(Closed) Writer husband can't/won't write.

posted 5 years ago in Married Life
Post # 3
3638 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

He’s a writer and you are having trouble communicating your fears and thoughts to him verbally – so write to him!

Tell him how important it is to keep on trying, J K Rowling anyone? Remind him that even her book written under a pseudonym was rejected by publishes before it went to press. 

Tell him that you never, never know with things and if there are no limits on how many times you can apply, he should apply for the MFA now, and again and again as many times as it takes. 

Tell him that the longer he waits for the “right time” the harder the rejection will be to take. 

The YA market is really booming right now, has he thought about resubmitting that first novel? 

He could even independently publish through a website such as Kickstarter or Indigogo. I’m sure, being a YA writer, that he’s familiar with the work of John Green. He should look into harnessing the power of the YA online community for support.

Every November there is an event called NANOWRIMO (http://nanowrimo.org/) where people aim to write a book in a month. It’s mostly to get the creative juices flowing but the online support and community around it is amazing. So many people cheering each other on and posting their word count daily. 

In the mean time, while he is getting himself out of this funk, you should focus on yourself. You mention gaining weight and your sex life tanking. Perhaps you should focus on your own health for a while and possibly start initiating sex yourself too. At least this will help you to feel better and hopefully motivate him too in a way.

Post # 5
3638 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

@missRAV:  At least you know that he is tried many things, but yes, sticking to them is the hardest part. 

I wonder if there is some sort of writers camp/retreat he can go on? Then he’ll HAVE to sit down and write. 


Post # 6
1070 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Not to be harsh or anything, but you should tell him to stop moping.

You know who was rejected by over 30 different publishers?

Harper Lee.

You know who has a hit selling self-published book and now a movie deal but still can’t write for shit?

E.L. James.

I’m a writer. I’ve been thrown to the vultures thousands of times. I’ve been told my writing is amazing and I am publishable. Then guess how many journals have accepted my submissions: 0.

But do we write for fame? No. Do we write for the world to pat us on the back and tell us we’re great? No. Do we even write because we will make millions? HELL no.

We write because in us, there is a desire to put words where words did not exist before. We write because in us, there is a string of story made from the tendrils of black smoke of passionately burning embers.

We write because it makes us feel good. Or miserable. I usually write my best when I’m miserable.

Your husband needs to get over himself and get over the criticisms of the world. Writing is healing and who cares if it sucks. They’re his words and one day, who knows, he might make it rich.

Until then, tell him to get a teaching degree.

Or work as a bartender.

Or any of the other degrading jobs we pen-holders hold in order to fill our pockets so to pay for the electricity to keep our computers running and for the the roof over our heads to keep the rain out of our lattes.

If he can’t write for himself, he probably won’t ever be able to write at all.



Post # 7
58 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

Personally, I find that taking time off writing completely helps when I feel tired. Writing is about passion, and when you stop being passionate, it stops being fun. Why not take a month off writing completely? No pressure, and just stay out of it completely & do something else. When he comes back, instead of writing new stuff, he can edit & polish his current manuscript and send it out again. My creative writing teacher says that work can never be polished enough, and he hides his manuscripts & poems for years before pulling them out again to edit.

Publishing is also a lot about timing and connections. Just keep submitting. 

Post # 8
424 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Can I just offer a suggestion as another writer who recently needed to take a break?


Leave it alone.


And I mean that in the nicest way possible. But the more you encourage him and try to help him get back to it, the more guilty he’s going to feel (about not writing and feeling bad about it), and the more pressured. For the last two months I haven’t written a word except for stuff for school.

But now I’m ready to go back because I’ve had my space and I’ve gotten some distance from my rejections–and more importantly I’ve had the time to be able to learn from those rejections.  I just needed time. Time not to think about it or worry about it or feel guilty about it.  

So even though you’re trying to help and it comes from the most well meaning place, leave it alone. He’ll get over it and get back into it. And if he doesn’t, then maybe it’s just not something he wants to devote so much time to. There’s nothing wrong with that.


Post # 9
2398 posts
Buzzing bee



I can very easily see him becoming one of those broken older men who always wished their lives would have been fulfilling

 This really resonates with me because I have lived and worked around writers for years, and I know exactly what you’re talking about. You are wise to be concerned about this. He is engaging in melodramatic, tortured-artist behavior, and the whole martyr thing is manipulation.  

Don’t let him reel you into his toxic, downward spiral. Ultimately there is nothing you can do to stop him. He is the only one who can snap himself out of this. 

Do be supportive, up to a point. Do not enable him financially for an indefinite period. Is he even working?

I would suggest marriage counseling… do you think he would be open to it?

My college boyfriend was brilliant and had lots of potential… he ended up 100 lbs. overweight and unemployed, putzing around at home with his genius writing ideas while his wife has supported the family all these years. If you really see this happening to your SO, make sure you go forward with your eyes wide open. 

It is possible to be a successful, published writer no matter what profession you’re in. One of my college professors was very busy with adjunct teaching positions, a wife and two babies… he burned the midnight oil to write his novels, ended up winning a Pulitzer and having his books made into an HBO mini-series. My best girlfriend from childhood is a super busy public school librarian and mother of two who also finds time to write… and she’s raking in the big bucks right now with a best-selling series of children’s books.

If the talent and ability are there, it happens no matter what. 

Post # 10
8480 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2010

Writers write.  Getting published is the icing on the cake.  All of us who do get published get rejected, many of us get rejected many times over.  It’s just the nature of the business.

If he wants his books in print right away, he can use Amazon’s Create Space & get busy marketing.

I only write non fiction, so I can only speak to that, but new writers not only have to write, they have to do all of their own marketing as well.

It doesn’t sound as if your Dh is really ready to be a writer.  Not if he takes rejection that personally.  I’d agree that some counseling could help.

Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do to make him a writer.  That drive comes from within. 




Post # 11
985 posts
Busy bee

@Haine:  +1 

Inspiration comes and goes and if he isn’t passionate about it right now the stuff he writes will reveal that. Which will then make him hate his writing. Creative arts like painting, writing, songwriting etc are all about passion. He may or may not get that spark back, but as long as it isn’t his only income I wouldn’t worry about it for now. He is the only one who can decide its time for him to write again. 

I totally agree with sassy (above) too. It isn’t all about being published. It should be about enjoying what you do. Publishing and writing purely to be published may make him lose that passion. 

Post # 12
1423 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

It sounds like he’s depressed — It can be so hard to work when you are depressed, especially when on of the things that is making you feel bad is your work!  A good therapist is in order.  Tell him you want him to go because he isn’t happy, you love him, and want him to feel better.  (The they won’t understand because I’m a brilliant, tortured artist line is bullshit.)

It’s so hard to get good work done when you are feeling bad about yourself.  Good writing requires confidence.  (Coming from an academic writer, anyway.)

Post # 13
413 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

As a writer — my two cents is that he strongly needs to connect to some kind of literary community in your area. He needs to be exposed to interesting work that challenges him and people that are working. It’s okay to have off/mopey periods and you typically get through these moments of insecurity but the worst thing is to be too wrapped up in your own head.


I’d also suggest things outside of his normal comfort zone. And lots of lots and lots of reading. If you can’t write in that moment then he should be reading.

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