I was browsing freshly pressed WordPress blogs about writing and saw Amy Nichols’ recent post. It’s an interview with her husband and it gives his perspective on what it’s like to live with a writer. I thought about a few similar experiences that me and the wife have had as I read it.
Because I wouldn’t ask Dawn these questions at this point–who has the time?–I’m forwarding a few of Amy’s questions and her husband’s responses. You can see the entire Q&A by clicking here.
Me: Am I a writer?
Him: Yes, but I think you spend more time being a writer than writing.
Me: Interesting. What is the difference between being a writer and writing?
Him: Doing all of the things that are trappings of the profession than the actual profession.
Me: Like what? What are those trappings?
Him: I would say mostly being online, doing things like blogs and facebooking and networking with people. That seems to happen far more of the time than actual writing.
Me: (gulp) Right. So how do you think that impacts a writer?
Him: What impacts a writer?
Me: Not writing.
Me: And what is your advice to a writer who isn’t writing?
Me: Have you ever tried writing?
Me: And what did you think of it?
Him: It’s not a whole lot of fun. It’s fun to be done with it.
Me: What is it like living with a writer who is writing?
Him: Well, when you see them (laughs), it’s good because they’re excited, they’re energized by it. Mostly it’s they’re somewhere else, writing. Mostly it’s not seeing them. But when you do see them, they’re fired up and energetic and energized by it, so it’s good.
Me: Do you think it takes a special kind of person to be married to a writer?
Him: You know, I think it takes a special kind of person to be married to any other person. Everyone’s got their quirks, and a writer is just one way to be quirky.
Me: Would you prefer that I not be a writer?
Him: No, that would be worse. (laughs) I love the artistic part of you, and I would love to have the artistic part of you doing art all of the time and being happy about doing the art all of the time. The part I don’t like is the everything else that goes with it.
Me: The business side of it?
Me: Do you think most writers would agree with that statement as well?
Him: I don’t know.
Me: What advice do you have for people who live with writers?
Him: I think the trick is to find balance. Say, this is your writing space, and when you’re not in that space, then you have to come out of that space. You can’t keep one foot in both worlds and try to be happy at all times. You need a sequestered time to work on it, and then you need a time when you’re going to interact with the planet.