I'm not saying everyone needs a spouse who understands what it's like to be an artist, but it's definitely a plus.
My wife and I are both writers. There are nights we're up until three tapping away at our keyboards. Neither complains the other hasn't come to bed because we're both sword fighting our craft. If one of us is blocked or having trouble, we can turn to the other for input.
We have artistic friends who are bombarded by complaints from their significant others.
They get questions like . . .
- "Why are you still typing if you're frustrated?"
- "Are you mad at me? Then why so quiet?"
- "Are you still awake?"
- "Are you about done with that?"
- "If you're not going to make any money writing, why are you doing this?"
- "Why is the woman in this book blonde? I'm not blonde! Is a blonde what you want?"
They get comments like . . .
- "Seriously? You can't be pausing the movie during the fight scene to write something down."
- "You did not just write what I said for a character in your book!"
- "You just got home from work and you're already tapping at your keyboard."
It's amazing to not have to explain any of this to someone because they're obsessively caught up in their craft, too.
My wife is the most amazing woman on this planet, but she would drive me crazy if I weren't a writer. After work, she'll often feel her artistic juices flowing and be tip-tip-tapping or sketching by the time I get home. I don't question it. I start dinner and bring it to her if she doesn't feel like taking a long break.
There are things you know as a writer or artist that others may not understand. For example, what certain facial expressions mean. The other day, Priscilla walked in and walked right back out because she recognized that my eyes narrowing, leg jackhammering, and fingers blurring meant I was in the middle of a fight scene. If she misses the subtle differences and asks if I want to take a break, I will shake my head or raise a finger. When that happens, she knows I'm so focused, the only response I can muster is that simple gesture. She's not frustrated because she knows where my head is at. Not only that, she wants me to be in that space. When you're so deep in your story that the world around you barely registers, you make the breakthroughs you've been searching for. It's those moments when everything comes together as naturally as breathing.
If you don't have an artistic spouse, that's all right. They will learn to be supportive. But you'll have to explain your process to them. Pray they'll be patient and be sure to make it worth their wait when they are.
Be at peace and keep writing. You can only get better.
~ CR Guardian