Living with a writer is [probably] not an easy thing. Creative people often get locked into their own heads, or at least…I do. I will be thinking about a writing project, and about characters and totally get locked into that and completely miss conversations with my husband or my kids. I’ll feel tremendously bad about it, but this is actually how my brain is wired. It was even happening back when I wasn’t actively working on my writing projects as I am now. This is how most creative peoples’ brains are wired. I can get lost in a novel that I’m writing, I can and have fired out literally over 6000 words in an afternoon. My creative spurts are exhausting and intense, and it’s still exhausting and intense when my creative juices are empty.
[So accurate… via this interview]
I am new to the writing business, but I still give myself deadlines. I need to finish x amount of words before Friday. I have to send out x amount of queries by Thursday. My husband tries to understand, but I suppose it’s hard. Before I decided to commit to my dream of becoming a published author, I didn’t leave him in the parenting war zone solo while I disappeared into my world of characters and writing. I repressed my plot ideas and focused 100% on family and cleaning. That worked for a bit, but now that my kids are older…I have a little more time to breathe life into my career oriented dreams. I am tired of longing to be a writer, and having all these ideas, and not writing them. Matt understands and supports me, but he probably does get resentful at times when the dishes are piling up and I’m sitting in front of my laptop typing a mile a minute while the kids colour all over every surface in the house. I can see why that’d be frustrating, so I try to condense my writing times to after the kids are in bed (or if they are napping). I still accidentally drop conversations, though.
The remarkable thing about living with a writer, is our ability to remember the mundane things. The way your hair was when we first met you. The colour of your eyes when the sun is setting. The beauty of your smile, the things that you said…even the things that you didn’t say. We interpret body language fairly well, because we study it for our stories. Or…I know I do, anyway. I have an uncanny ability to remember all that stuff, stuff that you don’t really think about. We can find some kind of beauty in the ugliest of situations. We are forever hoping for that happy ending for all of the characters in our world – both written and real.
So, cut the writer in your life a break. When they’re in the “zone”, don’t take that personal. They love you, and they appreciate you, and they remember you. They notice the little things you do, even if they sometimes get lost in their own heads. A writer needs to write, just like a painter needs to paint and a dancer needs to dance. These needs feed our souls.