35 days to launch…
It’s terrifying. I don’t say that lightly. I mean it’s literally heart-pounding, anxiety-provoking, terror-inducing. I don’t know how I’ve managed to get this far, and the only reason I keep moving forward is because of this weird compulsion to publish. Somehow, the work just isn’t complete until it’s “out there,” and I have to get it out there, out of my head, off my back.
It’s easier if I don’t think about it much–if I just do it. If I just focus on the next task in front of me–get back on Goodreads, tweet something, make a webpage, etc. Just one thing. And then the next thing–write 1000 words of something, edit something, do some worldbuilding…
Whatever I do, I’m under strict orders from my own brain not to think about any of it.
I’m giving myself till the end of the year to get some traction with this writing thing. I don’t expect profits or sales. That’s not what I mean. I’m talking about general forward momentum–a consistent schedule, a reasonable amount of balance in my life, some stories on submission and/or accepted somewhere, maybe another novel or novella (or both) published or at least written… And if I have time and inclination, I’ll pursue some copywriting again. If nothing else, it will fund the fiction habit.
But if I haven’t got that forward momentum by the end of December, I’ll have to look for a real job. I don’t relish that thought, but it’s time. The kids are old enough to function quite a lot on their own. I’ll be taking on a much smaller volunteer role next year at AHG. And I’m not exactly unskilled–I’ve done quite a bit of administrative stuff that I could do again. I was an Executive Assistant to several different execs in the 90s. It’s good work when you have a good boss (which I did). So I could do that sort of thing again…
In any case, the point of this blog is this: none of this stuff would be possible without my husband.
This has been a long, tough road for him, too, and he has never wavered in his support of me. He holds me accountable. He pushes me when necessary and backs off when it’s obvious he should. When I went dark and unpublished everything, he just let me do what I needed to do–walk the dark spiritual path I needed to walk.
Honestly, I didn’t expect his support when I wanted to go back. He had every right to say, “no, honey. I can’t take the roller coaster anymore. Find another way to make money and feed your spirit. This is too much.”
But he didn’t.
He said, “finally! I knew you’d go back.”
(Sometimes I hate him just a little bit.)
We have some really big expenses coming up. The financial pressure is on. I need an income. It’s tough to be a reasonably intelligent, reasonably skilled, reasonably independent woman and not have an income. It’s not that I don’t work–I raise kids, I volunteer, and I attempt to keep the house mostly non-toxic. Sometimes I cook. I spend about 2.5 hours in the car every day, too, hauling kids to and from school. I have a lot to do, clearly.
But we need another income, and I could provide that.
I feel that pressure–I do. I feel like a mooch, like I should be producing an income. I tell my husband this–I tell him that my writing is a waste of time, and shouldn’t I be doing freelance copywriting or looking for a real grown-up job? Because writing fiction isn’t going to cut it. I’m never going to make money from it.
And you know what he says?
“I think you should try it.”
(He’s such a pain in the ass.)
(I mean, isn’t this what women want from men? Supportive, encouraging, pushing us toward our dreams and goals?)
So here I am, trying it one more time.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s certainly been encouragement from a lot of friends and fans, too. And I’m certainly grateful for all the encouragement. But the truth is that I couldn’t do this if the hubs weren’t supportive. He has to live with me, and I have to live with him, and we’re in this thing together with kids and dog and house and finances and cars and jobs and all that other stuff… So if he didn’t want me to write and publish, I’d have a pretty hard time doing it.
But that’s not how it is.
And yesterday, when I said “if I’m going to give this one more shot, I’m going to have to put more time into it,” he said, “yes, you should.”
So there’s that.
This is a thing that not every writer has. Not every writer can brag that his/her spouse is even mildly interested in the writing, much less supportive or encouraging. I have this blessing–this tremendous boon–that can’t be quantified. My husband supports and encourages me to write. It’s not his genre, and he definitely loses out on time with me, but he supports it anyway. He puts up with messes and fast food meals and the general crazy-making that comes with living with me because he thinks I’m good at it and can eventually make a living at it.
That’s an enormous and uncommon thing.
We just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. 25 years. And we knew each other for eight years before we married. For 33 years, this guy has been supporting my dreams (and occasionally acting as a thorn in my side). Maybe he’s just so used to it that it’s his default setting now.
In any case, I know how good I’ve got it. And I’m not going to squander that support anymore.
Once more unto the breach…