"What’s it like being married to a blogger/writer?"

MEH on one of our daily early morning dog walks
My Engineer Husband (MEH) makes frequent appearances on my blog. But yesterday when I read a blog by blogging friend, writer Jamie Miles, about what her husband thinks about her blogging, I realized I’d never written a similar blog. When I started putting together questions to ask MEH, I remembered another blog I’d read a few months ago by writer Annie Neugebauer, asking her husband what it was like to be married to a writer. I’ve been a writer all our married life, but since I’ve only been a blogger for the past year and a half, I decided to merge the two questions.
When I asked MEH if I could interview him, this is what he said: “I really think you can do something better with your time. Doesn’t seem like it’s a productive activity. There must be someone more interesting out there to interview.”

But, that’s just MEH being modest, because he’s my biggest supporter and helps me anytime I ask. He always reads my blogs and everything else I write, too. So naturally I want to know what he thinks.

JMM: What is your impression of blogging in general?

MEH: It’s a crazy crazy world that I don’t understand. 

JMM: In what way?

MEH: There seems to be this whole social network of bloggers interacting with one another—a whole culture and society. It’s very different from my culture of engineering where I just go in and do my job with very specific milestones and end results.

JMM: Twitter?

MEH: (Laughter) Even more incomprehensible.

JMM: What do you think when I blog about you?

MEH: I don’t know why you’re blogging about me. I’m embarrassed and I think you’re incredibly creative and have actually created an entirely new character (of me) out of thin air, and it’s very impressive.

JMM: Are you implying that you’re nothing like you are in the blog?

MEH: Yes. That’s what I’m implying. You’ve created a character and attached my acronym to it—or more accurately, your acronym for me to it. (Laughter)

JMM: What do you think of the time I spend in blog world?

MEH: Sometimes you come out of it looking very dazed, as though you’ve gone into another world through a porthole in our dining room. You come out and regale me with stories of what happened in this parallel universe—it’s very science-fictiony.

JMM: Twitter?

MEH: It causes you to have incomplete thoughts. It makes it very hard to talk to you sometimes after you’ve been on Twitter because sometimes thoughts need to be longer than 140 characters.

JMM: What’s your favorite blog I’ve ever written?

MEH: MEH the Amygdala and me. It was a funny blog about our life.

JMM: Any blogs you wish I hadn’t written or can’t understand why I wrote them?

MEH: The blog in the middle of winter when we were out there on the bridge in minus 10 degrees in the wind and the snow, videotaping the overlook. I thought we could’ve done without that. (Note: for the first year of this blog, we videotaped a certain spot in Maine every week. Here’s one of the winter videos.)

JMM: What’s the best part of being married to a writer—please tell me there is a best part?

MEH: (Laughs hard) There are so many. I love it when we’re sitting in a restaurant and I can see the misty eyes you get and then I realize you’re listening to somebody else’s conversation. The amazing trips and stories we’ve gone on in our minds after observing ordinary actions of life, like overhearing a snippet of conversation that takes us down a rabbit hole in your creative mind. These are things I never would’ve seen or done if I hadn’t been married to you.

JMM: What’s the worst part of being married to a writer?

MEH: Trying to understand what you’re saying in 140 characters. (laughter). Seriously, watching and feeling the angst and pain when you get rejections—and the self-doubt that it inflicts.

JMM: How would you describe what I do all day?

MEH: Torture. You torture yourself until you’re happy.

JMM: Torture?

MEH: I see you sitting there with your head in your hands, sobbing (laughter), and you stand up and you stomp around and you sit back down and you pull your hair and then you throw things away and then you start over again. And then you say: “this is awful.” But in the end it seems to make you happy.

JMM: What’s the craziest thing you’ve found yourself doing in the name of helping me do research?

MEH: I think that would have to be pawing through a trashcan. Although taking pictures of random people in the grocery store is up there. And standing out there on the bridge in minus 10 degrees, when you used to do the videos for the blog, seems incomprehensible, although fun at the time.

