Wednesday, August 10, 2016

How to be the Spouse of an Author

On Facebook right now, there is a commendable meme going around wherein one is encouraged to post a photo of one's spouse for seven days, with something one appreciates about them each day.

I've been tagged, but rather than put a lot of photos on Facebook (because I already do so many), I decided to write a blog post about one very specific thing I am thankful for that Nathan does - being the #1 fan of my writing.

(Sorry Carolyn and Meg. Nathan wins this one.)

Nathan was pretty much the first person besides my editors to read the full synopsis of my of my book, back when we had just started dating. Although it was a dense nine pages of plot, he was totally engrossed in it. Not just 'dutiful boyfriend' either... you can't fake that kind of enthusiasm. (Well, he can't!)

Then he started reading my actual book, and proceeded to tell everyone how wonderful it was, and how he felt like he was reading "a real book, not Elizabeth's first draft!"

But words are easy, right?

So here's the second thing. Nathan loves my cooking. He makes food prep a joy because he just is so appreciative of my attempts. I strive to make really amazing stuff because I love the look on his face when he tastes something wonderful that I made for him. But you know what? Any time I was in a writing groove and needed to finish a chapter, Nathan would, without hesitation, tell me "go ahead and finish" and either wait for me to be done, or take on supper prep himself (after a long day of his own work). This happened a lot. But he never once complained, or did anything other than encourage me to finish.

Nathan, falling asleep mid-edits one late night
On that same note, Nathan never once complained about the fact that writing a novel has no immediate pay-off. We have been married for two and a half years, I've put in hundreds of hours, and I have not yet made a single penny. And Nathan has not protested or done anything other than express confidence in my abilities and support for this novel that he believes in as much as I do.

In fact, he believes in it so much, that he gave up a month of evenings to line edit and proof-read the final draft of my book. This meant that we got very little time together, and he got very little relaxation for that month. By the end we were both exhausted... but we didn't have to pay anyone else to accomplish this step! (Nathan does this all the time at his game design job, believe it or not, so he was quite qualified).

And those are just the big things! The little things are all of the little household chores he did so I could write, the food he made so I could write, and the conversations regarding plot and character development that we had over the years.

Of course, I do my best to support his work in numerous ways too, but that's for him to talk about. ;)

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