Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Spouse's Survival Guide to Being Married to a Writer...


Aaron on top of the Matterhorn
Today, I'm privileged to have my cute hubby do a guest post. He's sort of this eccentric--funny--hard working--rock-climbing genius, who I'm totally in love with, and I'm excited to share him with you. He's here to share his thoughts on being a spouse of a writer:



Do you qualify as a writer's spouse? Please use the following criteria to diagnose your current condition. "You might be married to a writer if … "

***If your spouse tells you they have work to do and then they get on twitter, Facebook, or start blogging.

***Your spouse jumps out of bed in the middle of the night and runs out of the bedroom … you don’t worry because you know they are just going to write down some story idea.  

***You have argued about plots, synonyms, or people who don’t exist.

***While reading a book, your spouse constantly tells you how much better of a writer they are and there is no good reason why they can’t be published. 

***Receiving an email from an “Agent” makes your spouse SO happy that you begin to question whether marriage or the births of your children are at the top of the list for greatest days lived. 

***Your time to connect as spouses during the day is spent discussing more about the latest WIP (whatever that stands for?) than anything else. 

***Your annual family vacation includes a weekend stop at a writer’s conference. 

***You have to remind your spouse to do things like bathe, eat, pick up their clothes, do their laundry, or wash their dishes. 

Ok, come on writers, don’t be offended, I needed to hook your spouse somehow. If they are at all like me and still reading this post then it's probably the most blogging they have ever done. Pssst Congratulations spouse! 

I hope that the following 3 easy-to-follow guidelines will make your life better. As the spouse of a writer, I have made some dumb mistakes and hope that you may benefit from my missteps.

The Spouse’s Survival Guide to Being Married to a Writer

Steps 1-3 

  • When your spouse says things like; “This is too hard, I want to give up, why am I doing this?” They are not looking for you to agree with them. Just listen; they have had a hard day. Do things that make them feel better; like a night out on the town, an act of service, a favorite treat. Advising them to give up or to focus more on their pastels and paints will backfire! When they are sad they want someone to be sad with them, they are not looking for you to solve this problem. I repeat they are not looking for you to solve this problem, exclamation! Time will heal this wound and they will be knee deep in character development, pacing, and correcting passive voice before you know it. 

  • When they interrupt your television program to ask you about synonyms, characters, or plots, press pause on the DVR and listen. Don’t worry we will get you back to Person of Interest or The Mentalist in just a second. Give your spouse some of your genuine ideas, your spouse will quickly dismiss them as the most idiotic notions they have ever heard and tell you to return to your program. Don’t be offended by this, just smile and understand this is part of the creative process. Sometimes they really don’t want your ideas at all and just need to talk out loud for a minute.  

  • Remember this is their dream. It’s what they think about when they have nothing to think about (and sometimes when they have much else they should be thinking about). I have found great joy and liberation in supporting my wife’s dreams and goals. If I had to get a second job to pay for a writer’s conference or professional edit, she knows I would do it, because I love her. If this dream is never to come to fruition then let reality kill this dream, don’t you be a dream killer. This is the love of your life, to have and to hold … to support no matter what. I know I am no marriage expert and nothing qualifies me to give advice. However, after 10 years of marriage I have learned that when one spouse has a dream that it takes a combined effort for that dream to be accomplished. Heaven knows Morgan has stood by me for some really crazy dreams  I have had and never once did she try to kill it, and I am happy to return the support. 

A note to all Writers: On behalf of your spouse can I just say: We love you! We love your creativity and passion. It's part of the reason we fell in love with you in the first place. We are your biggest support! And though the trenches of real life may mask how profoundly proud we are of your efforts, we ask you to give us the benefit of the doubt, and remember the good moments during tough times. 

Oh, and when you get published (notice I did not say “IF”) you better darn well dedicate your first book to the spouse, maybe it can say something like:  

“Dedicated to my loving and supportive spouse, without whom life would be meaningless, food would have no taste, and breathing would be without joy. This adventure and success celebrates us both, I could not have done it without you.”

 Yeah, I think that would just about cover it. You can dedicate all your subsequently published books to old English professors, distant aunts, and other inspirations. The first one belongs to the spouse! 

