Thursday, January 14, 2010

Writerly Frustrations

I'm sure as writer's we've all experienced it before: our significant other, or even a friend, complains about our writing too much. Of course, we all realize we shouldn't shun our friends and significant others for writing, but at the same time, it gets to the point where it's almost as if they don't want you writing at all. They complain every time you go to your computer, but you realize that if you don't get it done NOW, you may never get it done. You have a word count goal that you want to meet everyday, and you realize you're just prepping yourself for when you actually have deadlines to meet.

I've been having this problem for a while, and I cannot get my fiance to understand! This is more about my seeking advice from other writers than my giving advice for once.

Here's the dilemma: my fiance and I both go to college and get home around the same time. He has more homework than me because he goes to a tech school, and they insist on throwing everything on him at once. So while he goes and does homework, I go to my room and work on 1,000 words. Then, I go and spend time with him, and he's either finishing up homework or playing video games. Then, dinner comes, then a bath for me, and I get out and work on 1,000 more words. I finish and go to spend time with him. This is where the problem starts: he's still playing video games.

I tell him that I wish he'd put down the video game controller and actually spend time with me. He brings up the writing card, asking why I can't sacrifice writing time for him. I told him that writing and his playing video games are two different things. Unlike video game playing, writing is far more productive and will actually get me somewhere. He doesn't seem to understand the concept that I'm actually writing a novel that's under a deadline (ViNoWriMo. Look it up in Google). I do 2,000 words a day, and I want to get finished early so I can have extra days for light editing. Even if I weren't writing under a deadline, he doesn't understand the concept that once I get an agent or something, I'm actually going to write within deadlines. So I might as well start setting my own deadlines to get used to the concept of writing under deadlines.

He insists that he has a set time now everyday for playing video games. And everyday I ask him why he has to, he keeps asking me why I can't give up writing time. Seriously, now? 2,000 words. It ain't a lot. It doesn't take up much time. I don't see why it'd kill him to put down that stupid Call of Duty Modern Warfare crap and actually spend time with me. He can play it on the weekends.

And yes, I told him my writing time is more important than his video game time, because it is. They do not go hand in hand. He didn't understand that, of course. He sees them as one in the same.

Help me, fellow writers! Give me great advice that I can use to explain to my fiance why I must write! Or, you can even disagree with me and explain why.


Emilia Joyce Plater said...

Ahh, the troubles of matrimony haha. Maybe you could explain to him how writing gives you energy and vitality and without it you shrink up and act funny. Doesn't he like you for your passion? :D

Anonymous said...

Is it not possible to stress that writing is your career, and not just a hobby? Routine and self-discipline are critical. Even though you're not getting a paycheck for it every two weeks (yet), it's still work. In the end, you will be recognized for it. Are the games going to do the same for him? :|

Anonymous said...


jdcoughlin said...

Ah, because he ain't actually serving with the big boys and you're actually in trenches writing, or on the couch, but same diff.

If that doesn't work, smack him.

Great blog!

Anonymous said...

Why don't you both agree on a set time where you'll hang out with each other, no writing or videogames? And then before or after that set time, you can write, he can play videogames, and you'll both be happy. It might mean rearranging your schedule a little bit, but you'll certainly still have time to write.

I think it's a mistake to frame it as "my hobby is more important than your hobby"; to him, it IS a hobby and will continue being so until you're making a decent amount of income from it.