Sep 12, 2012

Building the Support System

Several of you commented on my last post that you had lots of support from home but some of you don't (SORRY!!!).  But as I have been thinking about this, I thought of a few ways to get support.

First, my husband is incredibly supportive.  He wants me to chase my passion, chase my dreams and is willing to help with whatever to get there.  I am very very aware that I am fortunate in this and I express my gratitude as often as I remember, which is never often enough.  

Second, while he is super supportive now, it took a little while for him to come around and that was because it took me a while to come around.  I would talk about wanting to write, talk about the great book ideas I had and get annoyed/frustrated when they weren't getting done, but when I had the down time to write, I didn't.  And for a while, I wanted to put the blame on him for not taking the kids to let me write, but I really didn't do the work to deserve that support and he never deserved he blame.

Third, once I expressed AND showed this was a passion, he stepped in. But my job is to be careful to use the writing time as writing time (step away from Pinterest) and save husband time for husband time.   This takes discipline and sometimes is the hardest part, because I want to make excuses about how I need to this or that.  Most of the time, however, I didn't utilize the time I set aside for writing well enough to justify cutting into my husband's time with me.  And I can't expect a support system to stay in place if I am always cheating time away.

That goes for kids too.  If I tell my kids I will be somewhere, help with something, I'd better do it.  Period.

How have you learned to nurture the support system at your house?  Any suggestions for people who don't quite have the support they want?


18 comments :

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

That's great that your spouse is so supportive. But that may be a reason why you two are such amazing life partners. Congratulations on embracing your destiny, and I can't wait to read what you end up publishing.

Donna K. Weaver said...

Another great observation, Tasha. Sometimes, too, our loved ones need to recognize when we're making sure to take time for them. lol

S.P. Bowers said...

So so true, why should be expect support when we don't do what we need to support our own writing habit. And when it comes down to it, why would they support us if we don't spend time with and support them?

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I was fortunate my wife was supportive from day one when I began rewriting that old manuscript.
I made a pact with her that I would keep our private life private and never allow any insanity to invade our home. (Outside of me writing for hours of course.) That's why I'm such a secretive Ninja - for her.

Andrew Leon said...

I'm too conflicted about this topic to have good answers for it.

Shallee said...

My husband is an amazing support to me. I also get great support from friends around me, including my critique group. I think if you're getting support from somewhere, that's important.

Cynthia said...

I feel fortunate that my husband is so supportive of my writing ambitions. For those who don't get as much support as they would like, I recommend that they find ways to meet other writers.

J. A. Bennett said...

Using your time wisely is great advice. In fact, I face the most opposition at home when I neglect the husband time in favor of writing. The balance is so hard, but will bring harmony in the end :)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

My husband is very supportive. When we're both at home, I usually write when he's watching sports on TV that I don't care for like golf.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Great advice Tasha! I am guilty of getting on a roll and everything else will disappear. I have to pull myself away from the work and remind myself to pay attention to the husband and kids so they don't come to hate everything about the writing process.

Nicole said...

I think the balance you mention between writing time and personal/family time is so key.

Vero said...

I love your attitude that support from loved ones needs to be earned just like anything else that's worthwhile. We shouldn't expect them to be faithful and devoted to our goal, if we don't lead by example.

Here's a really great podcast by Dan Blank about the reason why significant others (or parents, friends, etc.) might not be so enthusiastic about our passion as we are, and what we can change in our attitude to help them and ourselves along.

ali cross said...

I think you nailed it. We can't take our family's support for granted. Much like you, I've tried to establish a writing routine--like a job. I work from x time to x time and everyone knows, "Mom's working." But when that time's up I need to be Mom or Wife, ya know? Sometimes I take more time to work, but only when I have a deadline or something that everyone can understand.

I also try really hard to make eye contact and really listen to my children (and my husband!) when they do need to interrupt me to talk to me. I try to show them as much respect as I can, so they will respect ME. Seems to work for us!

Jenny S. Morris said...

This is such good advice and so true. I take time away and find myself in a silly email chain with my friends and not writing. So I'm ditching him for my friends. Which is okay, sometimes. I am very lucky that my husband has a passion for something that needs time like my writing does. So he completely gets it. I just have to respect the time he gives me.

Angela Cothran said...

I find when I involve my family in my journey they are extremely supportive :) Great post!

David P. King said...

I found recently, that if you give your spouse and kids the time they need, they'll give you the time you need. Maybe not right away, but eventually. :)

Kelley Lynn said...

Right now I don't have anyone who needs my time except for me. But all this advice will certainly help when it comes time :)

Emily R. King said...

I think it's fun that my kids ask me how my book is coming along and listen to me when I tell them what I'm reading. It involves them in my life, and I enjoy sharing it with them.