What can YOU say in six sentences?
For those of you actively writing either for a living or for a future living or even as a passionate hobby, what does this look like in terms of your intimate relationships, those you live with? What does "support" for your writing and other creative endeavors look like for you? What sucks away your creative energy and keeps you from writing? What boulsters you and feeds that ember of creativity burnind within? Tell me... if you were to craft the perfect life-partner to support your need to write, how would they "be" in your life?
In turn, how do you (or would you) be supportive of a highly creative, talented person in your life?
Very, very few people know I write, or know of my aspirations for my writing. None of my extended family know. In fact, I'm pretty sure that only Jodi (my wife) knows. She doesn't feel qualified to comment on my writing, as she was never a liberal artsy person, even though she went to the same liberal artsy school that I did. But she supports me by believing in me, and helping clear obstacles in the path of my writing. She takes the kids out and gives me a few quiet hours. She doesn't complain (most of the time :) as I spend the time after the kids go to sleep at the computer, even though she hates going to sleep alone. I wouldn't call her a muse, but she is definitely a facilitator, and a very unselfish one, at that.
And she's also drop-dead gorgeous, which doesn't hurt.
My situation sounds similar to Jamie's (except my wife has a different name...). The only person in my extended family that knows anything about my writing is my brother - and all he knows is that I do it - never read a word of it. My wife helps me by doing her best to provide time. Supports me trying out different writing groups - which takes me out of the house for post-dinner cleanup and bedtime. Stays home with 3 children while I drive to Blowing Rock.
Lots of things suck away creative energy - I am in no position at the moment to not have my day job, so like Jamie, my only time to really write is after bedtimes. Sometimes that is great, other times I can tell I am just too tired to think as creatively as I would like.
A perfect partner...I really kind of like the one I have. Any "improvement" I could think of would be in a very selfish direction for me (more time, more time, more time) - but time is limited - I need some, she needs some, we need some, children need some. For now we use the time we have, smile and help each other as much as we can.
having a supportive spouse is soooo important. that's for Travis and Jamie. ;)
Oh, man! You two are sappy! Grin.
Honestly, I wanted to wait until others had chimed in to add my reply to my own question. My first husband was an incredibly supportive person. He had no clue about writing or art or creative process, but he was willing to bend over backwards to help me in whatever way necessary. He was not a good sounding board, but an excellent person to help me find that ellusive animal called TIME.
Now I am with someone who is incredibly creative himself, someone who jealously guards his work time. He totally understands my need to walk or draw or sing or play a game in order to jump start the process. Totally understands why it takes sometimes 3 days to get back into an old manuscript or "start again." He is also the BEST reader I know. Together we have "goals" for the future that involve proceeds from both of us "doing the good work." The downside is that when he is not working on a project, he wants me to play cowboy with him. Our cycles don't always overlap. But that is minor. I can't not write (to quote Mr. Jamie Hogan).
Truthfully... I think that we all get from the universe exactly what we ask for. And support comes in many forms.
Everyone who knows me knows that I write. However, very few want to read what I write. (My younger son is the exception.) That's OK with me. My husband supports my efforts by leaving me alone to do what I need to do. I appreciate that. If I could change one thing, it would be that he stop referring to my writing as a hobby. I think that it is belittling that passionful thing in my life as though I built model airplanes. But I do have it good for the most part.
I think it is great that everyone you know knows about your pursuit. I am in the closet, and may stay there forever. One reason may be that I don't want to find out my friends don't want to read me, because I am pretty sure they wouldn't. ;)
I can't imagine not being with another writer. Reading each other's stuff, forwarding links, reading aloud to each other, pressing a novel into your spouse's hands and saying "Trust me ... you'll LOVE it" are just a few of the advantages. Honest criticism is essential. Suggestions for improving are important and welcomed, whether they're employed or not. For me, to not read something your significant other has written smacks of a deeper disinterest. Time issues? There aren't any.
Amen. And Hallelujah. And pass the Colum McCann or that short story in the New Yorker that gave you a lump in your throat, or that poem you found online, or just a joke that made you laugh.
mike wants me to submit everything i have at the bottom of my closet. my in-laws don't understand why i'm not published yet, but they haven't read most of what i've written. when mike reads my work he claims he doesn't get it. i'm sad for that. i told him bradbury is a poet and he says "no he isn't." i have his support, and his mom and dad also support me, but in a side-line kind of way, which is better than nothin'! i think mainly mike and jack wish i would not write on their time.
my creative energy is sucked out, delayed, decayed, dead-stopped because i write at work or at home, and then re-write the thing into oblivion--can't learn to leave well enough alone. also because daily life (my son's school habits and my job suck my soul and creativity into a black hole.)
the perfect life partner to support my need to write? hmmm... he would understand what i meant and ask me more about it. maybe make little contributions to ideas instead of asking "why can't i write more than 6 sentences?" can't say i can complain about my family, and i know i shouldn't write on their time. but i do lament that mike doesn't try to understand my work a little more.
how would i support a highly creative person in my life? same way i do when jack creates a stop-motion movie of a train wreck or a diorama, or builds a submarine in our living room: WOW!
More than six sentences? Virginia Woolf counted it an excellent day when she got out one hundred words, and all she did was write.
Angela, Mike recently explained why Bradbury is a "writer" and not a "poet." He said "writers make sense." Well... to each their own. And we just keep on typing, no matter the length, just keep on goin'. : )
as for supporting a creative person, my husband is as creative as they come, but he is not aware of his comedic brilliance. he works a job he hates, but i always tell him i'll start writing his stuff when he's ready. until then, i guess i make his lunches and suppers. :)
my husband loves me and supports me by giving me time to write by leaving the house or going outside if he knows i need quiet. but kristine, i'm like you. he says he doesn't "get" my writing. i think it's a cop-out. he doesn't ever want to hurt my feelings so that's his way of avoiding it. if i ask him to listen to something, he always does and he always has good suggestions. he's supportive in every other way, so i guess i try to remember that i need quiet to write so maybe it's to be my passion singularly. i get a lot of extra time that he doesn't because he works so much which he does so i don't have to have a job in the summer and can write, so in my head, that evens out.
the only thing that causes me issue is time. i always have an idea to write. there's always something brewing in my head, but getting it to paper isn't as easy as i have lots of other responsibilities and i feel obligated to do things like help my parents at their farm and exercise so i don't weigh 350 pounds. :)
i finally told everyone i was writing about 2 years ago, but it's weird to see who cares and who doesn't. most of my closest family and friends don't read my stuff. my one sister always does, but no one else. i can't tell you why that is and sometimes, it hurts my feelings, but i have learned that things happen for a reason (and it sure makes it easier to write about all of them when i know they won't read it - lol).
besides, what i really need is somebody to write the damn query letters for me! and none of them can do that anyway. :)