Did any spouses make it through this entire thing? If so, below are text boxes where you can leave comments. Or you can just write “AMEN!” and then tell your writer spouse that for reading an entire blog post they begged you to read that you deserve a day at the golf course with the boys, lunch out with the girls, or to finally give you that foot rub promised way back when they started that last WIP (whatever that stands for?).   
------------

Thanks, babe! (I think?) Personally, I think that me being a writer drives him to do mad things like this:

And this:









Or this:


But heh, we all need to have our own "outlet" right? And I personally would rather be safe behind a keyboard... 


Red. Head. Out. :D 

74 comments:

  1. Hahahahaha! I am so getting my hub to read this. It's so true...all of it. I love that he did a guest post and laid it all out there. Your hub is awesome and so are you. I love this method of relieving stress.

    Have you done much rock climbing with him? I went skydiving with my hub back in September and it was a super fun couple thing to do. Just wondered!

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  2. Fun read.. now I feel a need to go workout or something. :/

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  3. OMG that was so funny and spot on, lol! I really loved this on so many levels... Your hubby rocks Morgan. :D

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  4. This is brilliant! I'm pretty sure my mum can relate to this too ;)

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  5. Ha ha ha ha ha ha! You guys sound like you have the cutest relationship ever! I love it :) And I totally agree - the first book gets dedicated to the spouse! I'll make sure Brad reads this since you know, he actually *knows* Aaron. And btw, those pictures are crazy. Like crazy crazy. *mind boggled*

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  6. Without even asking, I know Hubby would recognise almost all of this. But - to be fair - he's a musician, so I have to put up with half of that stuff myself, especially around 'album writing time'!

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  7. Too funny! I don't plan on ever getting married, but should some guy trick me into it, I will definitely pass this along. :)

    P.S. I've always been convinced that your husband is Spiderman. This cements that theory.

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  8. Nice Pecs.
    Wait.
    Was there a post here??
    KIDDING!!
    Now I've just maybe embarrassed you and your husband, lol.

    Mike is this EXACT same way. he's slowly learned all of these things, too. But MAN It's hard for guys to NOT try and fix, and they really need to not try and fix, lol. But yeah - first book was dedicated to him, as well as a couple others... I will be waiting to see what your dedication reads like, Morgan ;-)

    GREAT POST.

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  9. Awesome post! I'm going to have my wife read this and I have the strange feeling she'll just nod her head and laugh :)

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  10. That was pure awesome! And I'm not just talking about the photos.

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  11. What a great idea for a post. Your hubs rocks and I don't mean his rock hard abs. haha

    And I love ya, Morgs! Keep your dream alive and you'll get there!

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  12. Excellent post. He does know who he married and you definitively are a writer, Morgan. No doubt of it. If I would have a spouse, they would be friends already. ;)

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  13. Your hubby is an absolute sweety! And wow, talk about form on the cliff face!

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  14. This was an awesome post! Yay for married couples who support each other's obsessions! This all sounded very familiar. I support my husband's marathon running and all the training that goes with it, and he supports my writing endeavors and all the insanity that goes with that. It's a trade off. :)

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  15. LOVED this!! Gosh, can I (he) identify with this post. LOL. I heard something today from author Jonathan Maberry. He said, writers, readers, and book people are a whole different species. I bet your husband would agree. I know mine would.

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  16. OMG OMG OMG OMG!!! Hubby, thank you so much for the awesome truth. I'll show this to hubby tonight (after he gets home from watching Supercross)

    By the way, my arms and abs are tired just looking at those photos. Amazing.

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  17. Haha! I'm sending this to my husband right now. This is so hilarious (and true!)

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  18. This is hilarious and awesome! I'm tired just looking at those pictures.... Might take a nap now. Zzzzzzz. (This was one of my favorite posts, after your Writer Journey ones where you revealed what sparked your passion for writing :D)

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  19. That was amazing and funny, Aaron. I envy you those abs and arms. Like Julie wrote: my abs and arms hurt from just looking at those pictures! You are a great writer in your own write, ah, right. :-)

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  20. Hey Aaron,

    That was awesome and I'm forwarding this to my better half... I'm sure there will be a lot of head-nodding and "See, that's what I'm talking abouts :)

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  21. Aaron,

    I love the "You know you're married to a writer if..." section. I couldn't agree more, the first 19 times I heard WIP I didn't understand the conversation, by 30 I finally started to get it, now I'm good.

    Also, love the Oly pajamas on that picture, you and Van Alphen were crazy good at that stuff. Hope you can still do that after 13 years.

