In my last blog post I wrote: ‘write every day is the mantra of the established writer, but the impossibility of the first time novelist’. The more time I spend writing, the more I realise how true that is. The more I write, the more I sacrifice from the rest of my life.
Like many budding writers, I followed the advice of those who have hacked through the overgrown path to authorship. I made writing my priority, cutting back activities taking time from it. I have given my chance as a writer everything I can baring handing my notice in at work and throwing caution to the wind.
The result is that in the eyes of my partner, I have become boring. He tells me all I ever talk about is writing.
Has anyone ever said anything like that to you? It hurts when someone you love tells you they aren’t interested in the one subject that fills you with excitement. When he said it, I strained my mind to think of something new to bring up in conversation.
“Hi Hunny, today I-”
“learned how to write in the active voice.”
“designed a cover for my novella.”
“learned how to pitch a book to an agent.”
“found a beta reader.”
“learned how to publish a book on Amazon.”
“received my first 5 star review.”
“learned how to design an author website.”
To me and possibly to many other authors out there, these are all different topics of conversation. Grammar, plotting, artwork, website building, editing, pitching, marketing, publishing, the list of subjects an author must know about goes on and on, to the point where writing is only a small part of what it means to be an author.
The same can’t be said for my partner though. Those are all one seemingly never-ending topic of conversation for him.
He tells me I’m not the person I was when the relationship began, and the truth is he’s right. About a year into our relationship, I changed. I began writing because he bought an x-box and I wanted something to do to keep myself entertained when I was at his house and he wanted to play Destiny. I would point out the irony to him that he is now annoyed at the time I spend writing, but that’s another conversation about writing and we already know how that goes.
I talk about writing because to me it is the most exciting thing I do. Real life has begun to pale in comparison to all the strange and wonderful places I can invent in my head. I freely admit that I have stopped being the person he fell in love with. Instead of needing to seek out fulfilment at whatever social events take my fancy, I delight in making my own entertainment.
We watched the trailer for the film ‘Passengers’ together a few weeks ago. At the end, my partner turned to me and said, “I don’t know what I would do if something like that happened to me. I would go mad, being trapped there all alone. I mean, what would you do all day?”
I told him I would be fine. I would write. Then I cringed because I realised I had turned the conversation to writing… again.
I’m addicted. It doesn’t matter that no-one reads what I’ve written. It doesn’t matter I’m so unsuccessful I can’t get book review bloggers to reply to my e-mails. I love writing too much to stop and care that no-one is reading. I am prioritising my writing. I am being selfish. My relationship is paying for it.
He wishes I was still the person he fell in love with. The social bunny who was so busy that he had to book time in with me two weeks in advance. I can’t go back to being that girl. That girl was unsatisfied with her life. She constantly sought out ways to fill it with anything that gave her the delusion of accomplishing something.
As a writer, I overflow with pride for what I have achieved. I’ve written stories in worlds unlike any you have ever read before. I’ve played with words and crafted coloured images out of black and white. I’ve carved something beautiful from where before there was nothing.
For the sake of my relationship, I will try to reduce the amount of time I devote to writing, but I can’t go back to who I was before. The only question that remains is will he be able to accept the person I am now?
Perhaps that’s why you hear of so many successful writers being married to other writers.