to be published. I have to treat it like a job.
Jaime: Shrug. When you start making money I'll see it differently.
Me: Biting my tongue. Waiting for fire to start flaming out of my nostrils. Deep breath. Another deep breath. Imagination overload--If only I had magic at my fingertips... I'd turn you into a toad!
Jaime: Don't get me wrong. I'm glad you have such a fulfilling hobby.
Me: Almost bite clean through my tongue. Pound the crap out of a chicken breast, kiss baby's forehead. You know, you're lucky you're still a good looking man. It's your only defense right now.

My dear Jaime
Husband of twelve years

So tell me, please! How does your significant other view your writing addiction?

70 comments:

Christina E. Rodriguez said...

Oooh, he owes you big time! Good thing he's so good lookin.'

I'm far harder on myself and my career than my husband is. He has way more confidence in my abilities than I do, which can be unnerving in its own way. I really hate "sugarcoating" and like to call a spade a spade, you know?

Your husband should remember above all else that expressing your creativity through your writing is important because it keeps you happy. Because if Mama Bear ain't happy, I reckon Papa Bear better look out! :)

elizabeth mueller said...

ROFL! Oh, Bethany! I really love your sense of humor. I can't wait to meet you!

Well, my hubby is hoping with all of his heart that my addiction turns to gold so he can retire. He would rather me write than do the dishes.

I really do love him...

Noble M Standing said...

That could have been a conversation in my house!!!!! My hubby thinks it's a hobby, and his opinion would change if I earned money on my hobby too. Why do they have to be so unsupportive? Especially when it is such a creative release for us?
Oh, well.

elizabeth mueller said...

PS--it looks like Jaime is hiding behind the dog. Is he afraid that your writer friends are going to throw words at him? LOL ;)

Suzette Saxton said...

Oh yes, I feel your pain. Indeed I do.

Had to laugh at the photo since Jaime isn't a dog person. Nice shot of him, though!

Philangelus said...

My husband takes it seriously. But he won't read it, either. Just one more rejection among a million writer rejections.

Jackee said...

Word. Sooo my life. My husband takes it seriously unless it interferes with his schedule. Which is often.

kimysworld said...

Mine is supportive, thankfully. He makes fun of me as I ask him to stand there while I triple check I have everything ready to send out and correct, but he still does it. If I hit it big he would retire in a hot second and play on his computer all day! He doesn't read it though, YA is not his style. He's a fantasy kind of guy.

L.T. Elliot said...

I'm lucky. Really, really lucky. My husband almost seems to feel like my writing is more important to him than it is to me. I once told him I thought about quitting and he told me he'd actually be angry with me if I did. He's ridiculously supportive and I'm so incredibly lucky. (And apparentLY full of adverbs today.) I don't deserve him but I ain't lettin' go!

Valerie Geary said...

Hehehe... great picture, great story!! I have the opposite problem. My hubby pushes me to write more and more and more... he wants me to make enough money so he can retire early (as in... before he's 35). Talk about pressure! :P Of course, if we had kids, our conversations might be more similar to this one. :)

Tiana Lei said...

This made me laugh! I think my parents are a lot like your husband. They often wonder why I'm not published yet, because it's not real work really. They seem to think that if you've written something, you can easily get it published.

My husband on the other hand ... Well I think he has more faith in me than I do in myself. It's a great thing and he always pushes me to write more. He's a keeper. :)

Angie said...

I've been blessed with a supportive spouse. He's my chief proofreader too. Although, it can take him a long time to get around to reading it for me.

Jen said...

LOL my husband supports me, and he pushes me! I love it, however we don't have children to care for, and I have four free hours in the evening...soon to be more... just for my writing, so no me and him time is interrupted!

Hang in there! Writing is much more than a hobby!!! I feel you!

A. Grey said...

Well, I don't have a significant other... partly for reasons such as this... partly because I'm, well, solitary, and I like it that way. That said, HE OWES YOU. :)

He IS quite a looker though...

In place of my non-existant significant other, I have my family, including a twin sister. And none of them have any interest in writing, or in its processes. Which leaves me floating in a sea of 'I have no idea what you're talking about' remarks.

Luckily, they all get how important the writing is to me. So while it's a struggle sometimes, they always step back and let it (and me) be.

