Why You Should Not Marry a Writer (If You Are a Writer)

I don't mean to suggest that it's bad to marry a writer, but that maybe it's good to marry someone who's not one. Is that the same thing? I don't think so. I mean there are the obvious reasons, like food and shelter. The reality for us writers is that even our 'real' jobs skew pretty heavily toward the low wage end of the spectrum. I'm not suggesting you should marry for money (though if you get the opportunity, you should definitely marry for money); I'm just saying that two writers' salaries does not a mortgage payment make. I know. I know. That's sounds terrible, but I'm just being practical, which brings me to reason number two. Writers are almost never practical. I mean we can be if we have to be, but none of us really like it. Are there writers who actually keep lists? (And I don't mean lists of favorite words or books, but like actual, 'here are some tasks I need to/and will get done' lists?) One of my husband's main jobs is to say things like 'Do you know where the children are?' and to make sure they have shoes. My husband is amazing at this shit, and I am not because I am always way inside my head.

Reason number three, of course, is that we are way inside our heads. Also, it's important to note that inside our heads is a clusterfuck. Here's the thing, it requires a ridiculous amount of ego to go through life as a writer. We produce no actual product when you think about it. Basically, we daydream for a living (and when I say living, you know I'm not suggesting that there's money involved). I mean it takes an almost delusional level of egotism to suggest that anyone else should value shit we just made up. 'Hey, here are some people. I think you should get super invested in them.' Real people? No, of course, not. I just invented them. In my case, it's often even worse. I mean everyone already knows the story of Hansel & Gretel, right? It's not even my story, but the words that I use when I daydream about that story are particularly pretty and strung together in interesting ways. That has value, right? Probably not.

Anyway, we writers tend to be a smart bunch, so we kind of know this already. This is why we fluctuate constantly between incredible highs and ridiculous lows. We can love and hate the same paragraph intermittently 20 times in a single day. And our egos are so enmeshed in this shit that our opinions of ourselves are also constantly in flux. You might think that it would be nice to live with someone who could commiserate with this never ending cycle, but I'm going to argue no. It's nice to live with someone who has zero interest in how the writing is going. I don't mean to say that my husband isn't supportive. He's incredibly supportive. He is not, however, invested in the results. His opinion of me is absolutely never going to change based on what I'm writing. He gives absolutely zero fucks. Can I tell you what a relief this is? Oh my god.