Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Top 9 Ways to Support Your Writing Spouse

by Edie Melson

Kirk wrote the book on how to support a writing spouse!
I’m substituting for my husband today. He’s in Kansas City with his brother, who’s is critical condition because of his heart. All prayers are appreciated! I wish I was there with him, but someone needed to stay behind and take care of business here at home.

Today I wanted to share the top 9 ways to support your writing spouse. This isn’t really a post from what I wish had happened, but ways that Kirk has supported me—all without my prompting. Truthfully, I would not be where I am today without his constant encouragement, prayers, and support.
9. Let the writer talk it out with you—even when it makes no sense! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve solved a writing problem just by Kirk listening to me. There’s just something about working through a problem out loud that makes it easier to solve. It’s also so much easier to do when you’re not alone.

8. Share the successes. A big part of the reason I even have success is because of Kirk’s encouragement and it means so much when he celebrates with me.

7. Share the successes. No, this isn’t a repeat of the previous number. I mean shout those successes from the rooftop. When I had an article published, Kirk was on the phone to his family and friends, bragging about my success. Now that we’re both on social media, I catch him doing the same thing, and it means the world to me.

Become a cheerleader!
6. Become a cheerleader. I know what you’re thinking, I wish I could have gotten a picture of Kirk with pom-poms, too! But you’re just going to have to use your imagination. Trust me, Kirk is the best cheerleader there ever was. And this writing thing is, more times than not, won or lost in your mind. Kirk’s atta-girl encouragement has definitely made the difference between success and failure for me—many times.

5. Give your spouse the respect he/she deserves. Every writer is following a dream, and that’s a gutsy thing for anyone to do. They need to be respected for taking a chance and putting it all on the line.

4. Help your writing spouse find the time to write. I don’t care if your writer spouse is retired or a stay-at-home-mom, finding time to write is tough. Help them carve it out of the family schedule so they don’t have to add guilt to the load they’re carrying.

Become a gatekeeper.
3. Act as a gatekeeper. When I’m on deadline, and even when I’m not, I have certain times of the day blocked off to write. Kirk fields phone calls and runs interference for me during those times so I can be free to work.

2. Help your writing spouse find the money to improve their craft. This means helping with expenses for conferences, classes and organizations. I used to worry about spending family money on my dream, but Kirk gave me a different way to look at it. He told me that neither one of us would begrudge the other money to go back to college. And he said that was how he viewed my writing conference expenses. To him, that was my college, and as I became more successfully, my continuing education credits.

1. Follow your writer spouse’s blog. I don’t care if you ever comment, but surely you can keep up with what’s being written. This is a big deal. I talk to writers almost every day who are amazed and just a tad bit jealous that Kirk follows my blog—without me ever needing to ask him to!

Now I’d like to hear from you. How has your spouse supported you? How would you like for them to support you?

Don’t forget to join the conversation!


  1. My husband Rob does more than read my blog -- he looks over it before I schedule it. I always feel better after he's read through he because he often catches something I missed -- like that missing "the".

  2. Edie, this is a great post. The one about being a cheerleader hit home with me. I thank God everyday that I have friends like you cheering me on in this dream of writing. But it would really be nice if my family cheered me on in this. Love you, sweet friend and cheerleader!

  3. As disappointed as I am that there's no picture of Kirk with pom-poms... :)

    I'm very thankful to say my hubby hits each of these out of the ballpark. I would only add that our husband's prayers for us as we write and for God to receive much glory from every piece is one of the greatest ways anyone can support us -- especially our hubbies.

    Thank you, Edie. Kirk's brother is in my prayers.

  4. I am truly blessed to have a supportive husband. He has done quite a few of these for me. He reads my blog, sends me to conference at least once a year (my favorite way he supports me), celebrates my successes, and (when I'm on deadline and need to focus in hard) will send me to the coffee shop or keep the kids far from my desk. :) I thank God for his support. I couldn't do this without it.

  5. Looks like my husband gets an A+ for being my biggest coach, cheerleader, and all-around fan!
    Barb Winters

  6. Edie, this is so true. We all need a cheerleader, a supporter, an encourager, an editor who cares what we put out there BEFORE we post it.

    My husband (like Beth's) reads every post before I put it on my blog and every article before I submit it. It helps to hear him read it out loud. Wherever he stumbles, I know that's a place I need to fix. He's also honest with his feedback, which hasn't always gone over well with me, but he's looking out for my best interest as a writer. I'd rather hear it from him that a post needs more work than to have him say "It's all good" when it's not.