Now, my best friend? She NEVER questioned it. She's introduced me as 'a writer' ever since I began writing seriously. And rather than say 'She isn't published yet.' she says 'She's in the process of publication.' I love her for this.

Sarah said...

I don't know what to tell you. I have the same problem with my husband. I think he secretly is counting down the days until I give up and quit.

But I used that for motivation. Nothing pushes me to work harder than wanting to prove him wrong. That would be sweet victory. The ultimate "I told you so". I do hope I get to rub it in his face someday.

Julie Dao said...

Haha this was so funny because I would have reacted the exact same way. Thank goodness he had that one remaining shield left, otherwise it would have been he and not the chicken who got the pounding. This could actually describe a lot of the people in my life... they all have this attitude like "I'll take you seriously when you're rich and famous but until then it's just some silly hobby you're doing when you could be doing something better." Don't worry. We'll show 'em!!

Christina Lee said...

LOL--What a big stinker!!! I think my hubby waffles b/w acting supportive and then asking me questions like, "how long will you give yourself to become published?" But if I didn't have my newspaper column and jewelry orders to fulfill, I think it might be much worse! I just remind him of the time in his life when he tried to be a full-time musician and how misunderstood he felt. That puts it all into perspective for him!

Scott said...

Well, other than the two week obsessive period a few years ago where I barely cooked . . . pretty positively. Well, he still does interrupt me at times with an ill-timed "Hey, what are you doing?" My response (after a 20 to 30 second pause): Well, can't you tell, I'm knitting you a new pair of socks. Okay, that was my inner voice, or what I really wanted to say, but you get my point. I guess I need a sign on my back that says: Writing Now, Please Come Back Later!

Seriously, though, I get tons of support, and appreciate that support. Now, if I could just get him to stop interrupting me. : )

S

Melissa said...

HaHa! That sounds like my husband! Don't get me wrong, he's supportive, but doesn't really like to watch the kids while I'm writing. Now if I was getting paid, it would be a different story. That's why I have to write late at night when everyone is asleep.

DL Hammons said...

I think that people on the outside, the ones who aren't aspiring writers struggling to get published, have no clue what it takes to achieve that goal. They have no appreciation of the dedication involved or realize that how hard it is if you don't have their unquestioned support. When they treat your writing as a "hobby", it chips away at your self-confidence. He simply can't see that without being inside of it.

Liza said...

My hubby is careful not to say the wrong thing so he mostly doesn't say anything about it. Sigh.

Kimberly Job said...

My husband is supportive. He watches the kids every week so I can attend critique group.

But, I don't think he really realizes how much work is involved in writing, or that it consumes so much of my brain power.

He doesn't read any of my writing, and doesn't really seem to like to bounce plot ideas around--but I have writing friends for that.

His support is all I could ask for.

Mary Campbell said...

He is good looking. My hubby is supportive, but I think he feels it's a hobby at this point. I can't blame him though - I'm not a very disciplined person - he's seen me quit too many things. He still wants to support me though. He'll watch the kids while I try to write, but his ideas of watch and mine are two different things.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

LOL! My hubby views it much the same as yours does. What makes me want to breathe fire and work a little toad magic is when he mocks my blog. He thinks I'm too old to be a "blogger" and resents the time I spend with all of you. I think he's a little jealous. Ha ha ha.

JEM said...

Reading through everyone else's comments, I would guess that most people (aside from the writers themselves, of course) have a hard time viewing writing as an actual job. They either see it as a hobby or a way to make Dan Brown millions. I think most people expect creative endeavors to be either incredibly successful or nothing at all, but the reality is that many authors make a MODEST living continually writing. Kind of like...a regular job...

Nisa said...

We've been there! Fortunately, we've moved past that point and now I have him helping me. Mwahaha! All part of my evil plan. ;)

Katie Ganshert said...

Funny conversation. I'm sure we've all had very similar ones. Hubby and I had a conversation like that this past weekend.

For me, hubby is actually incredibly supportive. We still have our moments of disagreement (like this weekend) though.

Time is so valuable, isn't it?

Olivia Carter said...

My husband is pretty supportive. I think he's of the idea that if I make some money he can buy a boat (yeah right!)

