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Thursday, July 07, 2011

Guestpost: An Author's Life Through a Spouse's Eyes by Dwayne Taylor

So you want to be an author? Ready for the money, fame and glory? 

Well let me give you a reality check. 

You won't make tons of money. Fame is probably not going to happen. And glory only lasts for a moment. Once your book is read, readers head for the next great book that just came out, leaving a fading memory of your book now collecting dust on their bookshelf.

Being married to an author (Jennifer Hudson Taylor), I can tell you that there is a tremendous strain that it will put on your family and your life. You will need the complete support of every member in your household (yes, even the dog). Without family support, you will not have the time, energy, or presence of mind to do what an author has to do to be successful. 

My wife works a full-time job. She gets up at 5:30 am and leaves for work at 8 am, not returning home sometimes until 7 pm. So, writing time is early morning and late at night. Oh but wait, she has to make time for the family, too. Now the writing time window is even smaller. 

Then there is research, networking, promotion, marketing, building a platform for yourself and so on and so on.. So where does an author find the time to be a parent, spouse, or have any kind of social life? Well, they don't, unless they have that family support that I was speaking of. 

An author that works full-time needs a supporting family that is going to make the meals, clean the house, do the shopping, mow the lawn, care for the kids, be understanding, make sacrifices and most available to the author when the author has time to be available to the family or just needs the love of the family. 

When tons of rejections start rolling in and you feel like giving up, you're disappointed, and depressed, only the support of a loving family will be able to build the author's confidence back up to keep them motivated to continue on.

The family must look at publication from the perspective that this is not only the author's dream, but it is a family dream. It isn't always easy and there are many bumps along the way, especially if you have children. Children don't understand deadlines, thought processes, interruptions, or the fact that you're on a roll. When they want mom or dad, they want mom or dad right then and there. As a parent you want to be there for your children. So, this is where the author must learn to have patience, understanding, and the ability to turn on and off their creative thought process.

Fortunately, my wife is a master at this. How she squeezes in so much quality time for our daughter in such little available time, I'll never understand.

My advice for those up and coming authors is to sit down with your family and discuss what it will take to make this dream a reality. Decide if being an author is a career move, a hobby, or just a desire to have your name on a book cover. Then consider the consequences of making it happen. Make your family aware of the sacrifices each of you will have to make along the way. Understand that it will be a life change for the entire family. It takes years before you actually get published as it took my wife over 10 years. 

In the end, if you and your family are truly dedicated to making this dream happen, it can. You may be a one book wonder or you may be on your way to a successful career, but there is one thing I can guarantee. The first time you walk into a bookstore and see your book, it will not only be a rewarding experience for the author, but for the whole family, because in some way, they will feel that they had a part in making the dream become a reality.


So true! A wonderful reminder. Thanks for the post.


A great post, Dwayne! And so true. My family was overjoyed when I made my first sale. And again when that first box of books arrived. It was definitely a family effort!

Great post, Dwayne. You're so right. Without the support and encouragement of my hubby, I'd have never made it past my first rejection letter. Thanks for sharing from your perspective!

Congrats on the launch of UPON THE ROCK Publishing! Blessings,

dora hiers

Oh, Jennifer, give him a big hug for all of us writers. What a great guy!

Thanks for sharing, Dwayne! Family support is crucial in this "writing world." I'm sure Jennifer appreciates your support beyond what she can express. I know my family rallies around me too. Blessings to your entire family.

Dwayne, you've made so many great points...and probably made me realize why I didn't start writing until I reached the stage in life when I didn't have to contend with so many time and family challenges. More power to those who have the courage to proceed now! *big smile*

I'm definitely blessed to have Dwayne and I wouldn't be where I am without his support, love, and continuous help.

What a touching post. It's so great to see such wonderful family support. I know without the help of my husband, I wouldn't have been able to write my debut novel that just sold.

And now that I have a contract, everything still seems overwhelming, just in a different way.

What a lovely, encouraging post! You have a special wife, Dwayne, and she, most definitely, has a special husband.

Great post and bless you for sharing that, Dwayne. My son is at the Boys and Girls Club today so that I could write. And my hubby on his way home. I pray that God will continue to bless and annoint Jennifer's writing and the family that supports her so well!

Seriously, I've said this before. When I think about how hard it is for me to find time to write, I think of Jennifer.

May God bless this message to touch other families with your example of selfless love!