Tuesday, September 29, 2015

9 Ways to Support Your Writing Spouse

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Kirk wrote the book on how to support your writing spouse!
Today I wanted to share 9 ways to support your writing spouse. Writing is a tough industry, and the support of a spouse can be the difference between success and failure.

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 Ways to Support Your Writing Spouse

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.
4. 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.

6. 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.
7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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. This is a great article. My husband did not realize the seriousness of my writing until last week when I was awarded a book contract. I sign today. (cartwheel, flip, flip, and big smile) Our plan is to have a sign to let him know that I am deep into my writing. He works from home and like talk.
    The sign will keep feelings from getting hurt.

  2. Those are wonderful thoughts I can identify with because my husband supports me in all those same ways. Even though I don't have a published book yet, I do spend money on conferences, webinars, books, and spend time going to meetings. I keep telling him I couldn't write if he wasn't supporting me. He thinks he doesn't do that much, but it does make a big difference. Also, congrats to Cherrilynn in the above comment for her book contract!

  3. Love this. I agree with them all, but number one really struck a chord. Because, like you said, it's different than just running through it with ourself. Our spouse provides the human element that makes us work harder to sell the story and we catch the inconsistencies as they come out of our mouths, or when the glazed-look of confusion crosses their face. My husband is a huge supporter of my writing. Recently a piece I wrote came out in Chicken Soup for the Soul and I feared what others would think. My husband's so proud and he stops me each time. "If someone doesn't like it, that's their issue."

    I'm amazed with the piece you wrote because my husband is the one who offered the money for a class I only dreamed of taking. He feels this is my dream and my passion and he believes in me.

    Great post and I hope everyone finds a support person for their dreams. Spouses are ideal, but friends, parents, siblings, other writers all count.

    CONGRATULATIONS on your book contract, Cherrilynn! How exciting. WooHoo!

  4. Great read - and long overdue. My spouse has supported me in the ways mentioned PLUS she has gone with me to do recon and interviews at the setting of my story. And when we drive to that or any new area, she keeps a log of unusual street, road, and neighborhood names for possible use. And she takes pictures of areas that might be described in a book.

  5. This is a wonderful post. I'm blessed with a partner who does all of these things.I shared the post with him and he was very appreciative.

  6. Edie, great job. I'm printing this out for guess who? And I'm sharing it, too.

    Hugs, Elva Cobb Martin, Pres. ACFW-SC Chapter www.elvamartin.com

  7. Just the other day my hubby told another writer's husband he would like to have a meeting for the spouses so they can joke about what it is like to be married to a writer. It can be challenging for sure. I've been trying to educate my husband that my job isn't 9-5 and that social media is part of that job. He's learning! I forward this blog. Thanks. :)

  8. I'm must be one of the few who has a spouse who doesn't really understand. He supports me in other things, but I struggle to dance around my writing and explain the process in ways that will help him be more supportive. I think some non-writing husbands find it difficult to see how important it is to have time and seemingly endless funds to see this dream to reality, especially if they are not even readers or interested in the literary world. This is a great post to start some dialogue...again.

  9. It's been a long haul for me, and without my husband's support, it wouldn't have been possible.Kudos to him and other supportive husbands!