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  22. OMG your hubby is as awesome as you are. Just how much awesomeness will your kids inherit?!!

    Thank you for the laugh.

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  23. Head nods while reading the entire post. Loved it!

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  24. This is freaking awesome!!!! Brilliant idea to get your man involved, Morgan. He's sooo right! This is exactly how life is at my house. I can't wait for my husband to read this. Good job, Arron!!! If I ever have trouble w/my guy, I'm getting your number from Morgan, so he can call you, and you can set him straight, lol. Hand claps, fist pumps, and a big whoot-whoot, to you for supporting Morgan. I haven't known her for long, but I can tell she's a rare gem, so I'm glad she has a husband who supports her dreams. :)

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  25. Hahahahaha! Read this out loud to hubby. Hilarious. And so very very true.

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  26. Hilarious! I need to show my wife. I think a couple items will hit home.
    And I can hold my body straight like in the last photo! Well, maybe not quite. But close!

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  27. Go Aaron! Love the post......totally made me laugh :) It's kind of funny though, whenever Morg talks to me and I give her ideas she thinks they are awesome and tends to use them.....so maybe she should dedicate the book to me??? After all I am her MC and her (I quote) "inspiration"...just a thought ;)................. BAHAHAHAHA! JUST KIDDING!!! Seriously I love how much you support her. I'm so glad she has you! Can't wait to see you guys next week :)Hmmmmm...I think I'll go take a second/third look at those picsnow...Mmmmm hmmmm ;)

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  28. This was hilarious. Your husband is awesome and definitely deserves a dedication. Those photos were sick! Awesome post.

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  29. Great post! Funny too.Your hubby is a champion!

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  30. this is probably the most he's ever blogged and had to ask for lots of help doing the post, right?? was he chicken pecking the keys?? mine does, in fact, he doesn't even know how to attach a file to an email! for shame, i know! i was slightly let down that there was no circus act with knife throwing blurbs in there, but due to the humor and then twist to the support...i can easily forgive! give your man kudos, he did good, really good!!!

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  31. this is so so so awesome! so awesome! and now you'll have to use that dedication on your book. You just have to!!!

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  32. Hi Morgan - he's fit .. I'm not sure what else you're asking the poor chap to do??!! Oh yea .. a few kids later - there'll be some work and some fun times ...

    It's lurve, lurve, lurve ... and you're just buttering him up for Valentine's Day - so soon!!

    If a hubby doesn't get it .. then boy it's hard rock face to climb .. but it does sound as though you have a keeper -especially if he actually gets on the keyboard and posts ..

    Congratulations Morgan's hubby - enjoy that Game tonight .. and life in general - and here's to success as an authoress ... cheers Hilary

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  33. My vacations have to be devoid of all writing. Wifey and the kids demand it. We don;t take cell phones or ipads or laptops. We are completely free of electronic communications. Weird, I know.

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  34. Well, I'm a writer and my husband is a writer, so this was good advice for us both :)

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  35. anyone married to a writer was crazy and interesting to begin with because thats why the writer chose them, plenty of material for books!

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  36. Awesome. That's all. Just. Awesome.

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  37. ...truly adorable post, Morgan! I'll be showing this to my wife, who's been dealing with my "writerly" antics for twenty years ;)

    El

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  38. Is it wrong that I'm planning our family vacation around tours of coal-mines and old coal towns? Whatever, we're still going. I'm sure there will be a pool at the hotel.

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  39. I will abstain from any references to Aaron's abs, but wanted to jump in the convo and say this was a brilliant post from both of you! Aaron's so witty in person, it's fun to see him immortalized in writing. But my favorite part was his utter support of you. So awesome. Fave quote: "Let REALITY be the dream killer, not you." That should be cut in vinyl and put over your bathroom toilet. ;)

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    1. Oh come on Kris....you know you were staring just as much as the rest of us ;) Haha! Will you make me one of those vinyl toilet things???? Or maybe we should start a tradition and have a girls craft night!

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  40. What a great hubby. Yeah, it's safer to be behind a keyboard.

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  41. Great post! So did he end up in the water in the canoe picture? That's pretty cool.

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  42. I'm laughing so hard said spouse is wondering what the heck is going in here (where I'm theoretically "working"!). Totally sending it to him :)

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  43. Bookmarking this to share with my wife tonight! Thanks for sharing your perspectives, Aaron--though I feel obliged to offer you a a Prozac or something. Is it really that bad? (Don't answer that...) :-D

    Btw, how do you have rotator cuffs left after doing that stuff?!

