|Image Courtesy of Pixabay|
I've been stuck on my two WIP's for the last two, maybe three hundred years. My wife has sat through so many of my revisions I'm pretty sure she's contemplated putting her hands around my neck. Just for a few moments.
So not long ago, I happened across yet another amazing idea for the dark fantasy I've been imprisoned in. My wife listens. She doesn't say anything. She smiles politely and blinks. Husbands, boyfriends, we've seen that smile. It's the smile we get when we're trying to explain why we haven't done the thing she's asked us to do three million times.
When I finish my little tirade, she doesn't say anything.
For five seconds.
Then, in a tone to make Darth Vader proud, she says "Just go write it."
And so I did. It had taken nearly six months, but I wrote out the draft to my dark fantasy's introduction and haven't looked back.
I joke, but the truth is my wife isn't mean at all. She's quietly patient, and if not for her prods and encouragement I wouldn't have hit the top of the charts last year (for ten seconds).
The chief complaint I hear from fellow creatives is not how difficult the struggle is. We all know how hard it is. It's how they gain no support or worse from their significant others. Well, after screwing up every relationship I've ever been in and then finally getting it right, this is what I've learned about finding, and keeping, a supportive partner.
1). Don't be with someone who wants to be with you although you create.
Don't be with someone who wants to be with you in spite of your creativity. Never be with someone who says they love you in spite of who you are. This is a train wreck waiting to happen. Someone saying they love you in spite of your creativity means they view it as a fault. Either you'll succeed and they'll become jealous and angry because they were wrong, or you won't and they'll view you as a failure. Either way, it's a train wreck waiting to happen.
How I Learned: My first ex-wife used to tell me all the time how she loved me in spite of the fact I was a creative nerd. She would pick fights when I would try to write. Some of these fights are a matter of public record now...
2). Be ready to put the time in.
Chances are we already have a full-time job, kids, games we haven't beaten, books we haven't read and so forth. Creativity is how we spend our spare time. Be ready to give some of that up.
Every relationship takes work (lots and lots of work), and the best relationships take all kinds of effort. Be prepared to give up some of your free time to make it work. After all, you're asking someone to endure the despondency of being alone in a room with you. If you find someone willing to go through this, do everything in your power to make them happy. People like this don't come around often.
How I Learned: I screwed up one good thing after another by refusing to answer that text.
3). Be Honest.
This is the most important aspect of the whole thing. Be upfront about who you are, the sooner the better. Better to get someone out of the way, to make room for the person you're supposed to be with, rather than withhold who you are and end up forfeiting a vital part of your identity.
How I Learned: I entered a relationship with someone who hated Star Wars, without knowing how much the franchise meant to me. That was not a positive experience for either of us.
There are billions of people on the planet and if you're bisexual you have absolutely no excuses; find someone who will support your creative endeavors. Find someone who will push you to be your best and let you know when it's time to stop. Someone who will crawl through the mud and grime and rain, someone who will take your hand at the end of it and pull you the rest of the way through. Someone who is so supportive they inspire you.
If you have this, you're already ahead of the game.
Thanks for reading.