JMM: Not being interviewed today?

MEH: That’s not crazy. Perplexing, maybe, but not crazy.

Have you ever asked your partner what he/she thinks of being married to/living with a writer? Would you (or have you) blogged about it? Did you discover anything surprising?

Cheers,

Julia

Comments

  1. “You torture yourself until you’re happy.”

    I think that is the best definition of writing I have ever heard! Well done, Julia’s MEH. :)

  2. CMSmith says:

    I love this. Great job, Julia.
    I’ve not been a writer my whole life, only the past 5 years or so. But I might try this out and see how Mark does. :)

    Now I have to go check out that “MEH the Amygdala and me.” I thought I’ve read all your posts as they came out, but I don’t remember this one.

    Have a great day.

    • Glad you enjoyed the post, Christine! I hope you do ask Mark, I’d be so curious to see his thoughts. And thanks for checking out MEH’s favorite post, it was an early one but a good one, one of my favorites too!

  3. Stomping around the house? Yep, that sounds familiar. :) I’m afraid to ask my husband how he feels about being married to a writer — a thriller writer, to boot. The answer might scare me — hmmm… now that I think about it, maybe I should ask! LOL! Great idea for a post!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post…. and I would love to read what your husband thinks of being married to a thriller writer, how interesting! I know that MEH was pretty startled I could write a pretty violent scene for my current WIP (a mystery). Let me know if you write one, hope so!

  4. This was brilliant, Julia; I loved it! And Randy also agrees that I’ve conjured his character out of thin air, but I don’t believe I have. They just don’t see themselves as interesting as we do. 😉

    • So glad you enjoyed it, Jolina! That’s too funny that Randy has the same reaction. And I agree, I think he’s way more interesting than he thinks he is…. and he’s such a good sport, too!

  5. This is priceless, Julia! I hadn’t really considered how nutty this must seem to our spouses (not really) even though mine is a huge supporter and is oft mentioned in my blog. I’m really moved by MEH’s responses about watching your writerly angst and how it hurts him to see you hurting from rejection. As a husband, I can imagine how troubling that would be (perhaps almost as bad as actually going through it).

    It’s a good exercise for me, to step into her POV. So thanks for the perspective, to you and to MEH!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post! That’s so sweet of you to say you were moved by MEH’s response to my writerly angst — I have to admit that until he said that, I never thought of it quite that way either. I often feel quite guilty when my mood is moved on a dime by these external forces, but MEH is always supportive and upbeat, and always willingly listens. Thanks so much for your comment and for your visit to my blog — I’m glad it provided you some perspective.

  6. Emma Pass says:

    “JMM: How would you describe what I do all day?

    MEH: Torture. You torture yourself until you’re happy.”

    LOVE this, Julia. That’s exactly how my hubby would describe me and my writing! Luckily, being a creative type himself, he is very understanding and supportive. I may have to steal this blog idea… 😉

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed the post (and were able to leave a comment, thank you for persisting!). I feel incredibly lucky to be married to someone who is understanding and supportive, so I know what you mean — aren’t we lucky? I hope you do write a post like this — I’d love to read it, please let me know!

  7. E.J. Wesley says:

    Best blog interview I’ve read, probably ever. Hit way too close to home, but I loved every word! Glad your husband is such a good sport. (He actually plays along! My wife usually just ignores me when I get worked up over writing/blogging.)

    • You are so sweet, E.J., thank you so much for your kind words! Yes, MEH is an incredibly good sport, so easy going, I’m very lucky. He always plays along and never complains. (ALthough there was the occasional time I’ve gone on a rant of one kind or another and look up to find him reading a magazine or with a glazed look in his eyes… goes with the territory of being married to a writer, I suppose….) So glad you enjoyed it!

  8. Definitely have to forward this to my husband… he’ll love it! And, yes, we do torture ourselves until we’re happy. What a great way of describing writing.

