Well, it’s March 16th, my normal day of the month for posting here at Novel Spaces.
As it happens, today also is my 21st wedding anniversary, so I hope you’ll indulge me a bit here, as it seemed appropriate to remember the role my wife plays when it comes to my writing. Simply put? I couldn’t do it without her.
Those of you who know me know that writing is not my full-time job. I have one of those, too, doing something else for a company I won’t name, and I write “on the side.” What that means is that I write whenever and wherever an opening presents itself: In the morning before the workday starts, at lunch, in the evening after the kids are in bed, with the odd escape to the library or a coffee shop one night a week or on Saturday morning. Exploiting those fleeting opportunities is a critical component of meeting my various writing deadlines. Muse? What muse? Muse is a fickle bastard, and I can’t afford to wait around until he feels like gracing me with his presence. Go away, Muse; you bother me.
When I’m neck deep in a project, it’s not uncommon for me to write from 9:30 or 10:00 in the evening until 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning. During the week, I’m rolling out of bed around 6:30 or so, helping get the kids ready for school and my own self ready for work. I don’t have a “9 to 5” job, so there’s no telling how long any particular work day will be, and if I’m on a writing schedule then I usually have to hit some kind of word quota before I can head to bed and do the whole thing again the next day.
There’s simply no way I could pull off all of that without my wife.
It wasn’t always like that. Uh-uh. In the beginning, when I was writing but not selling anything, things were different. While she didn’t think I was wasting my time, I sometimes got a vibe that she might believe what I was doing was more hobby than possible secondary vocation. I honestly can’t blame her for that, as even when I started to sell stories, several of them were Star Trek tales to Pocket Books. While there was some money involved, it was still...you know...Star Trek, that TV show you watched when you were eight years old, playing with action figures and building models and all of that. Still, she gave me my space and let me do my thing.
We both had to learn to reprioritize and find a new balance after our kids came along. That obviously took some adjustments, but in short order we once again were running on all cylinders. In addition to both of us working and raising the kids, my wife has her own extracurricular pursuits, in that she volunteers as a search and rescue K-9 handler. It’s an activity requiring lots of time spent training on weekends and maybe the odd evening during the week, to say nothing of being called out on actual searches. She devotes as much of her “spare time” to that noble endeavor as I do my writing. To make it all work, we get each other’s backs, just as we always have.
So, in honor of our anniversary, this one’s for my better half, my biggest cheerleader, the one who keeps me well-fed and loved, and without whom I could sling not a single word.