He also gets pushy though. Like, "I'm not letting your watch the LOST premiere until you've written 1,000 words." I'm like, "NOOOOO! I don't have 1,000 words in me!"

Kimberly Franklin said...

Ohhh... your hubby should be in so much trouble. ; )

Mine is supportive, yet totally clueless. Unless you're a writer, you're pretty much oblivious to how much hard work writing entails. : )

John Sankovich said...

My wife gives me about an hour of writing time before she can't help it. She is normally supportive and all, but someday's she's better than others.

Lately, I've been my own worst enemy as I can't focus on a project.

Amber Tidd Murphy said...

Mine doesn't really know about it.

Granted, I'm only working on my first draft of my first ms.

Still. We don't talk about it. I was typing on the couch -- full on INTO a scene -- and he asked, "Are you writing a short story or something?"

And I said, "No."

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

That's awesome! Yes, and your husband is really cute. (Is that okay to say that?) Mine is really cute too, if that makes you feel better.

My husband is incredibly supportive, but no, I don't think he sees my writing as my job. He keeps giving me "gift certificates" for special occasions when he's going to take the kids away so I can write for a few hours, but I have yet to use any of them. When I write too much, I can tell he gets a little peeved. And yesterday he actually ran out of clean underwear, which has to be the #1 #stay-at-home-momfail. But he's not verbal about his frustrations with me if I write too much. Usually I censor myself -- ie. the house is too messy, we're eating hot dogs for the third night in a row -- and take a few days "off" to pay attention to my, uh, *real* job.

Kelly H-Y said...

Oh my ... yes, I would have bitten through my tongue. Thankfully, he views it as a job ... but, for many others, it's a constant reminder that that is the case.

Jemi Fraser said...

Yup - I'm pretty sure I've had pretty much the same conversation!

Kristi said...

As I'm not much of a tongue biter, my hubby would have gotten an earful from me. Luckily, he treats me like I'm bringing in tons of moola for my writing even though I've earned a total of $3.93 as of yesterday. I blogged about this huge income last night, because he won't even let me cash the check. He wants me to frame it and hang it on the wall because he's positive it's only the beginning!

My 5-yo even tells other people that I'm a writer which makes me giggle -- it's nice to have encouragement from your offspring. :)

Jessica said...

Oh no! Poor you. :-( What a stinker. My husband use to say stuff like that, but then he'd also ask when I was going to be a bestseller.
So finally I told him that in order to sell a book I actually have to write it first, which requires time. Heh.
I hope your guy realizes this is more than a hobby. You need his support. :-)
That said, my hubby still gives flack when I want him to watch the kiddos. *sympathetic smile*

Jennie Englund said...

This post is perfect timing!

Just a day or two ago, I praised my good man for encouraging this non-remunerative "job" that takes up a lot of my time and brain.

He told me that things don't have to pay to be fulfilling.

Isn't that the greatest?

Bethany Wiggins said...

Thanks for the comments, guys! I have been rolling on the floor laughing. I totally need one of those signs on my back, Scott.

Tracy said...

I'm so glad he's cute enough that you didn't tenderize him! When I first started writing, my husband suggested we use a good portion of our tax return to buy a laptop so I wouldn't have to share the computer with the rest of the family. Now he's talking about getting me a more portable netbook for travelling and sitting at kids' activities, etc. It's not something I really need, but it sure would be nice!

He says it's payback for struggling through all those years of schooling (typing all those term papers finally paid off, haha). I would never have told him I wouldn't take him seriously until his schooling was done, and I'm glad he's treating my pre-published time with the same respect.

Carolyn V. said...

My DH thinks it is awesome. Whenever I tell him I'm quitting he looks at me and says, "You can't quit. You're a great writer." Even though he has never read anything I've written. Plus he said I could whatever I wanted with the money I make (if I make any money). He's a good guy.

WindyA said...

My husband says he's "neutral" about my writing. And he's fine with it if it makes me happy. I'm not entirely sure I know what this means, but I suppose it's better than him being unsupportive.

Sandy Williams said...

I have the best husband ever. From day one, he's been supportive of my writing. He's never called it a hobby. Even when I feel guilty about spending my time with my books instead of with him, he's cool with that - maybe because it lets him play video games?

