He Said, She Said What?!

I have been known – on occasion – to disagree with my sweetie.  I know, shocking to admit. Still, I feel the need to get a few things off my chest today.

Inspired by Alicia and Roy Street’s recent blog post about their husband and wife writing team, Mars and Venus Writing Together, I decided to list all the reasons why my husband and I could never write together.

1) He’s total logic.
2) My brain is like a pinball machine on speed.

3) He works from point A to point B.
4) I start at the beginning, jump to the end, fiddle with the middle, then fill in all the holes in between. And then, move the beginning to the end, the end to the middle, and shift around every other word in the manuscript.

5) He likes to give orders.
6) Ummm, you want me to do what?!

7) I know how to drive him crazy in 2.5 seconds flat, and sometimes I do it for the pure joy of seeing him hit the insanity button.
8) He can drive me crazy, but it’s usually because I’ve waited for the perfect moment to deliberately push his buttons.

9) He’d want to write about guys doing guy stuff, rolling cars, shooting guns, being like, you know, James Bond, or Clint Eastwood, or maybe Rocky.
10) I just want to write dialogue, mouths moving, talking heads. Basically women talking to men and their men listening.

11) He’d want to work … well, together. In the same room. At the same desk. Maybe even in the same chair!!!
12) I’d want to work in a room, with the door closed, with no one for company but my computer. Oh, and email, and all my email buddies, and everyone I know on Twitter and Facebook and on the internet. Alone, yes, I really do need to work alone.

Despite our differences, we’ve raised two sons and worked as a united team whenever it was THEM against us.

We’ve built two houses together without killing each other. We know our roles. He pounds the nails and lifts all the heavy stuff. I’m his Go-For-The-Hammer-Honey girl.

Ying and yang. For some reason, it works for us.

Do you have someone you enjoy working with or do you prefer to work alone?

About Sheila Seabrook

Author of contemporary romance and women's fiction.

Posted on January 11, 2012, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 55 Comments.

  1. I work alone! I’ve tried having others read chapters as I write them, but then I become overwhelmed with all the contradicting views. It’s not that the suggestions made aren’t valid or good–they are! It’s just we are all seeing the plot, the dialog, the GMC differently and when creating the story, that can be jarring. It’s when I’ve finished the draft that all those extra eyes–and opinions–are so valuable.

    And, no, I could NEVER work with my husband. He strictly relegated to the research aspect of romance writing. 🙂

    • I’m the same, Tracy. If I show my work too early, it confuses my vision and I’m unable to finish the manuscript.

      And I’m sure your husband enjoy’s the research part much more than he’d enjoy the writing. LOL!

  2. I have worked side-by-side with my husband on small projects around the house and I do NOT mind being told what to do. However, he always knows what’s best. Why can’t “I” ever know what’s best? Most of the time he’s right, but does it always have to be done his way? Makes me want to keep away from home projects and just let him do them alone, even though it appears I’m being a slug by sitting around and not helping him. Let him yell at his daughter or his son and I’ll keep out of it!

  3. Oh Sheila, I’m SO with you here.
    My husband and I are opposites, with strong opinions.

    He once thought about us going into business together, but I decided I’d rather stay married, instead.

    • I so agree, Laura. I can work around the house and raise kids with my husband but I could never be in business with him. I’d always be right and he’d be wrong. It’s simple. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Love it. You may want to read my recent post about the 9 1/2 things I’ve learned from 9 1/2 years of marriage. I think it fits quite nicely with this post.


    • You’re right, Rob, it does. I had to drop by and check it out. And since I love to laugh, I enjoyed your post!

      Thanks for dropping by. It’s great to have made your acquaintance. 🙂

  5. He the visual artists and gourmet chef – nice for me as I love having someone else hang pictures and display art – not to mention I don’t have to cook. On the flip side – leave my characters alone and don’t try to tell me who the villian is.

    • I love a man who cooks, Sheri. Mine certainly knows how but would prefer I handle that part of the household. OTOH, I let him mow the lawn, change the oil in the vehicles, and rescue our boys when their vehicles break down in -40 degree weather. Good tradeoff. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by. It was great to meet you!

