Okay, yes, this is a blog about writing, but it's also a chronicle of my journey as a writer, and I'd be doing everyone a great disservice if I didn't delve into one of the great landmarks of my journey thus far. And as Cupid's favorite day approaches, I think it's only fitting that I discuss one of the great influences in a writer's life, and certainly a tremendous influence in mine - the significant other.
Now, I don't know about other writers, but I pull inspiration and encouragement from everyone around me. I try to surround myself with wonderful, creative (and often geeky) people who will influence me in positive ways. It's a wonder, then, that I always ended up dating people who were the antithesis of that. Oh, sure, they might be creative in their own right, but they were less than interested in my own pursuit. It wasn't that they were trying to sabotage my efforts or anything. None of them were malicious toward my writing in any way. No, it was worse, they absolutely did not care about my literary pursuit. Not one bit. It's hard to find much inspiration in that.
That was then. Now, I get a text that reads like this:
"You are fantastic, amazing, wonderful & treat me extremely well. I love you so very, very much. <3 Also, write something. <3"
Finally! A girlfriend who GETS IT!
Writers write. That's what we do. It's hard enough to remove ourselves from the world to do what we love without someone trying to make us feel like horrible ogres about it. I've been given epic guilt trips for wanting some time to myself so I could write in peace, with the implication being something along the lines of "Why do you not want to be with me?" The answer, of course, is never one that they want to hear: "I do, but I need to do this, too." They don't understand, or can't, and take it to mean that they're somehow less important than a computer or a notepad.
This is, needless to say, completely untrue.
I can't speak for working writers, those who make a living from sitting by themselves in front of a computer and stringing together words to form sentences. Maybe it's different if there's a tangible gain from one's writing, some sort of proof that writing is important in the form of numbers in an account. For me, however, someone who holds a day job then comes home to write, there is no tangible gain other than a growing word count and pages of words that will, one would hope, end up being read by thousands of people one day. It's hard to explain why writers toil away like that, and harder still to reconcile that with someone who thinks you're wasting your time.
Fortunately, I found a woman who makes it easy for me. Though we've only been together for a handful of months, Miss Loki has been the ideal significant other. She's smart, she's funny, she's a geeky gamer like me, and she's incredibly understanding of the fact that a writer needs to write. She offers encouragement when I need to sit down and work my wordcraft, and lends a sympathetic ear when I need to work through the trickier parts of creating a compelling story. Maybe it's because she wants to be a sci-fi/fantasy editor (I know, it must be fate) but she gets it like no one else has. I realize I'm extremely gifted to have her in my life, and I tell her so often.
In fact, I think I'll do so again: Thank you so much, beloved, for your patience and understanding toward your boyfriend the writer. You are so very much appreciated.
Got a writer or a writer's significant other in your life who you cherish? Add your praises in the comments below!