Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Marrying a writer

So, you married yourself a writer, eh? You bought into the romantic notion of the two of you sitting fireside, you drinking a glass of pinot noir while your significant other sits beside you writing the next great American novel. The only sound is the crackling fire and the tapping of their keyboard. Every once in a while your significant other looks up from their masterpiece and flashes you a smile that makes you feel like you’re the most special person in the world. Your house is huge and your worries are small.

A slap to the face!

Think again. Unless you’re one of the lucky few who actually make a living at their craft the reality is much different. My wife married me, a writer, and let me tell you how it really is for her. I have a strict routine which I follow daily. Any deviance from this routine and I feel disconnected with the world and my place in it. This routine has been ongoing for fifteen years now. I have been with my wife for sixteen years, so this is nothing new for her. Every morning, after brushing my teeth, I fix a cup of instant coffee and sit down in front of my computer. That’s how it is. That’s what I do. This is my most creative time and I’m always at my best. This is when I write new material and give old material a serious read. I must do this session alone, which means no noise, or activity around me. My wife spends her mornings upstairs alone, watching TV or getting ready for work. My writing usually lasts about an hour and a half and when I’m finished, I immediately exercise for another hour. At this point, my wife has started her day and is off somewhere not to be seen until the evening hours. For me, depending upon if I’m working my conventional job or not, the afternoon is spent marketing and promoting. This aspect of being a writer is relatively new to me, since I’ve only been doing it for about ten months now. I used to fill this time with querying agents and publishers, but thanks to the digital revolution, these people are no longer needed. My nights are spent jotting ideas and reading other people’s books. Occasionally, my wife will sit beside me and also read a book.

Every month I get direct deposits from Kindle and various other outlets, and I smile that at least I’m earning some money and people are reading my stuff. But as far as that romantic notion I’d mentioned earlier, it does exists, at times, but usually we’re both drinking pinot noir and there isn’t any writing going on.