I do have to say, though, that we don't have kids and I'm not working. That makes me sound like a total loser, doesn't it? Well, the reason I'm not working is because we're out of the country for HIS job, so my job is to write during the day.

Oh, wait. He has called writing my hobby before, but it went something like, "I'm just glad you have a cheap hobby." It wasn't negative. And I really do think he appreciates it. I mean, I could go shopping or something as a hobby. *shudders*

G said...

Family really hasn't developed an opinion about my writing, simply because I don't really tell them about it. I think only twice in the past four years have I clued them in on my writing adventures.

At the moment, my co-workers, friends, blogging buddies and friends from the chat rooms, know more about my trials and tribulations with my writing than my family does.

And I like it like that just fine.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

My husband is incredibly supportive. He doesn't complain that the house is slightly messy. Or that I spend way too much time writing, especially when the chance of being published are slim. He's the one responsible for me going to the SCBWI conferences in the past few years. And He actually tells people I'm a writer, which is way cool with me. No, he doesn't read my books. He hasn't read a novel in over 10 years (too busy), and YA chick lit just isn't his thing. ;)

My parents, on the other hand, view my writing as a hobby.

Suze said...

Firstly, Bethany, you're right - your husband is really hot! Secondly, all these wonderful writers saying that their husbands moan about 'watching the kids' reminds me of a guy in my husbands office. He was asked if he was going to the shooting range after work. "I can't," he said, "I'm babysitting my kids". My husband replied, bemused, "you know it's not babysitting when its YOUR kids, right? It's called being a parent". :) Luckily my husband is super-supportive of my writing efforts, even carving time from weekends and evenings for me to write while he plays the Wii.... wait a minute... NOW I get it!

Elana Johnson said...

Oh, I so feel this. My DH keeps saying, "When are you going to make us a million dollars?"

To which I roll my eyes and say, "We can't all be Stephenie Meyer."

And the other day we were talking about who I'd dedicate the book to (willing it sells) and I said, "To my husband, who's never read my book."

And we laughed. But it's so true.

Georgiana said...

Oh my! Your hubby is so blessed that you don't have fire at your fingertips. I'd have been super mad too. So far my hub treats my writing seriously, but I imagine it might not always be the case, if nothing happens!

Sharla said...

Oh wow, I have to echo what Jackee said wayyyyyyyy up there 40-something comments ago. My husband takes it seriously as long as it doesn't interfere with his schedule.

He will listen to me babble about agents and publishing...he will read my query letters and even read my ms...and blessed me going on my first conference in April, because it's only a six hr drive away and a small one so not a huge expense. Of course he thinks that's going to get the "conference" bug out of my system and be done with that. Ha!

And I've tried the hour writing time thing, but that only works if there is nothing more important pressing. Because we have to watch what we've DVR'd at that same moment I want to write and so "come on in here, you can write while we watch". Yeah. That happens.

Or if I do manage to get my time in the living room, where I've commandeered the recliner and it's quiet, he has to keep stopping by. He doesn't understand that just because he doesn't hear the voices in my head...doesn't mean they aren't talking! And they don't like interruption!

He pretty much echos your husband's words, although he hasn't said it out loud. He will treat this seriously, when there are dollar signs attached to it.

Can't get credit without credit. It's a circle.

Laci said...

I feel you. I'm all alone in my writing. My husband thinks it's a waiste of time since the house isn't as clean as it use to be.

Sliding on the Edge said...

He was pretty patient during my pre-published era; then as I began publishing he actually told other people what I was doing up in my office all day. Now he's often my chauffeur to book events. :)

B.J. Anderson said...

Lol. That cracks me up because I've gone through the same thing. Mine asked when I was going to finally quit. He said, "It seems discouraging to get rejected over and over again." Sigh. Yes, honey. Yes it is.

Little Ms J said...

I am so lucky! My husband read some of my stories a few years ago and immediately went out and bought me a laptop. He told me that he has no doubt I will be published and is uber supportive. Conferences? No problem. A new Mac? No problem. He believes in my talent wholeheartedly and jumps up and down when I write a blog because he always wants me to read them to him. I am a lucky girl.

Michelle McLean said...

