Saturday, March 12, 2011
Life with a Writer
I was nearly thirty before I could think of myself as a writer--by trade and profession. I do other work, yes and I have other skills, but since I was first published in my late twenties, I have embraced the writing work as a definite core part of what I do in this world. It provides a small, but regular part of our income and is my "fall back" trade as well as woven into who I am. There is not a day that goes by that I don't do some sort of writing. BUT, enough about me...
Teri has been often asked how she feels about being "written about" and how it is to live in a house with a writer. I think that people have seen enough tortured writer movies and heard the idealized stories to think it is some romantic ride. Naw, not so much. While I do love the creative expression of putting words on paper (or computer screen), I approach my writing work like work: I do my best, write for an audience and try not to overinflate the importance of any of it. I am not writing out of any sort of angst or as a closeted potential novelist. Sometimes, it is hard to carve out the peace and quiet to concentrate and Teri will tell you that one of her aggravations is that she isn't always clear when I am "working" and when I am doing other things. When am I interruptable and when am I not? Of course, I tell her that I am always interruptable (but we both know that I might be crabby and frustrated if I'm trying to focus.)
As for being written about, we actually discussed and negotiated around this in the beginning of our coming together and again when I have done pieces where she and our life together were interjected. It was Teri's suggestion that I start this blog and we again chatted about her comfort level with trusting me to write about our scene. I have heard her tell people when they ask that she feels adequately represented--flaws and all, and if I were just writing about her and not putting myself out there she might feel differently. One of the realities is that it requires her to feel comfortable with a very public "outing"--as a partnered lesbian woman and she will tell you that has not always been easy for her. When we started dating, I told her that I was militantly out and wondered if she could move in the world at that level of outness? We're talking marches, media interviews and the like. Teri deserves all the credit in the world for being willing to take my hand in hers and walk into the public sphere (even if she had to take a big gulping breath first!)
So, life with a writer is not especially different or exciting except that there is potential for a story, an article, a snippet or some other piece of writing around every corner. I have noticed that Teri is developing a bit of a sensibility around that as she will now suggest ideas for blogs or stories out of our every-day living. I am finding it especially fun to be able to share the process in this way! As for her, she might confess (as she has to me) that she is realizing how odd and interesting it is to have people walk up to her and talk about the things they have read and ask her what she thinks. As for me, I find that I cannot help but consider her voice when writing this blog and try put that into print along with mine.