First off, this month my parents celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. That's really quite a milestone.
Second off, not too long ago, Melanie had a great post about choosing and un-choosing. Together these things got me thinking about how writing is like marriage. (Or maybe it's more like children - all those unforgettable firsts, but also all the seemingly unending messiness and sleep deprivation.) But, seeing as how it's my parents' anniversary, I guess I'd better stick with the marriage analogy. And, anywho, children are a decision you make once, and then, well, you're sort of stuck with them, aren't you? Writing and marriage are things that take rededication every day.
So, according to this Reader's Digest article, here are three things that couples who reach the 50 year mark do - and, from me, how, just maybe, they relate to writing.
1) The Past: Revel in success and don't dwell on failures.
It makes sense, doesn't it? Remembering the good things (counting your blessings) is a clinically proven way to increase happiness. Wouldn't it also increase your happiness together? You can't change the past, so why let worry over it gobble up your future?
In writing, those who succeed seem to be the ones who can roll with the rejections and keep trying (haven't you heard of big name authors whose walls are plastered with rejection slips like badges of honor?).
2) The Present: Spend time together, just the two of you. Make time to explore, take trips, go on adventures. Dream together.
The same article suggested making sure to sit down next to your loved one every day. Just sitting. Because you can't just sit. You end up talking, or holding hands - renewing that connection. A gentleman I once worked for told me the secret of his long, happy marriage. Every night after dinner he and his wife would take a walk, just the two of them. The time to share their day, stretch their legs, enjoy new scenery - it was priceless.
So, in writing, the only times I'm sure my writing won't happen is when I ignore it. Stephen King, and I bet most successful authors, sit down each and every day to spend some quality time with their stories, to explore, take trips, go on adventures. Dream.
3) The Future: Always plan forward.
This was an interesting tidbit of advice. If spouses are always looking forward together, I bet it would be a lot harder to let things slip in the here and now.
Do you write visualizing The End, or putting the manuscript in the (e)mail, or getting the offer for a book deal? I bet if I did that more often it would help motivate me with 2) The Present and spending time with my writing every day.
So, there you go, just like Scrooge, the past present and future (of writing and marriage) all in one night.
Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad.
And Happy Writing to you all.