How Writing Is Like A Marriage {special anniversary edition}

by - October 17, 2015

how writing is like a marriage #write31days

Today is my anniversary! Seventeen years ago, I slipped into my mother's wedding dress and floated down the middle aisle of a church that wasn't mine to a man that was...and still is SEVENTEEN YEARS LATER! Yowza! {You should probably congratulate us - 17 is no small feat!}

Tonight I will be lost in the tangle of white-linen-king-sized-kid-free bliss {yay!} but for now, as he sleeps off the grogginess of a late night gig and I rub the sleep from my own eyes and contain my excitement for the impending white-linen-king-sized-kid-free bliss {yay!} let me tell you how writing is, in fact, very much like a marriage...

The exciting build up and the inevitable crash.
Finding new story ideas is thrilling. It's like twirling in the 10th dress you've tried on and giggling with your girlfriends and seeing that ring on your finger and trusting the promise it holds and practicing writing Mrs. and stars in your eyes because YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU'RE GETTING INTO and YOU'RE ONLY A CHILD, YOU FOOL! A CHILD!

You chase ideas and flirt with character arcs and dance with perfect settings and promise to see it through to the very end; where, with soft kisses, you'll go together gently into the good night...but then the ring gets forgotten at the altar and the cheesecake gets knocked off the table at the hall and your brand new husband 'forgets' to book a hotel room for your very first night as newly weds and so you fall asleep ON YOUR PARENT'S SOFA while he tries to frantically mend his 'mistake'.

There is no perfect no matter how perfect your idea is. Everything that could get in your way probably will. You will face writer's block, writer's fear, writer's groaning-on-the-floor-and-bathing-in-your-own-tears {a.k.a. Saturday night}.

There is NO PERFECT.

BUT, if you're willing to give a little grace, if you're able to laugh about the awful little motel you end up in, if you're able to turn that into an obstacle to overcome, your story {or marriage} will come out the other side stronger than your original vision.

Commitment is everything.
Just as a marriage without commitment is nothing, so to is a story. If you can't stay faithful to the integrity of your characters, if you can't get out of your own way and let their plot shine through, you will have nothing but a hollow tale with little or no emotional connection.

The sharing of joys and sorrows.
The beautiful thing about a marriage is that it gives you someone to do life with - someone that will be happy when you're happy and feel your pain when you are sad. It provides a hand to pick you up when you fall, arms to hold you when you're afraid, legs to run and fetch you a tissue when you're laughing so hard that tears and snot are pouring from your face.

When you really put yourself into your writing you share every emotion with your characters. You laugh with them, you cry with them, you get angry with them, you forgive them. They are part of you. They are a piece of your heart. You take them with you everywhere, just as {I hope} you're never far from thoughts of your loved-one, lingering on the edge of your mind and heart...{yes, even after seventeen years!}

Compromise breeds productivity.
A marriage without compromise is just a football game. It's a lot of yelling and tearing around and pushing for your own way and concussed passion.

A writing dream without compromise is just a dead dream.

Unless you're willing to shift priorities to make writing an important part of EVERY DAY it will slowly drift from you until it's nothing except something you once thought you'd like to do.

And unless you make it a priority to CHOOSE YOUR PARTNER EVERY DAY, they will slowly drift from you until you're just a guy in a football helmet with under-inflated balls.

Make space for what matters! That is ALL that matters!

For better or for worse.
Marriage is about taking the bad with the good. It's about knowing the worst thing about someone and still choosing to say 'I do,' every single day. It's hard. But it's worth it.

In writing, the principle is the same: good and bad, you're in it for the long haul because you need it in your life just as surely as you need {and want!} your partner in your life.

There's no quitting when things get tough. If you quit, you weren't meant for it anyway.

Marriage and writing are both about going all the way no matter what way the road leads, no matter what stories are written or what memories are born - it's a forever thing and I hope you {and I} have the guts to persevere...for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish as long as we both shall live... {click the image above to see all the #write31days posts}

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  1. Happy Anniversary!!! wow, 17 years and the love you still share for each other is beautiful.

    And yes, making writing a priority is the only way to make it happen or a marriage successful. That is truth.

    1. Thanks! I'm all about that truth...'bout that truth... ;)

  2. did all of that stuff really happen? too funny!

    1. Oh yes, it sure did - made for a very interesting day that, happily, we've been able to laugh about...a lot!

  3. Happy Anniversary!

    Your points are sooooo true.

    (and nice Brady jab)

  4. You are seriously hilarious. I appreciate your knowledge, wit and humour. This line killed me: "writer's groaning-on-the-floor-and-bathing-in-your-own-tears {a.k.a. Saturday night}."

    1. Ha! Yeah...I had a lot of fun with this one!


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