When I first decided that I would try to get better at writing, I, of course, told my wife. My days were filled with work and my nights with my family and I would need to steal part of that time to pursue this dream. She was supportive, but not excited and I was a little put out. After all, this was my “dream” didn’t that mean there was some kind of contractual obligation of full throated support?
When it was time to write, I got distracted, didn’t really know what I wanted to do and often came at it unprepared. An hour became two hours and almost all of it was unproductive. It became a bit of a strain on our relationship. I listened to an audiobook that held a bit of advice that turned things around for us.
The audiobook reminded me that my dream was not my family’s dream. Their dream might well be spending the limited amount of time they had doing fun things with me. Why was I making them suffer for my dream? Why wasn’t I suffering for my dream? I thought about it. I could write in the evenings or mornings but I got tired in the evenings and my mind was crap in the mornings. Those were also my moments where I was largely the only one awake and I coveted that time.
So in pursuit of my dream, I was stealing the prime time from my family so that I wouldn’t have to give up my own prime time. The book also had another bit of advice. It said that you can’t expect your family to get behind a dream you haven’t gotten behind yourself. Don’t ask them to make sacrifices you aren’t willing to make. That advice turned things around for me.
I started waking up early to write and wrote in the evenings after everybody had gone to bed. I had to find ways to be alert and more often than not, I fell asleep at my keyboard but I kept at it. It wasn’t long before my wife noticed that I wasn’t stopping and tried to find ways to make it easier for me. Eventually, she would set aside time during our prime time for me to write and even joined me on exercises.
The day she decided to do Nanowrimo shocked me. She didn’t like writing, but had an idea for a book and finished Nanowrimo that year with a full novel first drafted. She went on to edit that novel and publish it. She published two books before I got my first one finished. She still doesn’t like writing, editing, doing her social media or any part of the process, but she’s become very good at all of it. Whenever I write, she writes and instead of it being me stealing time from her, it’s a precious gift from her of how we spend our time.
We’re writing a series together now and I am in heaven. I earned my dream but she made it so much better with her gift.