  9. Chris Fries says:

    Too funny, Julia and MEH! (or should that be YEH for “Your…”?)

    I’ve got it ALL covered — I’m an EE, my wife’s MEH, and a NOW (“Neurotic Often-rejected Writer”), too!

    ;^)

  10. HIlarious post. Love it. I love how MEH describes you creating a character out of thin air (him) … but isn’t that what we writers do best? Also cracked up at his comment about you with head in hands, stomping around, sitting down, pulling hair, throwing stuff away, then doing it all over again with a smile. “It seems to make you happy” (say all our non-writing spouses as they scratch their heads). Hahaha.

    • So happy you enjoyed it, Melissa. As for the stomping around the house? I told MEH that I don’t do that and he gave me concrete examples, so I suppose I need to accept that I do…. and yet it makes me happy???!! Yes, bemused head scratching here, too. Hahaha.

  11. Oh, I love this! MEH is a very clever, well-spoken guy! “You torture yourself until you’re happy” is absoultely brilliant. Spot on. I think that’s what all of us do. This was very fun to read! Thanks for the shout out, too. =)

    • Thank YOU for the idea, Annie! I enjoyed yours so much, too, and it was so much fun to interview MEH — so I’m glad you enjoyed it! I’ll pass your compliment on to MEH; he definitely does not consider himself a clever or well-spoken guy (in the least) but I’m with you. Thanks again! :)

  12. I absolutely loved this, Julia! MEH has such amazing insights into the writer’s life, many that we often fail to see because we’re too close to the process. Like many of the commenters, “You torture yourself until you’re happy” really resonated with me. It’s such a funny, yet poetic and honest description of what we do. Cheers to MEH for entertaining us all!

    Hmm…now I’m kind of curious as to how E would respond. I’ve never asked him what it’s like to be married to a writer. I wonder if he’d be up for it? 😉

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Natalia! I’ll pass your compliment on to MEH — so glad his comment resonated with you and he entertained you as well. I agree, funny yet honest description, and yet I’d have never thought of it myself. You should definitely try the same thing with E. It was so interesting for me to hear what MEH thought of my blogging/writing life!

  13. This was wonderful. I laughed all the way through.

    “Are you implying that you’re nothing like you are in the blog?

    MEH: Yes. That’s what I’m implying.”

    Too funny and remembering about being out there in that freezing weather on Sunday mornings. I still think about those posts occasionally. I missed seeing the water.

    • Glad to provide you with a laugh, Jamie — it was one of the most fun posts I’ve ever written, I’ll have to admit. And I’m so happy that you gave me the idea!! MEH is quite adamant that I’ve made up his blog persona (it’s not true, he’s exactly as I’ve portrayed him). As for missing those videos of the water, stay tuned…. I will be doing a fall foliage video sometime in October and maybe it will even include some water views, we’ll see :)

  14. Barb Riley says:

    Aw… this was, indeed, very sweet. I feel like I’ve gotten to know your husband just a little bit better through your interview. How lucky you are to have such a supportive and observant spouse. Really, he picks up on so much about the details of human nature and mannerisms, it almost seems he’s a closet-blogger-wannabe.

    Cute pic! Does your dog always like to carry something with her on walks?

    • Glad you enjoyed the post, Barb! And you are so right, MEH is very observant of details of human nature and mannerisms — but as for beign a closet-blogger-wannabe? Never. He is barely able to tolerate the attention he gets via my blog, haha.

      And speaking of being observant: yes! Abby, our black lab, not only always carries something on our walks, but it’s always the same thing. A rubbery white and orange Planet Dog “Orbee” Ball, her beloved favorite toy that she only gets on walks!

  15. Went back and read the nostril post–seriously hilarious, Julia!
    My husband says he doesn’t know the person who writes the things I do; that it seems like it comes from some part of me he doesn’t know.
    I have always thought MEH sounded wonderful; the perfect writer’s partner.

