I think one of the first things that amazed me about my husband (though there were many) was his validation of my writing. He liked to read my poetry, my childhood stories, my random thoughts while journaling, he loved to read everything I wrote and I was amazed. Now, I'm sure that this seems like I fell victim to the first flatterer to compliment my work. But this is certainly not the case. The part of this story that reveals the depth of our love is that I showed him my writing at all.
I began writing everyday in elementary school. I wrote in a locked diary, I wrote letters, notes- I even roped my sisters into writing a family newspaper with me. I wrote like my pen was on fire. I wrote like I had to get out onto paper everything that was in my head. And that was enough. I just wanted it on paper. I didn't care if anyone ever saw it or liked it. And for the most part I did not show anyone what I wrote. At least not until it was polished or perfect, usually I had someone read it only because it had to be submitted for a grade. My writing was mine and mine alone. It was my private world to escape to when this life seemed unbearable, unbelievable or amazing. I escaped there to sort things out, to think them through with myself.
But something about my husband made me trust him. I remember when he read the first poem I wrote for him. He paused for a long moment, looked up and told me, “You are a great writer.”
He reminded me that you cannot get any better unless you show others your work. You cannot write in a vacuum. He gave me confidence and I doubt that I ever would have begun writing seriously if not for him. He taught me to trust my writing instincts and not worry about being perfect but just about being me. How can I express my gratitude for his encouragement and love?
How about you? Do you have others you can count on to appreciate your work? I would love to hear about your critics, fans and inspirations.