Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Writer's S.O.

Hey guys! Read a fancier version of this post over at H2NH ePub now!

Let us consider the writing life. Sitting in a room alone, obsessing over plot, character, settings; rigorously training one's mind to blast word-count into the æther, where it will be picked up by the scattered raven-falcon-vultures that is my readership. Not a lot of time for romance, right? Not going to find an S.O. (which, of course, stands for Significant Other), not under those pitiful circumstances. Come back when you're Brad Pitt, Mr. Writer. Well, apparently there was plenty of time for me (ha-HA! Suck it, singles!) to catch a lady, and now it's time to see if I can maintain my obsessive writing habit in this novel (Get it? Get it?!) circumstances. That is to say: I have a sudden lack of crushing loneliness and feel a sudden rocketing out of soul-grinding spiritual poverty into the lacquered halls and gilded calling cards of couple-hood. What, indeed, are the pros and cons, the pluses and, the bennies and the suckies of writing not-single? (I have added pretentious quotes for your amusement.)


Let's cut to the chase. With a great lady like mine, I can write faster because she is my Motivation. Every book and short story I write is now an investment in a future not entirely devoted to beer and pizza every night. I should write faster and faster and faster, because I'll need steady income to avoid having to go get a Real Job. Real jobs suck the life out of a relationship.

" We have common cause against the night... "

Let's face it: My life is like a sitcom, and I'm playing a writer-character. I do all my writing off-camera, which leaves me plenty of time to trade quips with my mentally agile fiancée, play games with my pals, and drink beer and engage in hijinks, to the delight of all our friends and relations, and the studio audience out in TV land. I wouldn't trade it for the world, and I certainly wouldn't go back to "lonely hearts writer tapping away in a silent room". That's just depressing. I'd at least have to own a bookshop before I'd agree to that. At least I'd meet people.

Speaking of meeting people, as a curmudgeon and a misanthrope, Single Dave was in danger of becoming a loner recluse. Not anymore! Now I have more friends than I can shake a stick at, and since my lady is so friendly, she even keeps up with all these Facebook acquaintances I don't have to converse with, then she relates their doings in convenient bite-size sampler nibblets, for my enjoyment. Sooner or later I'll just be able to ignore everybody, letting all communications filter through her. What a time-savings!

This is not to mention all the heart-warming inspiration a proper romance yields. While writing a romantic scene, I can run the lady-thoughts by her and she can tell me if they make sense. It's like having a Mary Sue outside of my own head! Ah...Marty Stu and Mary Sue, 'tis a romance made in story heaven.

Also? Finishing-a-Story Sex.

That last one is probably the best.


Here's where I get in trouble. How does having a sexy lady (well, I might not get in trouble for that part) distract from writing? Let's take it point by point. As my Motivation, she is also irresistable. That can be very distracting to the working writer. I'm trying to get at least 2000 words out a day, but when she's running around being delightful, how can I concentrate on anything but her?

I can hear what you're thinking: "Lame! That's not going to get you into trouble, Dave." Well, just you wait. Because there's also talking about feelings.

" Why love the woman who is your wife? "

Nobody likes to talk about their feelings, but it's even worse for a fast writer: I've got a million characters rolling around my head jabbering about their feelings, and I'm trying to write all those down before they congeal into a sticky mass of bullsh*t and copy-editing. When my sexy lady wants to discuss the state of our relationship, especially when I'm in full "story mode", it can be...disruptive.

And then she's annoyed, and so I'm annoyed, and then I can't write, and my Motivation is angry at me, and we have to solve the problem, and O GOD WHAT WAS I WRITING ABOUT LAST WEEK? So I have to go back and read it all over, and then the story is messed up, and...

Well, that's OK. Good communication makes good relationships.

Another problem is that I write romance, so I've read a lot of romances. That means I'm quick with the romantic language. It's from the heart, but it makes me sound like the star of a romantic comedy, without the rock-hard abs. Nobody goes to a romantic comedy for the dialogue, is what I'm saying, and sometimes she'll call me out: "Is that a story?" IT NEVER IS...but I understand your confusion, my darling.

Also, I feel stupid sitting around drinking beer when I'm engaged.

That last one is probably the worst.

I guess that's not too bad.

" We love what we know, we love what we are. Common cause, common cause, common cause of mouth, eye, ear, tongue, hand, nose, flesh, heart, and soul. "
- Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes (1962)

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