The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible - Vladimir Nabokov

There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you - Zora Neale Hurston

07 December 2009


My classically-trained artist husband only recently discovered the joys of cartooning. As you can see, he did a great pic of me at work, but it's highly inaccurate. I'm not talking about the big head (though sometimes I do have one) or the red shoes (I so wish I owned) or the typewriter (which I haven't used since 1992). The biggest mistake in this drawing is that he left himself out of the picture.

Clayton is my writing partner as well as my emotional support. He's dyslexic and can't read, but he loves books as much as I do. I read most things aloud to him, including blogs, and, with the rise of text-to-speech software and audiobooks, which he can listen to while painting, he's becoming more well-read than me. I still haven't gotten to the Time Traveller's Wife.

He doesn't understand the first thing about punctuation, but he has an ear for the sound of words, and he's insanely creative. We brainstorm ideas off each other, discuss characters, backstory... Sometimes he comes up with the inciting idea or a plot point, or vice versa. We both realize when something isn't working, and he'll often wake up from a dream with a solution for me. I do the nitty gritty work of putting words on the page, but he helps make them something better. I haven't joined a critique group yet, but I'm not writing alone, and that helps get me through the tough spots.

What about you? Do you work with a writing partner? Or, is there someone in your life who supports and inspires you? How do they affect your writing?


  1. You are a wonderful wife! And it sounds like Clayton is a wonderful husband and gives you great encouragement and inspiration.

    I'm a solo writer, but I really rely on my first readers for feedback.

    I know 2 different husband-wife writing teams: Jim and Joyce Lavene and the couple that makes up Cleo Coyle. They've got it down to a science.

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  2. He is wonderful, but I think I can be a pain sometimes :)
    Solo writing has its joys too. I've written plenty of things on my own, but as soon as I read it to someone, all those little logic flaws become embarrassingly obvious. Good that you have readers you can trust.
    And, yes, I think we were on teh same wavelength today!

  3. Love the pic!

    My husband is not a writer but he is heaps artistic. He owns his own design company and I love that he gets what art is all about. I often think of writing as art. My husband and my kids are my biggest inspiration. :)

  4. You're right Tabitha--writing is art! It's great to have family that understands, isn't it?

  5. You two remind me of Roy and Walt Disney. They were quite a team- Walt was the creative genius and Roy made his dreams a reality.

    Thanks for following my blog!

  6. Wow, thanks for the comparison! And thanks for following!