Do you have a relationship with your writing (or whatever it is that you ‘do’)? I have one, absolutely. As I started thinking about this concept, I thought for sure that my writing relationship was steady and strong – unwavering, the equivalent of a couple married for 50 years. And it is…sometimes.
But overall, it’s one of those wild and crazy relationships that’s unpredictable, tantalizing, maddening and passionate all at the same time. I’ve gotta say…I like it. Every day is different and every day is new.
I have an idea, a spark, an urgent need to write. I can’t stop, can’t eat, can’t think about anything else. I have insane amounts of energy, I glow, I’m skinny. I replay the moments of writing bliss over and over in my head. I can’t wait to get back to it. I think about writing and my laptop incessantly. Writing is all I want to do. I fantasize about seeing my name up in lights (i.e. on the New York Times bestseller list…) and it seems quite possible. Anything does.
The Other Woman, Pizza, Trail
There’s nothing that puts the zing back into things like a little jealousy. In this relationship, it goes something like this: I go for a walk – and my fingers get jealous of my feet. I eat – and my fingers get jealous of my stomach. I talk – and my fingers get jealous of my mouth. Sometimes you have to get away from the writing to want it again desperately, if even for a moment.
Sad, but true. I have been known to emotionally abuse myself within this writing relationship. ‘Shoulda, coulda, woulda’ (circa SATC) is usually the culprit. I shoulda proofread better. I coulda written that article so much faster. I woulda gotten that client if…. I’m not proud of all of this, but there it is: I’m my harshest critic. Who’s yours?
The Circle of Friends
What good is a relationship if you can’t sit around gabbing about it with your friends? Now, the worst thing in the world is to go on and on about your new lover to your single friends. Eventually, you’ll go to the bathroom and when you come back? They’ll be gone. My writing buddies are my go-to support, they’re my peeps. We all understand the insanity of this writing life – we applaud the good news, buoy each other up during the bad, spark new ideas and act as sounding boards. It’s important to walk outside of the relationship and get another point of view.
It’s hard work, but the commitment is solid and un-ending. I show up everyday without fail. Sometimes I fall into the same old routines of procrastination and boredom. Sometimes I get inspiration and windfalls. Most days, I don’t dress up, sometimes I don’t even shower – but everyone here in this writing marriage loves me anyway. There’s a deep comfort knowing that we’re in this for the long haul – no matter what happens, for better or for worse.
Image credit: toffer