Thursday, April 21, 2016

Living With Non-Writers

 A Post By Jonathan 


I've been wanting to write about this topic for a while, but I wanted to make sure my wife wasn't secretly reading my blog posts. So far, I don't think she is... But if you are reading this, Honey... I love you!

Ever since I started this whole writing gig/hobby/thing, I've found it a bit of a struggle to communicate to my non-writer spouse exactly what goes into crafting a novel. She knows about the countless hours it takes, but it's been nae impossible to explain all the feelings --doubt, fear, insecurity, some good things too-- that accompany them. It seems that no matter what I say, or how I say it, I'm never really able to articulate the sheer energy and emotion it takes to bring a story to life on paper. Maybe I should write it down instead?

If I did, I would tell her that writing a novel is by far the most challenging thing I have ever done. I would tell her it's more challenging than two-a-day football practices in 90 degree weather back in high school, more challenging than a 400 meter dash right after a 300 meter hurdle race (and those are hard!), more challenging than a 12-mile Tough Mudder, more challenging than earning two college degrees that took seven years to complete, more challenging than Christmas dinners at your parents' place, more challenging than raising a child (well, almost...). Maybe it's not that hard for some people, but for me it's been an epic journey of self discovery where every ounce of self esteem, discipline, brainpower and sheer will have been tested. It's like Clash of the Titans, Lord of the Rings and Annie all rolled into one. I'm Perseus, Frodo and little orphan Annie singing The Sun'll Come Out Tomorrow on the side of Mount Doom with Medusa's slithering head in my hands.

All right, maybe that doesn't make any sense either. Writing a novel is just hard, okay? Really, really hard. While I would love it if my wife could understand what it's like, at the same time I don't think it's possible for someone who hasn't tried to write a book to ever really get it. So I guess until then I'll just keep blabbering on, hoping that one of these days she'll be able to empathize. If not, I know I've got a community of writers to fall back on.

So, dear writer-readers, has anyone else ever had to deal with this? Anybody ever wish their spouses/partners/girlfriends or boyfriends could really truly get it. If so, got any tips for me? It's not that I don't have support at home. I really really do (love you, Honey!). I would just like to find a way to Freaky Friday this thing...

Thanks for stopping by!         

6 comments:

  1. I'm going to start using "singing The Sun'll Come Out Tomorrow on the side of Mount Doom with Medusa's slithering head in my hands" to describe writing from now on hahaha

    My non-writer friends/family don't get it either. Which is why I'm always clinging to fellow writers on social media... They understand the struggle!

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    1. LOL! Glad I could give you some new material, Mary! I must say it is easy to visualize for some reason:)

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  2. I talk writing with my spouse and he nods like he gets it. He'll ask questions, but let's be real, only writers know writers' struggles. And that's fine. I listen to his talk about department of defense stuff and get 20% of what he tells me.

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    1. True dat, Kimberly. We writers are down for the struggle, no doubt. Nobody knows the trouble we seen... nobody knows but other writers. Am I right? BTW, my brother-in-law works at the DOD too!

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  3. It's funny because when I worked outside the home, my husband and I worked for the same company. We could 'talk shop' and understand each other completely. Our daughter started asking us to stop talking about it at the table :) Then I stopped working there and now I write. I still know/understand when he 'talks shop', but he doesn't get my end any more. There are advantages and disadvantages to both sides of the coin. The key is to have a group of people you can turn to. One of the reasons I love our group blog!

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    1. Thanks, Carrie. I think the biggest issue between my wife and I right now is that she is expecting to see some results from all this time I've spent writing the great American novel. I try to tell her you can't rush these things, but I don't think she understands. Anyway, maybe it's good to have the added pressure...

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