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Sharing with the partner/spouse

Two nights ago, hubby was reading over my shoulder as I tried to write…. he was like ‘Lissa huh?’

And I said ‘What are you doing!!! You don’t read, why are you reading? You’ve never shown an interest, why now?’ Thinking, of all the times to start reading my writing, why a first draft, as I try to write it… he should know by now that I can’t write when people are lurking around me. But he said he’d always been interested, he just doesn’t read a whole lot.

So, I calmed down and explained that I tend not to let people read first drafts, by people I mean non-writers, because let’s face it, non-writers pretty much expect anything you write to read like an actual published novel and all of us writers know thats simply not the case for a first draft, for most writers anyway.

Sigh…. so, I then began to kick myself. I’d scared him off when I finally got my opportunity to get him to read something. Not that he probably would have right then and there anyways, but he was broaching the topic and I’d all but shut him down… yeah, go me. I felt pretty lame about it, so then I started contemplating how I could open it up again and decided that I’d email him a short story. He doesn’t read on paper unless he has to, so anything on a screen is the best format.

And then I realized he’d never read it at work anyways, he’d keep getting interrupted and would never get back to it.

So the short story is open on my computer, sitting there, waiting for him to read it. I told him that if he’s interested in what I write, then he can read the story. It’s very short, it’s not a first draft. He didn’t read it last night, maybe tonight? I have to wonder whether he’ll ever actually read it. I guess we’ll see… and I’ll let you know what he says when he does! lol

I’ve always been okay about the fact that he’s not a reader. I have other friends and family members who will happily devour anything I write, so that need is filled. But it would be nice if he read something now and then… we shall see.

What about you? Does your spouse/partner read what you write? Do they talk about it with you? Give you feedback? Or are they not really that interested?

In other news, I’m sitting at 6262 words for Chasing Ascension. It’s going really smoothly and I am in awe at what my brain pulls up. I’m barely thinking about the novel, it’s just writing itself, my favourite kind of novel to participate in the writing of! I even have a character called Poncho, where the hell did that come from? lol he has multiple wives, none of whom speak English as a first language….

Anyways, I better sort some morning tea out for the girls and get on with the housework. Wonder what will crop up in the novel today? Interesting times indeed!

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27 thoughts on “Sharing with the partner/spouse”

  1. I had a good laugh as I read your post. My husband writes plays, which we read and discuss with enthusiasm and passion. On the other hand, he’s not much of a reader, so while I may talk to him about what I’m working on, I know he won’t read it. I used to take it personally until I started editing his late mother’s writings, and he didn’t read those, either. Yet he roots for me, applauds any book sales I have, and supports me financially while I work on projects and improve my skills. I think that’s pretty darn good.

    1. Yeah, hubby is always encouraging me and supporting me which is awesome. That’s so funny that you read his stuff but he doesn’t read yours! lol At least you’re okay about it, thats the main thing 🙂

  2. I haven’t got a partner or spouse, but if I did, I wouldn’t let them read a first draft unless it was a REALLY good one. First drafts are messy and personal and unless you have someone who really understands that (and I mean understands it on a core level, not ‘yes honey I get that ok?’), I’d stick to more polished stuff.

  3. Heh. My partner nags me for writing, discusses plots, reads what I write, gives detailed critique and then proofreads the final draft. And gets pissy if I don’t show her anything. And once asked for writing for Christmas.

    She’s the only non-writer I show my work to before it’s finished.

    I have the same thing with first drafts – in fact I rarely let anyone read them, partly because they’re often embarrassing, but also if they’re reading them for critique I don’t want them to focus on the glaring problems I know are there – I’d rather fix them and have them look for things I don’t know about.

    This probably sounds like bliss to you, and it’s really good to have someone who understands, even if our tastes don’t always correspond, but sometimes I can feel the pressure and angst about whether it’s good enough.

    1. you know, I think I’d prefer he didn’t read! lol that does sound like a bit of pressure indeed, though nice that she’s so into helping you create the best stuff you can 🙂

      I totally agree with you about first drafts in that sense, we tend to know whats wrong with them at that stage, it’s more important later on to hear about the stuff we’re not so clear on, when we’ve worked it up to where we can.

      1. Heh. I was semi-joking, particularly with the pissy bit – it’s all in good humour. And I nag her for painting (sample: “Paint me a lizard” “Okay, here’s ‘Chameleon on White Canvas'”) so it all balances out.

  4. Hubby also writes. We don’t read each other’s stuff, though. Could be touchy. 🙂 We do discuss a lot of writing problems at the dinner table — working through plot issues, worrying about this and that, getting each other over the melancholy “why do I do this again?” days, getting excited over things we think are neat.

