The saddest part about being an author is only being able to spend approximately 10% of my writing time doing what I love best--writing. I'm talking about those blissful hours spent with your first draft, lovingly translating the scenes playing out in your head into words.
Family life, promotion time, social networking all suck up valuable time, but the saddest facet of being an author is that the other 90% of writing time is essentially spent rewriting.
Now some authors like to labor through that first draft alone with only a cat, a cup of coffee and the sound of keyboard clatter for company. Others turn it into a social event, sharing each chapter or even each scene with their colleagues.
Through the process of editing, one factor is nearly universal--the need for a good Critique Partner. Or at the very least, a competent beta reader. The rare author might have a spouse or a significant other who can fulfill this role, but many--like me--are met with frustration.
Oh, my husband may occasionally try to fill in the gap, but his
definition of romance are a dozen roses on our anniversary and a Dyson
vacuum on my birthday. He gets points for trying. He takes me out to dinner and listens to my
publishing plans. He lies awake in bed while I ramble,
eyelids propped open with toothpicks and a snore on his lips. But his preferred reading material consists of political blogs, and he speaks C++ and math more fluently than English.
Some authors are lucky enough to be in a monogamous relationship with a fellow writer, a supportive partner who laughs at your jokes, props up your flagging spirit, administers back pats, praise, hugs and hot chocolate. Those of you who are should take this moment to appreciate your CP! Say thanks, take her for coffee, give her a little gift. You have no idea how lucky you are!
Other authors have spent their existence bouncing through a series of short-term relationships, never really hooking up with that one true soul mate. Such relationships might last for a day or a week, a few months if one is fortunate. Most are are active swingers, swapping partners based on the genre or simply the availability of prospective CPs. Many romance authors engage exclusively in same sex relationships because A) there are so few male authors, and B) what do men really know about romance anyway?
There should be an online hookup site for authors seeking CPs. I envision a profile looking something like this: