Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Authors Can't Be With A Bubba
It has been my great opportunity to befriend several authors over the years. In that process I have come to a conclusion about those in our field. They are either in a rock solid, love you for life relationship or they are not. There is no in between. Well let me rephrase that they may date a lot, that does not constitute a relationship.
I'll use my relationship for example. My husband at one point was a primary caregiver for our children while I wrote for hours and hours a day. That was in the initial stages of my writing. I have a better balance now. However, when there are deadlines to meet and people depending on your words other responsibilities fall to the wayside. As an author's significant other you have to accept that...and as an author you need to do everything you can to make up for it.
Being an author in today's world means you are more accessible to the people in your life. Unlike if you were a executive who goes to the office and then comes home. It is understood that they are not to be bothered unless on breaks or in emergencies between the hours of 9-5. As an author you won't get that...unless you set up those boundaries.
Here are some examples of what some of my colleagues do. J. actually has an office in the little town he lives in and does most of his writing there. He has been known to stay there for days when a deadline loomed or to travel to a friends cabin and steal away until done. V. actually goes to another country for one month every year. (Yeah I know what you are thinking JEALOUS) Then there is J she has a pretty good schedule with her kids where she either works in her home office or goes to the library. I think on most Saturdays you will find her at the local library.
Now both of the J's in that scenario are married with supportive and understanding spouses. (Sorry V no offense) One of the J's actually travels extensively on book tours and speaking engagements. Here's the true point to this post. Those same spouses had the supportive mindset BEFORE success.
I have met so many writers online, in groups or at a conference that have a drive and a passion to pursue a writing career. When I ask them why they haven't they all say, "I don't have time."or "When the kids are older." However, the one that infuriated me the most was from one woman. She told me her husband said she could use "her time" for writing and that when she was successful and making money she could devote more time to it.(I swear when I picture this man he hasn't bathed in a month, one of his overall snaps is broke, has chew hanging from his greasy too long beard and his name is Bubba.)
What really did it for me though was the look on her face. It was the same look I saw so many times for other writers who gave different excuses. I considered that they may all have something in common there, an unsupportive partner.
I'm not usually one who doesn't speak my mind...so the guilt of quietness was a foreign concept to me. It's like an ulcer to my mind to be silent. So in an effort to relive myself of emotional heartburn I will say what I should have to her and several other authors.
If you are in a relationship with a "Bubba" right now and they say things like "when you are successful" you need to decide what you really want. Because there will never be any success because your will never get the support that you need. If sharing your knowledge opinion and imagination is something you dream about at night, something that hounds you like a bookie does a debted gambler....Bubba's gotta go.
PS Cheer up you can always make up the partner you really want. Remember you are an author.