Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Staring blindly at the dark . . .
   & refusing to listen to the voices

~ ~ ~

My hubby isn't a reader, and we hardly ever talk about my writing. He doesn't read my published short stories. We don't brainstorm together. I don't share hopes, desires, fears. He doesn't cheerlead or nay-say.

Img from Nankurunasia
He is supportive. He loves giving me time and space to write. But it makes me wonder. . . .

So I asked him straight-out: "Do you think I'll succeed? Do you hope so? Or are you afraid to say anything, the same way I'm afraid to say anything to you? Because talking about it might jinx it?"

He said, "I do want you to succeed. But there're so many writers out there -- good writers, too, I guess -- who try and try and just don't get anywhere. I don't want that to be you."

When your own dark voices suddenly manifest from the lips of someone you love, what do you do?


  1. Do what you love. If it turns out that you and your husband can't both do what you love and still support yourselves, then figure that out asap and figure out how you're going to fix it. Perhaps you get to do what you love for 10 years and then if you don't make it big enough, transition to support while he does what he loves for 15 years. Maybe you'll need to switch to writing as a hobby. But the voices aren't dark - your title is right and your final sentence misattributes the darkness. If the future is dark then you want to know the future is dark, if the future is not dark then you want to know the future is not dark.

    Feel like you're heading for extraordinary success, plan like you're probably not.

  2. wow Lora I think you should follow your instinct, you are the only one who knows what is best for you and what is your purpose in life. Mothers can be wrong, spouses can be wrong, when it comes to you...follow your instinct.
    All the great ones had their doubts, I am sure sooner or later you will be one of them...
    There is something about you...

  3. I know how you feel--except my husband still thinks this writing thing is just a hobby >_>

    In any case, I think it's okay that he's uncertain. We're all a bit uncertain. The fact that we continue regardless shows how dedicated we are. But, and here's where I sound like hallmark card, as long as you believe in yourself, that's all that matters!

  4. You keep on keepin' on, that's what you do.

    I totally understand where you're coming from. My husband is pretty much a clone of yours, though he does urge me to persevere. But still, he won't read my novel or my blog and he doesn't really seem interested when I talk about my book. But he's there for me, especially on days like today when I received another rejection of my full ms, and it was very close call.

    So even though I know he's not personally interested, he is vested, and that's enough for now.

    Now for the big question: Of course you doubt yourself. What writer doesn't? And it doesn't help that your husband isn't jumping through hoops for you. But, how would you feel if you were to just quit, stop writing, give it all up? Would you be happier? I doubt it.

    You're a writer. It's what you do. It's who you are. Dark voices and all. And sometimes, it's those same dark voices that whisper stories into your ear. So embrace them then push them at arms length.

  5. It sounds like he's speaking out of love and fear - love because he wants to protect you. Fear that you may get hurt (and perhaps how that might affect the mood around the house). I think his response is relatively normal - at least not abnormal.

    As for what happens - how does each of us measure success? And is it written in stone? Our goal one day may morph completely on another - we are such resilient beings and often I think are psyches instinctively know what to wish for.

    But - ;O) I think you'll make it.

  6. Totally agree with Nancy.

    My husband is the same and to be honest if he had said anything different then I wouldn't have believed him. He doesn't know if I'm a good writer and so how will he know? Who DOES know? He was just being honest and at least I know he'll be honest when he does read something.

    Finally, even if you don't make it now and you could become famous and massive after your death (like Van Gogh) would you still write?

  7. Find another cheerleader! Hubby can't be all things for us all the time (mine has never read word one of mine either) so we find others to fill the holes. Especially cheerleader. Every writer needs a good cheerleader. Otherwise, it gets pretty dark pretty fast. Don't give up!

  8. My hubby's like that.

    And I know there are many writers out there who don't get anywhere, but I think it's just because they give up at some point. I mean I TRULY believe that saying:
    A professional writer is an amateur who never gave up.
    I REALLY, REALLY believe it! <3

  9. Wow, so much encouragement!! Thank you guys.

    Honestly, I was only feeling down for a few hours - ha! I guess it did come out pretty bleak, didn't it?

    I just wanted to relay the story. I thought I was in the minority, being rather cut off from local cheerleaders ;) Turns out, most of your writing journeys are similar. It's nice to know that.

    @Guy But we can't know the future... Smart planning, then, and meanwhile keeping the ego upbeat?

  10. I have the same relationship with my hubby. He's great but not a reader.
    I've made my peace with this possibility bc I honestly can't STOP writing. Really. I put off jumping into the publication pool for years to avoid swimming with the sharks. But the question of failure doesn't scare me anymore. I am who I am. I'd rather die trying than live life too chicken to take the dive.

  11. Lora,

    Yes, it's true. There are many good writers out there who try and try and nothing happens, but there are also MANY WRITERS WHO MAKE IT. And they're not geniuses. They're just persistent.

    Remember, there will always be readers and if all aspiring writers think "why bother?" and everyone gives up because it's too hard, then what are people going to read? What movies and TV shows are they going to watch? Current published authors can only live so long, ha! Writers are more important than people think ;)