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  44. Morgan, now this is what I think:
    Your hubby obviously loves you like, well, more than a lot!
    He's understanding, supportive, loyal, has a sense of humour and a piece of body that rocks! I mean, come on, not even Stallone in Cliffhanger! And that thing he does on the boat, Bruce Lee did in "The Game of Death".
    You're so damn lucky!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    P.s. Ah, yeah, a little side note. That thing he does on the boat, I can do it too!
    And also the pull-ups at the strings!
    And one-hand push-ups on two fingers!
    And push-ups while doing the vertical!
    And I can do the split (not the lateral one).
    Ok, can't climb mountains (got vertigo), but can your hubby do the flip and somersault? Eh? Can he?
    He can't!!!!!

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  45. Is your hubby a gymnast? That's awesome.

    I'm not a writer spouse. I'm actually the one that's a pain in the ass to be around. I'm also the provider/breadwinner. Makes for lots of stress!

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  46. Ha! I knew this was going to be good as soon as I saw the title. Woot!!! :D

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  47. Ok, listen, I was just jealous.
    But I didn't lie on everything, I swear. When I said I can't climb mountains because I have vertigo, I was honest!!

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  48. I love, love, love this! :) Your husband is hilarious :) and so amazing and supportive- he clearly loves you. Thank you for sharing this with us- will have to beg spouse to read :)

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  49. This post is SUPER awesome. I laughed the whole time. I'm like another person that commented. My husband is a musician so we do a lot of those things to each other.

    What a great team you guys make. ;0)

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  50. You have one wonderful husband! Being married to a writer likely does make things interesting and if I ever marry I hope my husband will be as understanding about all my odd quirks.

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  51. Best blog post. EVER. My husband needs to read this ASAP. There's someone out there who understands!!!

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  52. I have been so busy I have been a horrible blogger...but I got an inbox message from Celeste Holloway that basically said get your fanny to Morgan's blog!!!! Read the post. Well, I did as I was told and I am now forwarding to my husband. Maybe they can start a support group to deal with our insanity?

    Great post Mr. Shamy!

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  53. Hey Morgan the Red. Great day to swing by...hubby's post was cute. And TRUE. And quite supportive. You're lucky. :o)

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  54. More pictures please (and make sure they are higher resolution) you know...for everyone else's appreciation (not because I put pics of hot guys on my iPad or anything).

    *slinks off...

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  55. That was AWESOME! My wife is gonna love it. You had me rolling. Thanks for the laugh and support!

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  56. This is one of the best (and sweetest) posts ever. :D What a great spouse!

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  57. I love this post! YOU do have a great spouse and I do recognize a few of those characteristics-yikes! lol

    I love the sentiment in this fun to read post! Great job :D

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  58. I love this post so, so much. I need to get my significant other to read this. He'll be all "That's exactly what it's like!"

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  59. Love love love this post! Glad someone's finally written a guide like this. You have an amazing spouse and it's obvious he loves you a lot!

    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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  60. This deserves a tweet and a forward to my hubby. He needs to know he's not going through this alone.

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  61. Hey, Aaron,

    I REALLY enjoyed your post! I needed a good laugh today. You poor guy. I had no idea what poor spouses go through during the writer's journey.

    You are both VERY lucky to have found each other at such a young age. You two are just the GREATEST couple!

    Hugs, Guys....

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  62. *clapping clapping clapping* now if I could get my hubby to read a blog this would all come together! This was the perfect post and really had me smiling and laughing out loud all the way through! You guys are a match made in heaven!

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  63. Cute post, Morgan. Now that I've met you both, this has even more meaning. You are an adorable couple! Way to make it work. :)

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  64. Our poor spouses.. . Really enjoyed seeing his view of things. Maybe I'll give those survival points to my hubby ;)

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  65. As a spouse of a female writer, AMEN!

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  66. Awww...he sounds like a terrific guy!

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  67. Going to email this to my husband. I think he couldn't agree more. The upside of being married to crazy writer girl is, well, you get to be married to crazy writer girl!

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  68. Fantastic! Must get MY spouse to read it too!
    PS - Realized today that I haven't visited your blog in a while. Sorry it's been so long!

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