((Cross posted at Literary Intent))
Fair warning, sappiness ahead. Batten down the hatches, pump out the bilges, roll up the trousers, all that stuff.
As predicted a month ago (I must be psychic!), today is my eleventh wedding anniversary. Or, as I like to say, it's been eleven years and I still haven't killed him yet. Not for lack of trying, grant you. I mean, I did hit the man with a car. Twice. (And he still agreed to marry me anyway. What's that about?) You'd think, after the first time, that he'd have moved.
In fact, if you peer farther into the past (my editor has given up teaching me the difference between farther and further, btw) we were best friends even longer than that. Six years before we were ever a couple, for a grand total of eighteen years. Wow, now I feel old.
It's at times like these that I like to stop and think about how very different my life would have been without him. And I mean more than just the "well, I wouldn't have had my daughter without him" or the "I'd be married to someone else" kinda stuff.
First and foremost, the Jesse James Dawson series would not exist without my hubby. My motivation came from him, from his desire to see the kind of hero he wanted to see. The story idea was his, hashed out between the two of us over a very fateful anniversary dinner quite a few years ago. (Full circle, see?)
But more than just the one series, he helps me with all aspects of my writing. He's the best brainstorming partner I've ever had, mostly because he knows how to ask the right questions to get me thinking. He's my motivator when I'm slacking, my cheerleader when I'm down. While I know that Jesse wouldn't exist without him, I can also say that I'm not sure I'd be writing at all without him.
Writing itself can be a very lonely occupation. A writer spends a lot of time wandering around inside their own skull, and while it's usually peopled with lots of interesting creatures and situations, it makes it hard to find objectivity. Too many of those voices in there say things like "you suck" and "this is impossible" and my personal favorite "why bother?"
I think every writer needs a support network, even if it's just one person. Someone to say "Hey, just keep trying" or "maybe try it a different way". Someone to shout louder than the voices that say "this is hard, just give up."
My support network is huge, I admit this. I have the League, I have the Purgies, I have my family and my friends. But first and foremost, before I had any of that, I had my hubby.
So on my anniversary, my hope for all writers, and for everyone really, is that you find that one person who will keep you aimed toward your chosen goal when you're ready to quit. Be it a friend, a mentor, a husband or wife, a pen-pal, I hope you all find the support we all need. Because in the end, it's worth it.