  6. Oh, the complementarity of opposites principle: the yin & yang of life. Works. For some.

    • It makes sense that there are varying degrees oh using and yang in each of us, so therefore it’s there in our relationships, too.

      Thanks for stoping by, Theresa. 🙂

  7. omg, that comic is priceless! I have to write alone, in silence. Unfortunately, my hubby also works from home and likes to kill zombies on the xbox at lunchtime. Other than that, our complete oppositeness (word?) makes a great team.

  8. Sheila,
    I loved working in a big newsroom with no dividers. I’d look up and see a hundred people heads down in concentration, and the sight motivated me. Nowadays, I enjoy working with a critique group and am happy to share a blog with Lark Howard because I’m at my best when I’m responsible to others. (I’ll disappoint myself but not other people.) I’d happily work in the same room as my husband if only he’d quit asking random questions like, “Have you seen the iTunes giftcard the kids gave me for Christmas?” Since I’m the family’s Lassie, I get up and hunt for the card.

  9. Handsome and I do some things together very well and others….

    I can’t imagine writing a book with him, tho.

  10. I’m honored that our craziness inspired yours! Luv this post! And the cartoon is priceless.

    Interesting that you should mention us in your blog post today, because you are also in ours!

    • I always laugh at the posts you and Roy do. And yeah, wasn’t today a coincidence.

      For anyone reading comments, Alicia and Roy awarded me the Leibster blog award … And I didn’t even have to pay them!

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  11. I work alone. My husband is Mr. Logical Engineer who loves to dispense advice–even about subjects he doesn’t know much about. Luckily after 20 years I almost find it “cute.” Almost. Then again I don’t have to work with him. 🙂

    • I once read an article about men’s need to solve problems. So even if all we want to do is vent about a problem, they’re compelled to gi e advice. The differences between men and women are fascinating.

      Thanks for stopping by, Coleen. 🙂

  12. Lol! Hub is a rock’n’roll musician who doesn’t read fiction. GASP! But, he freely shares his life stories (lots of them!) and lets me use them for my writing. So it’s a collaboration of sorts…he lived a rockstar life in the 80’s and 90’s and now I draw inspiration from it.

  13. If I am upset or worried about something my husband will say, “Just forget about it!”
    I think guys can turn stuff off in their head just like a TV remote! Hahaha!
    Great post!

  14. I’m co-writing a novel right now with a wonderful friend and fellow writer–and we’re polar opposites in a lot of ways. For example, she’s a pantser and I’m a plotter. You can image how well that goes together when you’re trying to write a novel, eh 😉 But we’re making it work. While I’m loving the back and forth, I also enjoy working solo. Can’t a girl have it all? 🙂

    • Having somebody to bounce ideas off would be really great. You can definitely have it all, Marcy. I’d love to cowrite a book with someone one day. It just wouldn’t be my husband. LOL.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  15. Sheila,
    I love this post!

    My husband works from home quite a lot, and at first it really bothered me. But now he does his thing and I do mine. When we have to do something together, it does get a little dicey, but we’re still married and in love 🙂

    • Christy, glad you enjoyed the post. 🙂 It sounds like you have the ideal working relationship. You have your space and he has his. Perfect for getting a lot of work done and yet, you also have someone to share coffee with.

      Thanks for popping by!

  16. Hubby and I don’t write together. I sometimes ask him to proof something or take a look. He obliges, but not really happy about it.

    • LOL! Sounds like my husband. The first book I ever asked him to critique, he did so willingly. It was the first book I ever wrote. Five minutes after I handed that baby into his hands, I took it away from him. I guess he didn’t know that at the time, he wasn’t actually supposed to tell me there was something bad about it.

      Thanks for stopping by, Stacy!

