A Second Proposal

My fiancé and I have been together for nearly four years now. Six months into our relationship, I told him that I posted fiction to an online website. It was a big step for me—he was the first person in my real-life that I told—but the whole experience was nowhere near as dramatic as I’d imagined.

“I like to write,” I told him as we lay in bed one night.

There was a long pause and, at first, I thought he was digesting this earth-shattering news that I’d delivered, wondering how I could have possibly kept this a secret when we’d promised to have total honesty between us at all times.

“I know that,” he said eventually. “You used to have a horse.”

“No, not ride. Write,” I emphasised, realising that his initial hesitance had been down to confusion rather than shock.

“Oh,” he said. “Cool.”

And that was it. He was very laidback about the whole thing and didn’t seem to think it was a big deal in the slightest. I was grateful for that.

Over time, he took more of an interest. He asked how many stories I’d written and if a lot of people had read them. When I admitted that I had several thousand followers, he began to take it more seriously. His initial indifference towards my secret hobby turned into intense pride.

Nine months into our relationship, I moved abroad to study in Italy for a year and we started doing long-distance. It was tough. We hadn’t been together a great deal of time and were still in that euphoric honeymoon period. That was great when we met up with one another, but not so great when we spent time apart. Nevertheless, we coped through all the bumpy patches and tricky obstacles, and then moved in together once I returned.

Two years later—just a few weeks ago—he told me he’d love to co-write a book with me.

My fiancé has always been incredibly supportive. When you have a secret hobby like this, it’s so liberating to be able to share that with someone—whether it’s your successes, nice comments or even the progress of your latest chapter. He was proud when I got into the Wattpad Stars program, he encouraged me when I received disheartening messages and he was excited when I was given the opportunity to have adverts in my stories or work with global brands.

So, when he suggested we write a book together, I wasn’t sure whether this was a highlight of my relationship or my writing journey.

As we began to discuss it in more detail, he admitted he wanted to write a book centred around a long-distance relationship, told in two points of view—I’d write about my experiences and he’d write about his.

It was a great idea in theory, particularly as we both had very different views of my time in Italy. I found living there lonely at times, missed my family and became irritated with some of the recurring day-to-day frustrations. My fiancé, on the other hand, saw visiting Italy as a holiday where he spent time with me out there, but then always returned home to his family and friends after a few days.

Needless to say, our vastly different opinions of the whole experience would be entertaining to read—at least for the two of us, anyway!

The fact he is so willing to immerse himself in my secret world is very special to me. There is a lot to consider first if we ever were to publish it online—I’ve always been wary of writing “fiction” that is essentially autobiographical, based on real people and real events—but, as far as my writing career goes, this is definitely a highlight.

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Tessa Lovatt is a British author who’s been sharing her stories online since 2011. Her world has revolved around books for as long as she can remember, and that love of words extended into university, where she studied languages. 55,000 readers follow Tessa on Wattpad, the social storytelling platform, and her books have accumulated over 25 million reads.

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