    • Glad you read the amygdala post, Cynthia, thank you! And especially glad you found it hilarious. My posts about/with MEH are some of my favorites, probably because we have so much fun together. I know exactly what you mean about your husband saying the posts coming from some part of you he doesn’t know — sometimes MEH says the same. You are so sweet to say such nice things about MEH; he certainly is the perfect partner for me :)

  16. carrtalks says:

    I think I’m in love with your husband. I hope you don’t mind!

  17. Nina says:

    LOVED this. How astute MEH is about the porthole . . . that’s exactly what it’s like, isn’t it? That’s a whole blog post right there. Love the idea of interviewing Bryan . . . don’t be mad if I do it at some point! Will credit you, of course! And MEH!

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed this — and I HOPE you’ll interview Bryan. I’d love to read about what other husbands/spouses/partners think of their writer partners. It’s fascinating, isn’t it? And yes, it really is like a porthole… how often we disappear and wonder where the time has gone, yes definitely a blog :)

  18. Ann says:

    Oh, I LOVE this! MEH is too cool for school and gave you (and us) REAL, thoughtful answers! Hugs to you both! ….you know I’m not a writer, but honey bunny thinks I’m a goddess in the kitchen! I told him not to elaborate!

    • Ann so nice to see you! MEH and I are so happy you enjoyed this! (And yes, he’s definitely too cool for school!) Your honey bunny always did have a way with words…. hugs back to you two, too! :)

  19. Ha ha! Oh my god, so funny!!! And I too remember (obviously only from 2nd hand experience) the very blustery winter vids! Oh I do miss them, though clearly MEH doesn’t 😀 This is pure class, Julia. The bit about torturing yourself but somehow this making you happy – is that spot on, or what? Bless him! Fab post!

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed this, Abi…it was so much fun to do! I can only say that I too laughed heartily as I interviewed MEH… so fun. And yes, bless him — never ever once did he complain about those winter vids, I had no idea until yesterday morning when I he finally said. His commentary on writing being torture until it makes me happy? Yes, spot on, I think for all of us. xox

  20. So, so funny, Julia! You and MEH just made my day. I think this was my favorite line, “Sometimes you come out of it looking very dazed, as though you’ve gone into another world through a porthole in our dining room.” OMG I bet I look just like that too!

    I could completely identify with his comment about what it’s like to be a writer: I see you sitting there with your head in your hands, sobbing (laughter), and you stand up and you stomp around and you sit back down and you pull your hair and then you throw things away and then you start over again. And then you say: “this is awful.”
    Isn’t that the absolute truth of it all? I have so many days when I feel exactly the same. Interesting to see it from the outside looking in.

    • Glad you enjoyed the post, Jackie. And yes, that description of social networking was right on, I agree…. scary to think what it does to me, so visibly. As for what it looks like from the outside in, I was really surprised (and touched) that it was hard for him to watch me with the rejections…not to mention the writing… it made me realize how much of an impact my chosen path makes on our life.

  21. Lisa Ahn says:

    Hilarious! The definition of writing as “Torture. You torture yourself until you’re happy.” The description of you stomping around, pulling your hair, and throwing things away — oh, it’s all so . . . familiar! MEH has great insights. Love this interview!!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the interview, Lisa! As for the “stomping….” hmmm, still trying to decide how accurate that verb is. MEH perhaps knows me better than I know myself (or sees me more realistically?)… now I’m off to torture myself! :)

  22. Awesome post with a side of hilarious. MEH’s a natural in the blog world. Has anyone told him that? Just love his answers!

  23. Leah says:

    This is great, Julia! I should do this with my husband who never reads my blog. Not sure why. He’ll read a post if I ask him to, but he’s not a regular reader. Hmm, maybe I should write more about him 😉

    • Glad you enjoyed this, Leah. I know what you mean about your husband not being a regular reader of your blog — MEH usually only reads my blog when I ask him to (I often also read posts aloud to him as I’m writing them). I hope you do an interview with your husband, too — I’d love to read it!