OMGoodness, my SO said almost those exact words to me a couple years ago. He said he'd start supporting me when I started making money. I didn't handle it as well as you. :) there was no tongue biting involved LOL

He's gotten a little more supportive now that I've got an agent, but I think until that publishing contract comes through, he's always going to have an eye roll to go along with his agreement to watch the kids while I write.

I just keep reminding that someday I could be a huge, big deal writer (hey, it doesn't hurt to dream big) ;-) and when I get interviewed and am asked about the support in my life, he'll probably prefer me gushing about how I couldn't have done it without him....not about how I did it in spite of him :)

Christine Danek said...

This sounds just like my hubby except he has never really said it directly. If I ever made money from writing I think he would then would think that this is not a hobby. I obviously think of it more as a job. I feel for you:)

Natalie said...

Oh man, my husband would have slept on the couch for a conversation like that! Doesn't he realize how lucky he is to be married to your brilliance?

My husband has been super supportive from the beginning. He'll bend over backwards to give me writing time--social networking time, not so much. :)

Gina Leigh Maxwell said...

Wow! I can't tell you how glad I am you posted this! I'm not alone in the writing universe, after all. Jamie is exactly how my husband is. Glad I have a hobby, and thinks it's great as long as it doesn't interfere with the family life. What the heck does that even mean??? For a while I was getting up in the middle of the night to work on my WIP, but then he got aggravated about that, too. That's why I'm praying that I'll be published someday soon. Then he can feel free to take my writing seriously and let me do it more often as a form of income. Yikes. I'd like to do a little flame-throwing from the fingertips, as well. Thanks again for sharing.

Lisa Marie Miles said...

Sounds like someone's in trouble! But it's sort of the same at my house.

Suzette Saxton said...

Here's some food for thought. Will being published change things? If anything, (and I'm assuming here) once you are published and have deadlines, book tours, etc., life will be busier. So will spouses become more supportive when even more time is required?

Bethany Wiggins said...

Good point, Suz. Will there ever be enough time for everything? I suppose when there is, life won't be worth living any more.

Suzette Saxton said...

I have a great idea. Let's blog about this again five years from now when we all (that includes you, commenters!) have published books. We'll see how things have changed... or not.

And Bethany, you and I shall compare notes when our kids are in school all day, yes?

Alyssa Kirk @ Teens Read and Write said...

I don't have a significant other but I do have a family - mom, dad, brothers Jake and Gregory. I'm lucky that they are so supportive.

Yes, your husband is a cutie! Someone that goodlooking is sure to come around. Especially when you're published!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Suzette and Bethany, because your blog makes me happy, I've given you the Happy Award.

I love your idea about the post in five years. :D

Have a great weekend!

Suzette Saxton said...

Thanks so much, Stina. <3

Amber Lynae said...

I think my husband doesn't even recognize my writing as anything other than a time waster.

Shauna Kemp said...

Oh my gosh, my husband is trying really hard to be supportive (well, he is supportive, just trying to be understanding I guess is a better word) and we had this talk about how he's not really sure where I'm going with this whole writing thing... And I kind of replied with um, I guess I won't really know until I get there...not that I don't have a plan at all, but that is really hard to explain to someone who doesn't write. People want end results and unless we are published we can't give that to them. It's kind of that way with my parents too. It's tough. I totally feel for you. I get it. Writing is new for me in the past year and my husband and I are working this out along with my "day" job and have had similar conversations very recently so it is somewhat comforting to see that other writers experience this as well. Although, it also seems that it may just be part of the game or life of writing. Best wishes!!!

Shelby said...

my hubby compares me to a mixture of pat conroy and nicholas sparks.. he loves my writing addiction.

He lives vicariously through me a bit too much :)

now, to get the public to have his views.. that's the ticket.

Melony said...

Oh. My. Gosh. I read this and then I read it to my husband trying to contain my laughing! I think my husband sees it very similarly. At least you have an agent! I'm still stuck in eternal querying! This was so funny! Thanks for sharing..it brightened my whole "I suck at writing and can't stand one more rejection!" day....Thanks!

kanishk said...

Bethany! I really love your sense of humor. I can't wait to meet you!

Work from home India

Kimberley Griffiths Little said...

This is hilarious - only because we've all been there!

He is dang good-lookin' though. :-)

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