Is a Love Life Distracting?
Posted by
Aside from the usual distractions - raising kids, work writing, running a farm - I've found that if/when there's a guy "of interest" in my life, it affects my writing. I'm curious if others have the same issue. If so, what do you do about it? I spend my entire day writing for a living, which is much different than writing for my book. When I'm not writing for pay, I'm being Mom, working on the house rennovations, or outside working on land improvements. I really don't have a lot of extra time to work on my book. Every time I get involved with someone - even though I tend to keep relationships at something of arm's length for personal reasons - my writing time suffers dramatically. It has pretty much come down to I either write my book, or I date. At the moment, I think I'd rather write my book. But I'm sure there will come a day that this will change. Maybe. Anyone else have this issue? Which do you choose? A great guy, or a great book? Or is there really a way to blend the two? Perhaps I just haven't met the right guy. Maybe I need to start dating writers - at least they'll get it. lol. Some days, I really miss my hubby. He always found a way to somehow understand when I needed my space & when I needed to take a break and be a little more social. Time was never an issue when he was alive. We just found the time when we could. Unfortunately, dating a guy is much different than being married to a guy. :)
  • I have found it to be true that my craft (s) always take a back seat to a love interest.   I love love and the music I play is about love, my poetry is about love.  A slowdown in my writing/playing work process for love (the only relationship since my 20 year marriage ended) seemed to feed the content of my writing and playing (especially after it's over--oh the pain :)  )and so it seems a necessary part of the creative journey.  Sometimes I wonder if a disciplined approach, more balanced and rigid about my time, would be best next time.  It seems that a love opportunity (a good one) is always spontaneous and one doesn't want to miss out on a chance for joy for a time.  I suppose trial and error with different approaches is in order.  Giving  up a writing or practice session for a bad date, however, is annoying ... one doesn't always know in advance of course...

  • So in Sandi's case I would say that you have found at least a rough draft of what I'd call a soul mate. My definition involves basically what you described: a situation of compromise, understanding and mutual respect for the other's wellbeing and needs; being together because you want to be not because you have to be; and first and foremost: not feeling like you have to give up something in order to be with that person. It's that simple for me. I am unpaired by choice. My past relationships have all been paired situations where, in retrospect, I realize that I gave up alot of myself, felt unfulfilled and then the relationship ended. I am so happy with my writing and my grandchildren and family and friends, I don't feel alone. And one day I hope to connect with someone of like mind; someone with whom I can be myself. Until then, I'll keep waving the Unpaired banner! ;)
  • Kathleen, I think you hit the nail on the head. If works suffers, there's something wrong. Since I made this post, I have actually met a guy who is cool with my need for space and time to write. In fact, we made plans for tonight. When he realized that NaNoWriMo started today, he sent me a text offering me an "out" for tonight, if I needed it. It was a very sweet, very thoughtful gesture. It's nice to know that he understands if I need to stay with my writing rather than go out - an understanding I don't plan to abuse by canceling out too often. (Since I finished my nano goal earlier today, I didn't need to cancel, but greatly appreciated the offer.) While he isn't a writer, he is an artist of his own sort. He's a carpenter by trade, but his true love is more artistic construction - building things he can enjoy and share, like his outdoor fireplace and patio. I create moods with words, he creates moods with physical spaces. The mediums are very different, but creativity that drives them is very similar, so he gets it; probably more than most. Just as important as his understanding of my quirky creative side, I think, is his security and passion for his own life. He does not depend on me in order to enjoy the life he has built on his own terms. Likewise, I don't need him, per se. Being together and enjoying each other is an ongoing choice, not a necessity to keep the relationship going. I think that has made all the difference.
  • Good luck to you on the relationship/soulmate thing. I have pretty muchj decided that it exists only in the mind of women . It is something that we are taught. I have seen 1 good marriage in 58 years. My maternal grandparents. He(born 1899) loved her more than she him . She was the air that he breathed and the sun on his face. He was self educated (left school to support a widowed mother and 2 siblings) - Her mother did not want my grandmother to marry him as he had the reputation of being wild.(My grandmother worked for his father in his store,which he ran after his father died.) When my great grandmother was not able to take care of herself- she came to live with them . He treated her wonderfully . They had one daughter who married the meanest most selfish man that she could find. (They are still together . She is a doormat ) . They say girls marry their fathers - my younger sister did twice. she is afraid of being alone. I wanted it all or nothing. Wisely , I stayed single rather than settle for less than i deserved. My grandmother had a good life. I deserve a good life. If someone else does not add to my experiance in a positive manner, I don't need them. I will make my own way.
  • At times a relationship can be distracting. I've been single for all my life, and I found that relationships take a lot of work. At this point in my life, I'm trying to accomplish things that would make it distracting. I love the freedom of being single. Maybe one day when I accomplish things like finishing up my MBA and getting my book pushed, I will be ready for a relationship.
  • I was married, then not; then in a two-year relationship, then not; then in a six-month relationship, then not; (you get the picture right?) During those times I was raising three daughters, working as a staff writer for the local newspaper and trying to find spare time to write outside of work. Needless to say, other than for work, I talked more about writing than actually doing it. During that time and now, even though my greatest passion is to find my soulmate - (please don't tell me he doesn't exist) - either mult-tasking is getting harder, or I've made the choice to date not and write more. And, wonder of all wonders - I'm actually happy! Don't get me wrong, I still want a good relationship and I'm aware that it's easier not to worry about dating right now because my powers of choice, well for want of a better word - suck! I figure if I'm gonna have to deal with rejection, I'd rather it be via my writing endeavors - that's about as much of my heart that I can handle breaking right now.
  • Good Morning I have found in the past that my love life would interfer and yet it was also one of the factors that fueled my desire to write however after finally getting over writer's block I work on not allowing my personal life to interfer with my writing because it is so time consuming.
  • I think that balancing act is sometimes difficult. I am single and have always been. I think that there are expectations in a dating situation that sometimes get threatened by other overshadowing aspects of one's life. You mentioned "maybe dating writers". Not necessarily the the solution but you are touching on something that works for me. His career needs to be as engaging to him as yours is to you. Right now, I am getting to know someone who teaches on a college level and has some adminstrative responsibilities as well. He has to compete with my writing as well as my working in the financial end of a law office. He knows that the end of the month is crunch time for me at work . I know that midterms and finals drive him nuts. Sometimes the 'date' is him picking up takeout and each of us working on projects side by side. He has even learned to include my cat in take out and picks up a can of something that he knows that she likes. Its not panicking when you do not hear from the other for 10 days or more- actually i encourage IM rather than phone. I am on the phone all day - so the best place to reach me is at the computer. Its easier , I think, to find time for a break , when you know that you can go right back to your writing. Remember Ray Bradbury got to where he was because his wife supported him for years by working a mundane job. How much more slowly might have he progressed if he were single and had your responsiblities?
  • All I can say is that since I have been "unpaired" I have gotten more done in my life than during any similar period when I was married or otherwise involved with a man. There are trade-offs to be sure. Having a good man in your life is wonderfully joyful and fulfilling. But, for the most part and in most cases, that doesn't last too long and is replaced by tedium, or worse. I am happy now, creating a vibrant life on my own terms and creating my universe without interference from another orbiting satellite - or a larger planet around which I must orbit. I prefer the asteroid's life I suppose, circling the sun in very large arcs and fast-moving arcs. If, one day, I am lucky enough to bump into a Paul Child-like perfect match, then I will know it's true, because my work will not suffer. Suffering work is the clue that the match in not perfect. I created Unpaired Women to help take the tarnish and edge off being a woman alone with her life and her craft.