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A Man of One's Own

That's my fancy man right there!
Today is the 10-year anniversary of my secret elopement to the love of my life! I don't normally do this, but I'm going to post some advice today. I feel like I've earned the right to advise, now that I've completed a manuscript and the first decade of marriage.

Writers, if you're going to have a life partner, make sure that partner is supportive of your work. Your partner doesn't have to be a fellow writer. As my husband says, "I'm not a word worder." They don't even have to understand what you do--they just have to sympathize with why you do it.

My husband doesn't write or read fiction. He reads manuals for bike parts and electric cars and power tools. He reads poetry and collections of Zen koans and biographies of artists. But fiction, not so much.

Yet he supports my writing habit with enthusiasm, listens to me talk about it, and shows me things he reads that I would never find on my own, that connect with what I love in fiction. For example, he just pulled this gem out of a set of academic lectures by M.C. Escher:

"Whoever wants to portray something that does not exist has to obey certain rules. Those rules are more or less the same as for the teller of fairy tales: ...to apply the function of contrasts... to cause a shock.

"The element of mystery to which... to call attention must be surrounded and veiled by perfectly ordinary everyday self-evidences that are recognizable to everyone. That environment, which is true to nature and acceptable to every superficial observer, is indispensable for causing the desired shock.

"That is also why such a game can be played and understood only by those who are prepared to penetrate the surface, those who agree to use their brains, just as in the solving of a riddle. It is thus not a matter for the senses, but rather a cerebral matter. Profundity is not at all necessary, but a kind of humor and self-mockery is a must, at least for the person who makes the representations."

And that, my friends, is also how we approach our life together. Just replace the first sentence with "Whoever wants to keep a marriage fun for many years has to obey certain rules."


Here we are having a spicy taco truck takeout lunch while our daughter is at preschool, in celebration of our legal marriage 10 years ago, which was also celebrated with tacos.

Every successful writer I know has one thing in common, and that is that the person they spend the most time with--whether it's their own self or a bosom bestie or a romantic partner--respects the reason why they write and supports all the ways that writing helps them grow.

As the days lengthen and the winter tilts toward spring, I'm wishing you a life full of love for your writing! And plenty of tacos.

Comments

  1. Many more years to you and your very furry sexy crazy wonderful man!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you, and thanks for witnessing our union... twice!

    ReplyDelete

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