Feb 15, 2012

Nurturing the Writing Relationship

Yesterday, Golfer (my husband) and I celebrated our 13th Valentine's together.  Thirteen years ago yesterday, our conversations about our future and the possibility of marriage shifted from *if* to *when* which brings about an expected moment of relationship evaluation.

You know those couples who never fight, have a bad day or say an unkind word.  That's not me and Golfer.  We are both very opinionated people and have a decent amount of passion for the things we are opinionated about.  We have had really bad days and amazing days.

This is kind of like my relationship with writing.  I can have days when everything just clicks, when I'm thrilled with what is coming out of my brain, through my fingers and onto the screen.  And other days when I may think not PG thoughts about my brain...fingers...screen...and characters who only live there for now.

So what's the key to success for both of these?

One, I can't imagine my life without either of them.   Sure, I may say that my life could be easier, but it wouldn't be as fulfilling.

Two, I have both these things enough in my life that I see them immediately after a disagreement.  They are just there and I have to remember that they are there because I put them there.  Clearly I had a reason at that time - I just need to remind myself what it was.

With my marriage, that may mean sitting down and talking over the frustrations.

With my WIP, that may mean that I need to go back a few scenes, take some time for revision, and get back to work.

I think everyone who writes knows it isn't the most romantic relationship ever.  And most relationships, contrary to what the modern chick flick would have us believe, don't end up in happily ever after because of two tumultuous weeks.  They take work and dedication and compromise.

But boy is it ever worth it.

What do you do to keep your relationship with your writing healthy?  How do you overcome the troubling issues?


Jess said...

That's a great way to think about it!! Of course, I've never been married so I don't know what it's like. But to overcome my issues with my writing, sometimes I just have to take a little break. I go work on something else for a day or two then come back to it.
Great post :)

Kyra Lennon said...

I whine and blog lol! And once I've whined and blogged, and slept, things never seem as bad when I come back to them. :)

Angela Cothran said...

I LOVE this correlation! I think it is spot on. I'm terrible at balance. If you figure it out let me know :)

Elizabeth Seckman said...

They call that passion, don't they?
Great post.

Erin Shakespear said...

How do I keep it healthy? Stick with it. I think marriages are more successful if you make a decision when you get into that you're going to stick it out, that you're in for the long haul.

And writing is the same...we have to decide we're in this for the good and bad and we're going to stick it out.

Too bad writing doesn't bring chocolates though, eh?

S.P. Bowers said...

Intimacy doesn't always mean romance. Relationships (with a person or a WIP) embrace the good and the bad and that's what makes it special.

But, yea, work, dedication compromise and dare I add patience?

Annalisa Crawford said...

I've thrown a manuscript in the air before. Un-numbered, first draft... what followed was not pretty. It taught me how to be a little bit more patient, and when to walk away BEFORE I do that.

I see passion when writing as a good thing - it infuses into your words.

And wine!

Leigh Covington said...

I hear you on the husband/wife relationship. Me and my hubs are the same way. And I love how you've applied it to writing. Sometimes I just need a few days off with my WiP. It gives me a chance to clear my thoughts. AND... if I find some inspirational and motivational blog posts along the way, that always helps too!

Melanie Fowler said...

I love that you're opinionated, and you both know it and work together.

I keep my writing relationship healthy, but thinking about it all the time, and reading it often.

J. A. Bennett said...

I so agree with this! I can think of few things that compare better. Both take real commitment. Great post!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

They are there because I put them there - how profound!

KarenG said...

Happy Anniversary! And I don't believe a relationship without conflict is that healthy. Otherwise, one of the couple is just backing down, imho.

Chantele Sedgwick said...

Yay for 13 Valentine's together! That's awesome! :) I agree marriage takes dedication and compromise. And writing does as well. If I'm struggling with my writing, I take a step back and figure out what's causing me problems. If it's something minor, I can fix it. Something huge, I have to take a few days off and talk it out with my MC's. :)

Nancy said...

I am very fortunate that my marriage is much healthier than my relationship with writing because I constantly cheat on my WIP. In fact, sometimes I'm not even sure which story I am working on. Congrats on sticking it out with both your husband and your writing.

Emily R. King said...

I enjoyed reading this association. In marriage, you wake up every day and decide you want to be in that marriage. In writing, you wake up every day and decide to keep writing.
Congrats on 13 years! My hubby and I are at 12.

Laura Josephsen said...

What an awesome perspective to have. Thanks for sharing!

Jess Stork said...

A good comparison... It's so true that there's good and bad days with writing. I think the best way to keep it healthy is to never let the bad days make you give up... to keep in mind that those breakthrough days are coming. Great post!