  5. I too have this problem… whenever anyone is around, doesn’t matter who they are, I cannot write. This is part of my problem. If I’m writing something on the computer and someone is actively moving around behind me, I get this feeling as if they’re watching me, even if they’re not. Which pretty much renders me unable to write.

  6. My poor, extremely patient husband waited until I was entirely done with my first draft before pressing me for details…I didn’t tell him one thing about it, not even one character name, until it was finished. This was totally my decision, because he reeeeally wanted to know. I let him read the whole thing after that draft, and ever since, he’s been an incredibly valuable fountain of feedback and good thoughts. I made it clear that there would be inevitable loose ends and plot-holes, and that I was only looking for his opinion on the story, not the writing itself.

    I can’t stand it when people read over my shoulder, or watch me write from a few feet away, even if all I’m writing is a comment on a blog. 😉

    Good luck with your writing today! You’ve made awesome progress!

    1. Thanks 🙂
      That’s so great that your husband reads and gives you great feedback! And a very good idea to make it clear that the only opinion you need is on the story, not the writing when it is a first draft, a very good way to put it.

  7. Ha! I have 6 full first draft novels, all of which I have discussed with my wife, but she has never read one of them. She hasn’t even read any pieces of them, although I have read some stuff out loud to her.

    She doesn’t want to have to commit to reading a crappy novel – I can’t blame her. I would feel insulted if I ever got to a sellable novel, but for now, I know that first drafts always suck.

  8. Oh lord no. The spouse is a deadly adversary of the first draft! They get a few thousand words into it and you see their attention starting to wander, and you begin to think… oh God, what have I done wrong? If the wo/man I love can’t enjoy this story, why bother with the rest?

    Good luck with the NaNo, but I’d totally recommend locking the hubbie out of the house until December 🙂

    1. haha, I can’t lock him out, besides I’d miss him. But I don’t think he’ll read over my shoulder any more… I think the main problem lies in that the few minutes of the day Lauren doesn’t want to be on me, I want to use to write, and he wants to talk to me in… lol doesn’t work so well 😉

  9. Nope, mine doesn’t read. Has never shown the slightest interest in my work. Then one day we were out and about, and I hopped back into the car to find him reading the back of a map I had printed out on one of my first draft pages. (Recycling!)

    “You’re reading that?”
    “Yeah. It was really interesting. I wanted to read more.”

    Well there you go. But he’s never picked up anything else. Maybe I should leave more pages lying around the house…

  10. The Wife Unit reads every novel I write. I value her input, and her proofreading skills. I take her feedback and turn that into Draft Two, and that is what I send to beta readers.

    I could not do this without her help and assistance.

    You may all hate on me now. :-p

    1. She does sound like a super wife 🙂 I wonder if you were a chick, and she was the man would it be the same? It seems like in a lot of cases, it’s the men who aren’t so interested in reading and helping out. Hmm, things to ponder 😉

  11. My husband also writes and we always read each other’s stuff, usually the first draft as it’s being written. We tend to discuss what we’re writing with each other a lot and I really like having a sounding board to bounce ideas off if I’m thinking about something coming up in the story.

    We have a strong understanding of the need for encouragement and shared enthusiasm and general cheerleading first, and then the suggestions for improvements come later. It’s not like we expect first drafts to be perfect but you still have to be sensitive when you give feedback (well, if you’re living with the writer you do anyway :-))

    I can’t watch Matt reading my writing though. I have to go to another room while he’s reading it.

    1. I am exactly the same when someone else is reading my writing! I don’t want to be anywhere near where it’s happening lol.
      It’s great that you guys have such a great understanding and relationship around your writing 🙂

  12. Nop, my other half doesn’t read my stuff. I think he appreciates what I’m up to, but doesn’t really take too much of an interest in it. Having said that, writing isn’t really too much of a two person activity!

    I generally don’t ever let anyone read my first drafts. I get strange enough when people read my PUBLISHED stuff. Especially working in libraries and someone says ‘oh, yeah! I read that short story of yours, it’s really cool!’. I dunno. It just feels a bit strange.

    I’ll need to get over that eventually I guess 🙂

    1. haha yeah, I bet. Have yet to get published so I have no idea how I’ll respond to that!
      Writing isn’t so much a two person job, though it can be nice to have someone to bounce ideas off etc – I don’t think that person HAS to be your significant other though.

  13. I’m married to a non fiction only reader… 🙂 But he’s a big help when it comes to query letters, etc…

    Great word count!!

    It is hard when a non-reader wants a peek, because you’re right; they do think what falls first from fingers must be gold. I’d be interested to know if your hubby reads that short story, and what his thoughts about it were…

    1. I’ll let you know if he does! lol it’ll require a whole blog post of its own I think – momentous occasion and all hehe.

      I hadn’t thought of the query letter help thing, I bet Hubby would actually be pretty good with that too 🙂

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