The Career Author Podcast: Episode 89 – How to Get Support From a Partner or Loved One (or My Partner Doesn’t Support My Writing)

Getting support

Getting the support of your spouse or significant other can make the difference between success and failure when becoming a career author. Discover how to set expectations and boundaries while honoring the relationship.

The Career Author Podcast is a podcast where co-authors J. Thorn and Zach Bohannon share their struggles and successes as full-time authors, advice for improving your writing craft, and honest discussions of what it takes to build a successful career as an author.

In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • How to determine what kind of support you need.
  • Options for having the conversation with your significant other or loved one.
  • Ways to be reasonable when you ask for support.
  • Why you should take your ego out of the equation when deciding the kind of support you need.
  • How to barter for time or compromise in ways when everybody wins.
  • How supporting your partner’s passions or hobbies can be beneficial to you.
  • Why it’s important to check in periodically to make sure the arrangement is still working for everyone.
  • Ways to appreciate the people in your life who support your creativity.

Also, discover why writing your first draft quickly is the best approach when working on your novel.

Send us your ways and hacks – https://thecareerauthor.com/waysandhacks/ 

When faced with an opportunity, how do you decide to take it or not? Comment at thecareerauthor.com.

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21 thoughts on “The Career Author Podcast: Episode 89 – How to Get Support From a Partner or Loved One (or My Partner Doesn’t Support My Writing)

  • Morning guys. Great hack Zach. Totally agree. If I write a story slowly I lose the plot because it gives me time to edit the plot in my mind. For me it’s best to get the first draft on paper (screen) asap. By the time I sit down to write I have already cogitated over a plot for some time. So I already have outlines for stuff I am going to write in 2020 and maybe even in 2021
    Interesting topic today. One area you didn’t discuss is the partner who actively discourages one from writing. Touchy subject but I recall this was an issue some years ago. In writing clubs back in the 1980s I came across people being told by their partners to stop writing and that they are wasting their time. They had to write in secret. I haven’t heard about this since so maybe Indie success has reduced this. I read a bestselling novel based on this in the 1980s but can’t remember the author or title. It was about a woman who wrote a novel in secret from abusive hubby and it became a bestseller.
    Great advice about talking to one’s partner. Opportunities can be missed by not talking to each other. Lovely wifey Denise sings in a Military Wives choir and in the last couple of years she has had plenty of opportunities to sing in WW1 and WW2 commemorative events, including in France and Belgium. I always say yes because I know she enjoys it and it means a lot to her, but it also builds up good standing, so when I mentioned Authors on a Train 2017 there was no discussion, she simply said “you have to go”.
    So J, my mantra of “default no” still applies, but I suggest one’s partner is a special case for whom one should have a “default yes.”
    Great show today.

  • It’s interesting to hear that the results for your Bookbub feature were lower than previous ones. I recently got a Bookbub spot as well, which was the second one I’ve done, and the numbers were much lower than my first. My first was a $0.99 deal on a standalone book which netted about $1000 profit. This second one was a $2.99 deal on a box set of three books, and I ended up losing about $1000. Both were in the same genre. The price difference probably has something to do with the lack of performance. I’m curious to know how it would have performed if I had priced it at $0.99 instead.

    • Thanks for sharing, Chris. I’ve had MUCH less success than Zach when it comes to the Bub. I think their recent launch of Chirp might be partially because their list has decayed to the point where its not always a guarantee an ad will turn positive ROI for the author.

  • Interesting one!

    My husband is a writing-career business partner for me, as well as a writing collaborator on one series, so some ‘together’ time is ‘work’ time. (Worldbuilding on long car trips is a favourite.) It’s like a family business in that sense, and we’re both good with that. He has a background in a related industry, so that helps, too. As entwined as we are, he has a very strict rule that he will not critique anything I write unless we’re collaborating on it, and even then, it’s mostly for tone and world consistency.

    Since I also work from home for the day job sometimes, we’re trying out a ‘sign’ system, like ‘do-not disturb’ door hangers at hotels. One side indicates I’m in deep-work mode, and ought not be disturbed, while the other side indicates I’m in ‘noodling’ mode and wouldn’t mind a brainstorming buddy or a quick inquiry about dinner plans. (Set times work less well for us because I have a chronic illness and am not always well enough to write at scheduled intervals.)

    I should mention that my husband heard about ‘Authors on a Train’ and is now trying to convince me we should redo our honeymoon trip (Amtrak from Seattle to Chicago, Chicago to Flagstaff, Flagstaff to LA, LA to Seattle) for our next big anniversary, except we should write a novel together during the trip. (Yes, he is a rail fan.)

  • Agree with writing fast–quickly–whatever. The moment I slow down I start getting ‘shiny object syndrome’ and start thinking of something else.

    As for getting a support from a partner… I currently have none. However, when I want validation about my draft, I read aloud to my dog. He’s paralyzed, so there’s nowhere for him to run. A+ audience. Totally recommend. 😉

    Great show this week!

  • Nice show- lot’s to think about. I like having my wife read my work because one series is from a female point of view, and she lets me know when I’m messing that up. However, sometimes it does build bad feelings (when she takes a reeaallly long time to get through the draft). Might be better to just have an outside editor do that work and keep things separate.

  • Sometimes I wonder if J and I are east coast / west coast doppelgangers. My wife has no outside activities either, so when she does say she wants to do one, like J, I immediately say yes. Also, I wouldn’t think of having my wife read my stuff. One, she hates reading. Two, I am still working on my craft so it would be a bad experience for both of us.

    The hack is good. I need to get back to making sure I am still putting words down on book 2 while I edit book 1. Do you guys do that or do you just keep working one project until completion?

    I think my current professional issue is that like Zach I like computer games. And I get money working on the computer. So it is hard to keep the pedal to the metal for both contracting and writing when the lure of Factorio or MtG:Arena is there. The contracting provides a quicker immediate return. The writing hasn’t provided a return yet and the games provide a quick dopamine hit. All of which mean I am not interacting with my family. So my struggle is priorities and making sure the correct one is at the top of the list.

  • I haven’t written a single solitary syllable since the end of Nano 17. My gf lost her shit on me about how much time I was spending on “that writing crap,” and I got so depressed I haven’t written since.

    On the other hand, last week she gave me about five minutes notice she was moving out to a town a thousand miles away. So maybe now that I have lost 250 pounds of ugly fat, once I clean up the thousands of dollars of mess she left behind, I might start writing again.

  • Nice episode guys. In regards to having your wife validate your art, I gave my wife an early copy of my second novel and I knew that she never finished it. So, just for fun, I dedicated the book to her. Except, I didn’t tell her I had done it. So she found out after it was published when her sister told her. Then I enjoyed pointing and laughing at her. But, in all seriousness, I agree that you have to be reasonable with your expectations, and it is always easier if you give before you ask.

  • Great episode! I don’t know that I’ve heard a podcast about this topic before. I love the advice to figure our your own expectations and then to bring those to your partner. I think it’s a good idea to regularly check in with each other to make sure it’s working.

    My partner is incredibly supportive. He doesn’t read my novels, because they are not in a genre he likes. He does help me with some of the technical issues of my website, and he does my formatting, for which I am extremely grateful. Plus, I’ll sometimes ask him questions for a male perspective on what a male character might say or do. The craziest thing he’ll do for me is to act out a fight scene! In one scene my female hero is grabbed from behind by a man. She has a knife. I had hubby grab me so I could figure out the best and most accessible place for my character to stab the bad guy. 🙂

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