Living with and supporting a Writer is challenging. We are, too often, in our own heads. To make matters even more difficult, Dane is not only my husband, he's my alpha reader. (That's so rare.) One changes and grows as writer as one gains experience. Thus, it's wise to test out one's process and shed the unnecessary bits. In addition, all novels are their own special animals. I've learned to be flexible. So, I stopped doing one of the things that helped me be a better writer. (Lesson successfully learned!) Ultimately, Dane is one of those rare people who makes me think. He isn't a Writer. He's a Reader. He gives great Question. He makes me strive to be smarter than I am. To be honest, it's one of the reasons why I married him. (That, and he's sexy and funny too.) So...yesterday I handed off the first chunk of rewrites. And now I'm even more excited about the new novel. That's how it should be. (It's also what makes Joe Monti such a great editor.) If the person giving feedback doesn't excite you with the prospect of creating better, they are not the right support for you. It took me years to learn that lesson, bats and ghouls. Have it for free!
Frankly, I don't know how anyone writes without support. Having taught writer's workshops for years, I see the same pattern in others. No writer has a perfect perspective on their work. We're just too close to it. I'll allow for the possibility that someone out there has perspective--but most of us don't. Either we think it's the most amazing work ever created by any writer ever (a beginning writer mistake) or we think it's the worst crap anyone has ever puked onto a page (an experienced writer mistake.) I wish I could say that it gets easier. It doesn't. It actually gets harder, the more experienced you become. The more I learn, the more detailed and fine the distinctions I'm working with. I can always tell when I'm challenging myself. The self doubt grows into a vasty huge thing that parks on my shoulders and whispers over and over how I'm doing it wrong. Thus, writing is an uphill fight. Creating is a scary, scary thing, see.
It's also a joyful thing. And the joy of it is what keeps one going. It isn't a constant joy. There's a reason they say only become a writer if you really must. Like any art, this shit is tough. Just...if you decide you have to be a writer, make sure you surround yourself with people who don't make it worse. That's harder to do than you might think.
 I stopped workshopping, for example. Largely, my local group wasn't providing much more assistance other than the development of a thick skin and the knowledge that not everyone's opinion regarding my writing--no matter how educated--is 100% golden when it comes to my own work. Hey, I can get that for free from the public now. Why pay?
 My BFF, Melissa, is the same. And I need to remember that too.
is a Science Fiction and Fantasy author living in Texas.