“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”
I know a lot of writers who have amazingly supportive partners. I know a lot who don’t.
I can imagine doing this job without a partner at *all* (although my husband, Ted, is unbelievably good at plotting, so I get a hitch in my get-along at the idea of actually *having* to!), but I can barely imagine doing it with an active detractor in my life. It’s not an easy way to make a living, and, like any other kind of art, it requires a fair amount of nurturing and faith.
My husband has committed acts of faith repeatedly in supporting me as a writer. I got laid off from my web design job at the end of 2004, an entire year before we were planning for me to quit and pursue full-time writing. He encouraged me to go ahead and write full-time, even though we knew it was a financial risk. He has (correctly, which is very interesting to me) predicted various sales to publishers long before I had any belief they would go through. He encouraged me to pursue the comic book that’s debuting next month. He’s never once said, “You know, going back to a day job might be wise,” even when it would have been; in fact, he says he takes pride in the fact that I’m a full-time writer, regardless of it being a hard haul for both of us at times.
It’s not actually practical to dispose of one’s partner if that person isn’t supportive of your writing career, but I very much hope people who don’t have that support at home can find it elsewhere. Writing groups, either online or off, or other family, or friends, whether they write or not. It just seems so critical to me. It’s a hard and lonely enough row to hoe without doing it without a cheerleader or two.