Why It’s Important to Have At Least One Person Who Believes in You

My Husband

My husband is amazing. I truly wish that everyone could have someone like my husband in their lives. He believes in me when I can’t even believe in me.

I have been jobless and out of school for a year now. On purpose. My husband told me to quit my job over a year ago and when school got to annoying and I didn’t want to do it any more, he told me to quit that too. The reason? To write my heart out!

My full time writing experience started off really slow. How does one force themselves to work when there is no boss looking over their shoulder to make them? How does one balance the chores and writing? How does one not feel guilty all the time for making no money? I was writing a little bit, but I began to feel depressed, and not in the ooooo-this-will-fuel-my-writing type way. I also suffer from insomnia and it only gets worse when I am depressed/anxious/excited/you-name-it.

April’s Camp NaNoWriMo got me back on track for writing again (Although I didn’t even come close to reaching my goal), but again, after the month was nearly over, I began to feel like shit again. I had not yet finished a first draft, the chores were falling behind and I thought my stories sucked. By mid-summer, my husband had really begun to notice my lack of motivation (I had been trying really hard to hide it) and when he brought it up, I broke down. I told him I should just give up. That I should start looking for a job. That I would never finish anything at this rate. And he told me to calm the fuck down.

And I did. I put aside the depressing story I had been working on (dark fantasy isn’t the best thing to be writing when you are trying to stop being depressed…) and went back to another story I had already started. But, instead of continuing where I had left off, I began to edit my unfinished first draft. Oooooh dear. Every voice in my head that said my writing was crap and I would never finish anything began to sneak back in. They got louder and louder. It was now October and I knew that NaNoWriMo was next month, so once again, I chucked my current story aside and decided to start fresh. This one would be better. I told my husband that I would win NaNoWriMo and my first draft would be finished by December 31st. (Spoiler alert: It isn’t finished. Not even close. With only three days to go until my ridiculously planned deadline.)

Half way through November, I just stopped writing. My nephew had been born with a heart-defect and gone through his first surgery and the detrimental part of recovery and I had made myself write through it all, but then, once I knew he would be alright and once I knew my sister-in-law, her husband, and my nephew would be coming home soon, all of my exhaustion and fear caught up to me. I couldn’t write at all. And I just let it happen. NaNoWriMo was a failure.

Matt and Tucker

My husband with our nephew, Tucker!

 

Then December began, and my husband did the thing that would make me excited to get back to writing. He told me to print off every incomplete first draft I had ever written (except those first few, you know the ones. The ones that will never again see the light of day). I started printing them off and he began to read them. He was excited and his excitement made me excited. We decided together which one I should finish first and he began to edit it.

My husband's binder full of my writing.

My husband’s binder full of my writing.

 

He’ll be done editing it over the next few days, and then begins a new chapter of my full time writing adventure: Actually Finishing Something.

My advice for anyone struggling with their inner writing demons is to find someone in their life that will support them and their writing wholeheartedly. Someone who will read and review and edit, so that they will feel like their writing has worth. Because, spoiler alert, all writing has worth.

About the author

Leetah Begallie

Leetah is a writer and graphic designer who lives on Vancouver Island in Beautiful British Columbia. She enjoys reading, hiking, and spending time with her husband (Matt), her dog (Isla), and her three pet rats (Avi, Lily, and River).

She writes mostly fantasy but enjoys tying in other genres to her stories.

14 Comments

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  • As you know from my blog, I go through the same self-flagellation about my work. But here’s the thing…we can’t judge our own work, except badly. So kudos to your hubby for stepping in as beta reader! Here’s the second thing…instead of telling yourself that your writing is hideous, tell yourself “This isn’t working right now. I haven’t yet figured it out.” (Yet being the operative word.) And then get help in figuring it out (which you’ve done!). It has nothing to do with your writing ability. We know you’re a good writer. (Don’t forget that you’re blogging! That counts as writing effort.)

    Sometimes we just need a new pair of glasses.

    I love stories with a happy ending.

  • He is a definite keeper!

    I’ve also been blessed with a fabulous husband. He doesn’t really get too involved with my career, but he reads all my blog posts, lets me chatter about things he probably doesn’t understand, and tells me how proud he is of me, which is really all I ever want from him.

    Here’s to be blessed for fabulous supports in our lives!

  • Excellent post! You are so lucky to have such a supportive spouse. Writers really get the raw end of the deal sometimes — in fact, being an author sometimes feels like decades of passion projects until, maybe, one day, we’re lucky enough to get a royalty check 😉

    My partner is very supportive of my craft as well, and I am so thankful for this. I maintain a part-time job while writing, and he works full-time as well, but he has no problem when I need multiple nights to write, or stay up until 4 AM because this novel just won’t quit flowing, etc. It’s SO important!

    I think it helps that we’re both introverts, and value our personal time and personal projects. We like to “be together” all the time, even if that’s just me writing and him working on his music. It’s still a deeply connected union, even though we are focused on separate things. It’s an aspect of our relationship that I treasure so much!

    Thanks for writing about this incredibly essential aspect of being a writer. I would say, additionally, that if someone’s inner circle doesn’t support their craft or passion…they either need to have a long, hard talk with those people or start finding a new inner circle!

    –Ember

    • Hi Ember!

      Your relationship sounds very very familiar! My husband and I are also both introverts and also like to “be together” in the same sort of way, lol.

      Thanks for adding that last tip. If people who say they care about you, don’t care about the writing part of you, do they really care as much as they say? Maybe they need to recheck their priorities (it really isn’t that hard to respect and support someone’s art!)

      Thanks for the comment 🙂

  • Sometimes I’m against marriage because it seems like people give up so much. I’m glad to see a relationship that shows the true positives of marriage. Maybe one day I will find that person. Typically guys I meet want me to give up my goals. Maybe I need to date an introvert. 🙂

  • Are you not so blessed?!! Sometimes that’s all you need especially at the brink of giving up- that person that comes and cheers you on telling you, “You can do it”! Thanks for sharing.

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