When my husband and I were engaged, we attended a Gary Chapman marriage conference through our church. (If you've never heard of Gary Chapman, I would highly recommend his books The 5 Love Languages and Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Got Married.) Among the great marriage advice, one thing he said in particular stuck with us: do some kind of event/activity focused on building your marriage every year.
The idea was that we can be getting along great in our everyday life together, but these marriage conferences, Bible studies, and getaways to focus on our relationship helps us to grow as a couple.
Not only has this been solid advice for us newlyweds, but the same principle holds true for my writing. In fact, I've learned a lot about being a better writer by trying to be a better wife. So today we're going to do some relationship counseling. Your relationship as an author to your writing.
Advice #1: Go to one writing-focused event every year. Like how a marriage event every year gives couples time to reconnect and grow, a writing event can really help you grow as an author. Step out of your routine to get some new perspectives and learn new skills. This may be something like attempting NaNoWriMo or maybe going to a writer's conference. Maybe it's meeting with a writing group or doing a workshop. It might even be signing up for a writing course at a community college. Take the time to make yourself better.
Advice #2: It's ok to spend time apart. This one has been just as hard for me to apply in my marriage as it has with my writing. I love hanging out with my husband, but it's still important for us to spend time apart to be individuals, do our own interests, and hang out with friends. After all, those hobbies and interests are part of what attracted us to each other in the first place. Similarly, I can tend to hold onto my writing with a death grip, refusing to send it out into the world and let it stand on its own. Sitting in a folder on my computer isn't letting my writing reach its full potential. Even if you're not ready to publish, spending some time away from a manuscript can give you a fresh perspective on it.
Advice #3: Quality time. Reversely, it's also important to make time for each other out of your busy schedules. If you want a good relationship, you're going to have to devote some consistent time to it. This is a hard thing to do when it comes to writing. Finding a consistent time every day to sit down and write, even if it's only for 15 minutes, will grow your writing. It may be hard to do some days, but it pays off when you finish your story.
There you have it! Do something today to make yourself a better writer. And on the flip side, tell those who are important to you that you love them and treasure your relationship with them.
Hi, I'm Jessica! I'm on a mission to make my writing better in hopes of becoming a published novelist. It's been a crazy journey so far as I learn the twists and turns of the publishing world, but it's been worth it. Though I'm still learning how to be the best writer I can be, I'm excited to share what I learn with you. Happy writing!