  17. Sheila, this is great and opens a Pandora’s box for most “happy” couples. There are few who can pull off the precarious tightrope walk of working together. Mostly, I am as Neil Diamond said … “A Solitary Man.” Then four months ago two young writers (MG/YA writer, Historic Romance writer) … both old enough to be my kids, asked if I would do a collaboration with them. Well the MG writer came up with the idea and we both agreed it would be a lark. Not an anthology or a collection, but to actually write a novel together. Don’t know how it will work, but I love collaboration almost as much as I love my solitude. It brings us to a different perspective, teaches a bit more tolerance and hopefully, it will give me an opportunity to stretch my craft. Still think working with a husband would be a disaster 🙂

    • Florence, I would love to hear more about your collaberation with these two writers. I hope you do a post about it one day. What I found so interesting about the collaborated books I’ve read (does that make sense?!) is how seamless the writing is. I can’t tell one author’s voice from the other one.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your news. I’m so excited for you and hope I can one day read the book. 🙂

  18. your husband and my ex must be brothers…we certainly had similar sounding relationships. I like to work alone. could not write with someone looking over my shoulder.

    • At my old job, during a slow period, my boss told me I could spend my spare time working on my book. But even then, I couldn’t do it. There’s nothing like the feeling of being alone in the house, of being able to walk and pace without someone interrupting your train of thought. I love to fold laundry when I’m thinking. Don’t know why. I guess because it’s a mindless task.

      Thanks for stopping by, Lousie. 🙂

  19. What a fun post. I think I ‘could’ work with others, as long as they did what I told them. haha! Ok, I can be flexible with enough motivation.

  20. That’s so funny Sheila! When you’ve been married for enough years, I think part of the fun is learning how to get your spouse wound up. I love it. But then again, I learned the technique from my husband. So it’s his fault! LOL

    So we do not collaborate writing. Although he is my proof-reader of which I have thanked him many times. 🙂

    • And some spouses are easier to wind up than others. Mine never expects it, even though we’ve been married for many, many years. You’d think he’d see it coming by now.

      Lucky you to have a proofreader in the house. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by, Karen!

  21. Very funny, and ultimately sweet, post. I could NEVER work with my husband either. In fact, he was working from home for a while because he telecommutes to a company in a different state. I finally told him, you MUST get an office. We would have ended up killing each other. 😉

    • Oh good, I’m not the only one. LOL! When mine was at home, I finally started shutting my office door. It was the only way I could think.

      Thanks for stopping by, Julie!

  22. Hahaha! Love this post Shelia! And I can’t stop laughing at the comic. 😀 To answer your question, I work alone. I can’t imagine working with someone. I have my ideas and that’s the way they are going to be. Having said that, I have a story waiting to be written that my husband LOVES. He is an ex-screen writer and wants to write the thing with me. Hmmm. We will see. He proof reads my stuff as it is and gives me great, unbiased feedback. I love him for that.

    • The moment I saw that comic, it grabbed my funny bone and wouldn’t let go. I laugh every time I look at it. 🙂

      Wow, Debra, a screen writer. No wonder you get excellent feedback from him. So will your story be a screenplay or a novel? I hope if you decide to collaborate, you’ll tell us all about it in a post. 🙂

  23. I definitely have to work alone. My honey will come to my doorway and stand there!He’s cute and doesn’t want to interrupt, he says. Apparently he thinks standing there staring at me isn’t interrupting. lol.
    He’s a great partner in most every way. We work on other things really well and it’s extremely rare we ever have cross words, let alone a fight. I love your list, Sheila! I can’t imagine writing together!

    • Marcia, your honey is precious! I always say my sweetie is happiest when I’m in his back pocket. It sounds like you man feels exactly the same way.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing. 🙂

  24. Sheila! You are too fun!! Yes, I LOVE working with my husband on everything. We connect on so many levels. He completely understands and gets me more than I get or understand myself. I can just look at him and he can tell me exactly what I’m thinking!

  25. My hubby and I could never write together either. I think it’s pretty darn impressive that you built two houses with your hubby! Wow! I do enjoy collaborating with other writers. I co-author the children’s middle grade (ages 8-12) Monster Moon series, and we have the time of our lives writing together. It’s a lot of work, don’t get me wrong, but also tons of fun!

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