Do They Get It?

Saturday, May 10, 2008
If you live with people who aren't writers, but "get" your writer's lifestyle, consider yourself lucky. If, on the other hand, you're like many writers whose family and significant others don't really get it, you're in the majority.

Do you hand your husband or wife your latest short story to review, a story which took you two months to write, edit and polish to perfection? Do they read it and then say, "That's nice, dear" before going back to the TV/newspaper/garden? Does that make you want to scream, "But reread that fourth paragraph! Look at how skillfully I've used flashback there! And what about how I described the old man? Just look at that!"? Instead of screaming, many of us quietly take our stories, our carefully crafted babies if you will, and look at them with a pride only a parent can feel.

They don't get POV, foreshadowing, a turn of phrase that gives us goosebumps. They don't understand why we huddle over a keyboard that doesn't dole out rewards or praise, or why we'll jump out of bed at 3 o' clock in the morning to jot down sudden inspiration. They can't quite see all of the nuances that separate a mediocre story from a masterpiece. They just don't get it.

But if they're still willing to put up with some of the more well-known writers' idiosyncrasies, if they love you anyway, they can't be all bad.

After all, I don't get why my husband has to visit Home Depot every.single.Saturday.morning either.


Angela Mackintosh said...

LOL. So true, Del. I can't get my hubby to read anything of mine if my life depended on it. And ask him to read the WOW! website...forget about it! But hey, he makes dinner when I'm busily tapping away at the keyboard, so even if he doesn't "get it" he still keeps me from starving. ;o)

Shelli said...

It does help to have a hubby who understands. My husband is a writer of a different sort - he's a historian. (Although he did try writing a sci-fi novel once.) So he gets it, although he's not into my subject matter which would appeal to women more, I think.

Annette said...

My hubby isn't a writer. He's only read part of an early draft of my memoir a few years ago and none of the articles or interviews I've written, but he's a great cheerleader. He handed out promotional postcards at a book festival I attended recently and he always mentions my book to his remodeling clients. (He's a general contractor.)

It's definitely nice to have the support. And it's kinda cool having a hubby who thinks writing an "entire book" is an amazing talent. ;-)

Cher'ley said...

I'm one of the lucky ones. My husband's not a writer, but he's the one who talked me into writing. He reads everything I shove his way. He's wonderful at remembering the plotline and all the characters and how they fit together. He's also great at knowing if they are saying or doing something out of character.

While I was writing my novel, he helped me more than I can describe.

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