Wednesday, September 18, 2002

Living with a Writer

Want to understand the peaceful security of being involved with a writer? Take a look at this relationship quiz. It's designed for writers and their vic— I mean, their significant others.

This is from Eric Maisel's website . He's a writer and psychologist who specializes in creativity issues. I recently read his book Deep Writing, which is one of the few writing books that seems both insightful and realistic. And it's well-written, which not all writing books are.

Obviously, not all the quiz questions apply to any writer, and the answers certainly don't. I considered posting my answers, including write-in votes, but decided that it was getting too gamy and defensive. The writing was a major issue between Billy and me, so it can be difficult to discuss the difficulties of my writing career without also bringing in the death throes of the marriage.

Just one observation: For years I've said, "I'm a professional. I can write anything, take editorial changes, and do what's needed rather than recording my artistic vision." At work I still have to think that way. But I think it's time to start being an artist again at home.

Last week I dreamed that I was up on a ladder in a vast room like a library, trying to clean a whitewashed ceiling. Underneath (really, above) was a beautiful fresco of gods and angels, dimly seen through the masking pallor.

The vision is there. I just need to restore it.

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