Sunday, September 06, 2020

A Critical Writer's Help


By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

With the worldwide pandemic, our days as writers have been different than any other time in history. People are working at home instead of offices. Children are learning online instead of in the classroom and many other things have changed in our world. There is good news for writers in that books continue to sell (in fact book sales are up in many areas), publishers continue to offer book contracts then produce and distriubte books.
These changes have been hard on many writers (including myself). For some people spending this intense time has disrupted their marriages. I've read where the high divorce rate has even increased during this pandemic. In this article, I want to talk about a rarely discussed but one of my most critical writer's helps: my wife. Do you have a supportive spouse? If not, can you find a supportive writer friend?
Recently I was contacted about updating a book that I wrote over 20 years ago. This book is out of print and an organization continues to use this book in their work. Some of the stories in this book are dated because we no longer have phone booths. As I talked over the updating project with my wife, it called to my attention something that I “knew” but didn't focus on: she has not read the majority of my publshed books. She had not read this book and offered to go through and mark some things that needed revision. Her efforts on this project were a huge help to me. 
This year marked my 25th  year of marriage. My journey as a writer has not been simple but involved multiple moves, job changes and much more. Christine has supported me throughout this entire journey. I'm talking primarily about emotional support. She has given me support in these critical areas that every writer needs:
1. A Sounding Board for New Ideas and Directions. As writers there are many different possibilities for our work. It's good to have someone to bounce around ideas. If you need some possibilities, check out the first chapter of my Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams (no opt-in).
2. Someone to talk about books and publishing (sometimes too much). Just so you know our conversations are not just one-sided. Yes she listens to my publishing stories but she has her topics that she discusses with me. For example, she loves plants (indoors and on our porch).
3. Accountability to keep me on task. Yes we talk about this important area as well even though I've been meeting deadlines for many years before we even met.
These factors are only a few of the critical ways I've been blessed with her support. On the fun front, one fo the activities that we've done together for years is go to the movies once a week (normally on Saturday). With the pandemic, movies have not been possible. Last week we purchased an Amazon fire stick and installed it on our television.  I've known about this option but never used it until last week. The fire stick has opened up another large range of original movies and television series. It has added something else we do together.
Where are you getting this critical writer's help? Let me know in the comments below.

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2 Comment:

At 8:51 AM, Blogger Linda M. Kurth Left a note...

Oh, my goodness, I could have written a similar post. My husband is my first reader as well as my grammar expert. He spent hours going over every line in my up-coming 60,000-word memoir. When it was ready for submission, he went back to work full-time partly to contribute financially to its publication. Even more importantly, he believes in my work and gives me his emotional support.

This is not to dismiss the critique groups I've been in. I greatly appreciate the members' feedback and support too. And then there's the local writers' association of which I'm a part. For me, it takes a village of mutual support.

At 10:52 AM, Blogger Terry Whalin Left a note...


Great to hear about your husband's support of your memoir and yes sometimes it does take a village of mutual support.



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