In his most excellent memoir On Writing, the venerable Stephen King wrote, “Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in you makes a lot if difference. They don’t have to makes speeches. Just believing is usually enough.”
In this section he talks about how, during the early days of writing his breakthrough novel Carrie, he’d gotten frustrated with the character and threw the manuscript pages in the circular file. His wife Tabitha found these pages while cleaning up and rescued them from the trash.
Both Stephen and Tabitha were writers, English teachers, and, most importantly, kindred souls. They understood one another as well as one another’s needs. Throughout On Writing, King dotes on his wife and it’s apparent that he loves her very much.
I would love to have something like that. Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening in the near future.
You see, since writing is my passion, I pursue it with a zeal and passion unreserved for anything else. And since I have a day job, which consumes roughly ten hours of my day, I’m left with precious little time for anything else. Sacrifices must be made. So I sacrifice sleep. I sometimes sacrifice my social agenda. And I sacrifice all hopes of ever having some kind of love life.
I’ve always known this would be the case, though. Whenever I get deep into a project, whether it’s a novel or screenplay or even a series of blog posts, I shut everyone and everything else out. I concentrate solely on what I am working on. As you can imagine, in the case of a novel (such as GUESTLIST) that can be years, son.
While that may be great in creating the next Essence Magazine best seller, it’s not really good for relationships. And over the past few years, I recognize that I’ve lost quite a few opportunities due to my willingness to put writing over women.
Will I ever find myself in a meaningful relationship? Will I ever meet a woman who will understand the weird ways in which my mind works? Will I ever be able to devote myself to a woman as much as I do to my craft, and to sustain our budding connection? Right now, I don’t know. I’d like to think that I’d one day be involved and have kids and all that good stuff. But the reality is, I just don’t know if I’m built for that.
What say you, Dear Readers? Any advice? Can I hear from my fellow creatives in relationships? You don’t have to be a writer — musicians, artists, filmmakers, whoever, let me hear from you. How do you make time for your significant others? How do you make it work? Holler at me, give me tips, share your opinions in the comments below.