The Writing Relationship
Inspired by a post on Reddit, I thought it might be helpful to myself and others to write about relationships and writing. Now, in writing this, I'm in no way saying this is how ALL writers behave in a relationship. I can only speak from personal experience. But I think all writers are passionate about their writing (well, all serious writers), and this passion can interfere with...well, let's just say a different kind of passion.
I've been together with my wife for over ten years now. In that ten years, I have graduated with a BA in Creative Writing, completed a 400k-word novel, chopped up and edited the aforementioned novel, come up with hundreds of new characters and ideas, worked on several short stories, submitted numerous query letters, and begun editing my very first published work. While that might seem like bragging, I'm only trying to paint a picture of how much writing-related activities I've involved myself with in the ten years I've known Jen. Want to venture a guess how much of those writing-related activities made their way into our everyday lives? If you guessed, "damn near all the time" well, I will mail you a cookie!
Now, Jen knew I was a writer when we first got together. At the time, I was studying poetry in my major, and of course, that did well to win her over. I mean who could resist the romantic wiles of a poet, right? But poetry was really just a phase for me, something to help spur on my creativity. My true love for writing was rooted in the fantastic, epic worlds I've always loved creating. While Jen knew this at the time, I don't know that I could have ever prepared her for the ride I was going to drag her along for.Now, at times, someone might even accuse me of being overbearing, turning my wife into a captive audience, forcing her to listen to my random inspirations.
Over the next ten years, she would listen patiently as I retold story lines and plot details, described characters, and in general, bounced around all kinds of different ideas regarding my writing. She helped me when I struggled with writer's block and low-motivation. She's let me work during the late (and early) hours of day, even when she'd wish otherwise. I've even managed to wake her up to spill an idea or work through a problem. Sometimes, I might even be accused of being overbearing, turning my wife into a captive audience, forcing her to listen to my random inspirations. I think most writers would agree, that sometimes you only need an audience, whether they're listening or not.
Jen has always been a great sport about the nuances of writing, even if sometimes she isn't quite in the mood to listen. The fact that she listens to my ramblings even half of the time is tremendous help. One of the greatest offerings a writer can receive is a listening ear and when needed, a suggestion to help point you in the right direction. Jen has provided both to me over the years.
Jan Campbell (Mom)
11/24/2012 01:20:44 pm
I can understand some of what Jen has been going through. From the time you could talk and tell stories to drawing your own cartoons with captions and then to creating the Hot Spot Kids (heroes for the environment), I've listened to you and given support when I could. But I'm most proud of the fact that you have never given up on your dream of writing. I remember a day we were headed to piano lessons and you were talking about your characters. You said it felt like your head was going to burst with all the ideas and characters that you thought up. I had no idea what that was like but I have come to understand a little bit of what you go through on a daily basis with your characters and ideas. You are a writer and will always be a writer and I love you for that.
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