Today is my husband, Daniel’s, birthday, and as far as I’m concerned, it is one of the most exciting birthdays he has ever had. You see, even though we have been together for over two years, this is the first time we can share his birthday together. We were in a long distance relationship for his first two birthdays of our relationship, and I am thrilled that we will finally be together to celebrate him.
Beyond the excitement of sharing milestones together, the transition to being close-distance and living together has brought dozens of new facets to our relationship. Most relevant to this blog, our relationship — and, I would argue, our marriage — has entirely transformed my writing career. Daniel takes on so many important roles in my writing career that I can honestly say I would not be where I am today without him.
Now, don’t worry. I am not going to get up on a soapbox and preach the superiority of marriage to single-hood or pressure anyone into popping the question prematurely. Trust me, I remember the benefits of singledom; I’m only 22. All I’m going to do is brag on my husband for his birthday and tell you ways that a healthy, loving partnership can help you reach your fullest potential as a creative (in my case, writer) and as a person.
To put it simply, here are all the roles Daniel takes on that have helped springboard my writing career:
“For better or worse,” right? Daniel has been incredibly supportive of my writing career. Every time I doubt myself, he is there to pick me back up and remind me of all the reasons I can achieve my dreams.
Fan and Advocate
Daniel loves proclaiming himself my number one fan (though I imagine my mom would grapple with him for that title). He does all the things “fans” do: he brags about my creative mind, brings up my success in conversations, and encourages his friends and family to check out my latest projects. I made my Facebook author page, but he is the one who hacked my account and made it go live (no joke). And while I was irritated about that at first, in retrospect, it was exactly the supportive push off the cliff I needed.
As I have said before, Daniel is the one who introduced me to independent publishing. However, his role has not ended there. He constantly looks for podcasts, books, and industry news that will interest and assist me. Moreover, he is always thinking about ways to market my author business and diversify it, and he is 100% willing and happy to invest our finances and time in this venture. That in and of itself is vital to my future as a writer.
Daniel is always anxious to read what I write, so I let him read along with my first drafts as he chooses. The only rule is: on the first draft, he cannot say anything negative unless it is a ginormous plot hole that must be fixed immediately. So far, he’s helped me catch one major plot hole, and otherwise, built up my ego with compliments.
The critic role has not come into play too much yet. However, I know that, when I am ready for my manuscript to be critiqued, Daniel will do his best to help. Right now, he does a good job of keeping my attitude in check and keeping me on a positive creative path.
Seriously, though. This man has saved me from a many a mental breakdown and our technological equipment from many a dangerous situation.
During NaNoWriMo, Daniel kept me accountable to my writing. Every night after work he asked me how much I had written during my lunch break. Then, after dinner, he would ask me when writing time was and literally push me up the stairs to the office if necessary. While this sounds harsh, I am so grateful to have had the extra push and to finally have someone truly hold me accountable to my goals.
I do my best brainstorming by talking through my plot out loud. There have been so many times where I have made Daniel the dumping ground for my brainstorming and rambled on about my plot or characters or setting. However, even though he knows that I am not always looking for feedback or actually talking to him, he listens and lets me get it all out of my system.
Daniel has just finished two degrees, and he is working toward his second Master’s degree, to be followed by a PhD. He throws himself into all aspects of his academic community, and he is tirelessly working toward achieving his own dreams. If that hardwork, dedication, and confidence is not the perfect example for me to replicate in my own career efforts, I don’t know what is.
If you are married, your spouse may not fulfill all of these roles — and you may not need or want all of these roles to come from your partner. If you are not in a relationship, there are likely several close friends or family members that fill these roles for you. Either way, trust me when I say, it is so reassuring to know that someone has your back and will do everything s/he can to help you achieve your dreams.
Before marrying Daniel, I was a “writer” with big dreams and little action. Now, I am a writer (no quotation marks necessary) with big dreams, big actions, and big plans. Can I give him 100% credit for my success? No. I think I deserve I good chunk of it. However, I can say, having him in my life has been a huge help and momentum builder.
That’s what marriage is about. Having someone in your life, who has chosen and committed to you, who helps you be the best version of yourself you can be. And lucky for me, I’ve got it.
Happy birthday, honey. I love you.