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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Significant Others

I had a discussion with a few of my peers and we talked about what kind of support (if any) we get from our significant others.

Greg is good about reading short stories, or one or two chapters from a novel. He's great at picking out scientific discrepancies or discussing battle strategy. But you can hear crickets sing, waiting for him to finish one of my novels.

My peers told similar stories. Their mates were supportive in small and visible means, but it's not the kind of support we (as writing peers) give each other.

If one of my CPs told me that s/he had a sudden request for a partial/full, I will drop everything to read that manuscript as quickly as I can. Time is of the essence when you get a request and a different pair of eyes helps mightily. They've done the same for me time and time again.

We brainstorm queries, exchange information about agents and publishers, and share our disappointments and happy dances. Since very few of my CPs live close to me, we do all this entirely through email. We are the closest friends, and yet we've NEVER met.

It's painful for us when our significant others don't regard our work as importantly as we do. It makes us feel that if the person whose opinion we trust most in the whole world isn't interested in it, how can anyone else be interested? But after careful consideration I think that's mixing apples and oranges.

We, as writers are examining our work at a near molecular level. We're analyzing for character, plot and pacing. They're not. They're just reading, and it could be they’re reading something that is not their normal reading fare.

So even if they wanted to offer critical advice, they couldn't, unless they too were writers. (and how often does that happen?)

As much as I'd like Greg to gobble up every word I write, he does so much more on a very intrinsic level. He may not understand a thing about the subjective nature of the publishing industry, but he understands my subjective nature. He gives me space when I need it, and protective arms around me when I don't.

That's a good trade.


Please welcome Rochita Loenen-Ruiz to my blogroll. Rochita has two blogs and she writes about writing in both. Check them out.


Heather B. Moore said...

I think only writers understand how important it is to connect, help each other, critique one another's manuscripts, etc. My husband reads my books only after they're published. But he's great at telling everyone about them. His support comes in other ways--like taking the kids when I go to critique group. I rely heavily on my writer friends to help me turn out good manuscripts. I think I need the moral support at home and literary support elsewhere.

Maria Zannini said...

He sounds like a great guy!

Knowing someone's in your corner is the best feeling of all.