A letter to those that love a writer…
Many of the posts on this page are geared towards other bloggers and a few are just to the general public. This post is directed towards a different particular group, anyone in the support system of a writer. It doesn’t need to be a wife, husband, girlfriend or boyfriend, it could be a mother, father, brother, sister or just a close friend. Anyone who has ever been faced with someone that you love looking into your eyes, asking you to read something they have written with the innocence of a child and a raw, nakedness in their eyes. Whether it’s a one line story or a full manuscript, they are handing you a product of what goes in their head. They are entrusting you with the most intimate part of themselves, their thoughts. The one place that no one can ever go without your permission is into your head, they are giving you unfettered access to that place. They are giving you the power to support or destroy them.
Some of you may think this is a dramatic and over the top description. If so, then you’ve either forgotten what it was like in the beginning or maybe you’ve never been there. Picture yourself sitting in front of a computer either at a desk or at the dining room table. The person you love has handed you a piece to review for them. Fill your heart with love and pride, because no matter what words are on that paper you can see the path that brought them to this point. You have watched as they have grown, stumbled and kept going just to get to the point of putting those words on paper. It could be gibberish, but you’d still be proud because this point is already a success. Now as you begin to read, you can feel their eyes on you and your own anxiety spike. Making sure to keep your breathing even and face expressionless for fear a stray thought causing a frown, no matter how completely unrelated, could cause a moment of doubt in their mind. A doubt that could destroy the potentially fragile foundation there are standing upon.
Then there’s the inevitable constructive criticism. While I am blessed with a writer that is open to such ideas, others may not. Mine truly wants to know my opinion and thoughts. We are able to have an open conversation about the piece and any ideas I have. This is a truly remarkable place to be with mutual respect and love being the cornerstones of this conversation. I still struggle with pointing out any typing errors or plot holes because my goal is always to protect those that I love. I have to rationalize this process as a comparison to telling someone you love that they have food in their teeth or that black pants do not go with brown shoes. I’d rather be the one to bring it to his attention. It’s much worse to have a complete stranger point out a flaw from a place of ridicule instead of loved one from a place of compassion.
This confrontation and critique of their passion and ramblings into written word isn’t the only struggle in loving a writer. There are the days when I feel guilty because I know he is choosing spending time with me over writing despite a deadline approaching. There are also days when I feel like there an entire separate world that he is a part of that I can’t be. I don’t know a thing about blogging, about SEO or affiliate programs. I can’t help when he’s struggling with a new line of code or trying to reformat a picture. There are people he can go to for help, a community of bloggers, and a world that I don’t fit into. I’ve tried to learn enough to intelligently nod while he patiently explains once again how google analytics works and of course I do my best to not be jealous that some unknown to me female was able to solve all of his issues. He knows these people, in the way that you know anyone on the internet, but more than I will ever know them. They are a part of his writing world. There’s also another part of his world that I can’t access. It’s the one in his head, the one where these stories are created. He has stories and characters that are constantly being built, walking around in his mind, growing and changing. I wait in anticipation of the accesses granted when I’m asked to read a piece of his work. I love to see how his mind works and the worlds he has created.
So to the point of this rambling. First it is to tell the world how proud I am of my writer, how thankful I am be a part of his writing and how blessed I feel to be building this life we are building together. While I have known him for many years, this is a new relationship and a new adventure. There have been struggles and blessings and that’s before you add writing into it. I enjoy being a part of his process and seeing his words become immortal for we all know that things on the internet are forever.
There’s also another purpose. If I have learned nothing from my many years of being addicted to the internet, it’s that no matter how random your opinion on things is there will be someone, somewhere that will understand what you are going through. Perhaps this will reach one of those people or perhaps it will only reach the trolls that will tell me how insecure we both are and we should probably seek counseling. Either way, whether it reaches someone that needed to know they weren’t alone in these feelings, or whether it will reach someone that can give me advice on ways to better support my writer or just the trolls… this writing has served the main purpose. To tell my writer that I will always support him in every way possible.