Are you in a long term relationship with a “significant other”? (yrck…I so hate that bland, non-offensive term!)
If you are, then as an anchored author, you already know that sharing and caring, spending time with your partner, and the general care and feeding of your relationship is one of the non-negotiable items on your list of must-do’s.
Ideally, the relationship is evenly balanced, and your partner is as equally concerned about your writing, and the often overwhelming demands of juggling a day job and a career as a seasoned, published author.
But sometimes that doesn’t happen. Partners can be blind to the load you’re carrying. Worse, sometimes they just don’t care. Or perhaps it’s simpler: They just don’t get it. They don’t understand. So every night when you head for the desk to write, you get the sulks, the slumped shoulders, perhaps temper tantrums, or worse.
Or maybe, for the third night in a row, they suggest over dinner that tonight would be a great night for a stroll in the park, or to catch that new movie, or….
This sort of passive-aggressive conflict can really throw kinks in your progress. It’s easy–and seems only fair–to give up your writing for an evening in order to nurture your relationship with your partner.
Each night after that it becomes a little easier to procrastinate yourself into a writing stand-still, as you have the perfect justification: You’re taking care of your relationship, which is more important.
Of course, this is a very negative scenario. Most anchored authors have already arrived at some sort of compromise with their partners and moved beyond this basic sabotage (self- or other-inflicted).
The majority of us have reached a place where both you and your partner understand both the demands and priorities of your writing career and are happy to accommodate the shifts and changes it brings to your relationship, and how your spend your time.
Is that where you are?
While this state of grace seems ideal, it can actually be a negative state—and can be far more destructive to your peace of mind and your career than all the pouting in the world.
Because it’s insidious and the damage it does is almost invisible, and because everyone has good intentions.
I’m going to expand on this theme in future posts, but for today, think about your relationship with your partner, and how it works (or not) to support your career.
I’m not about to suggest you dump your partner in order to further your career, by the way. I can be hard-nosed about a lot of things, but relationships work better when you work on them over the long term, and ultimately, they really are more important than your career. (I know I want my husband next to me when I die…hard cover editions can’t hold my hand.)
For now I just want you to be more aware of how your relationship is affecting your writing. If you’ve been subconsciously brooding about negative aspects that impact your career, then it’s probably time to sit down and talk with your partner about how to fix it.
It’s the invisible snags that I will point out to you, later.
First appeared on Anchored Authors, on March 10, 2008