My fifteenth wedding anniversary was last week and this weekend my husband and I are going away for the first couple of overnights since I was pregnant three and a half years ago. So it seems fitting that I talk about his role in this whole crazy period that is Writing the First Novel.
There is nothing like the first time. For novels as for everything else.
My husband has made possible my so far mostly unsung (and certainly unrenumerated) dedication to this pursuit in two concrete ways. A) He supports our family financially. B) He does his damndest to get me the time I need to work.
In the beginning, of course, time wasn’t divided into stolen slivers the way it can be when you’re taking care of two babies, and then two pre-schoolers. Back before we had kids time was relatively easy to come by, although it might not seem that way to judge by my writing schedule.
I wrote at 4 in the morning and then went off to work. I wrote when I got home from work at night, at eight, nine, or ten o’clock. I–confession time here–scribbled notes after seeing a patient, which had nothing to do with his or her therapy, then closed my office door and furiously banged out a page or two.
This schedule became unwieldy and my husband stepped in to allow me to cut back from seventy hours a week of work to forty, and then to part-time, then to one day a week…you get the picture.
My passion was taking over. As much as I loved psychology, meeting people and trying to help them with a blend of empathy, validation, support, and insight, this career had always taken a back seat in my heart.
My husband did two other key things that, although neither of us had any way of anticipating their import, would allow me to finish the book and consider publishing it.
I’ll tell you about them in the next post.