When I was in college, the sexual revolution was just getting started. Woman still hid the fact that they weren’t virgins, if that was the case. Magazine articles still quoted sexually active college women anonymously. One quote said this: “you can tell how much sex a woman is getting by how much knitting she gets done.” This says that women who had no love interest sublimated their energies and filled their time with needlework. But it also hints at the reverse. That women who had a love interest or partner neglected their other pursuits. Yes, even schoolwork. I neglected schoolwork for a variety of reasons. One was I had no clear motivation for being in school, other than to get away from home. Two, I was more interested in acting in school plays, an extracurricular activity, than in doing the work for which I was actually enrolled. And three, I’d never really learned to power through anything that was hard or boring, which, let’s face it, describes a lot of college course work, at least for me.
So, what does this have to do with my writing life these days? This: I, myself, have a new love interest in my life. I’m all too aware of how this might draw me away from my writing goals, ambitions and vision. It’s happened before. I’ve been in previous relationships with men who drained my time and energy, distracted my thoughts, or outright sabotaged my work with criticism, competition, or a frivolous attitude towards my work. But not this time. This time, for some reason I can’t articulate, my new romance has fostered, enlivened, promoted my writing. He actively and vocally admires my efforts and respects my writerly needs.
At this stage of my life, I had vowed never to let another romantic entanglement get in the way of my writing career. I was willing to forego having a romantic partner, if that was the price I had to pay for a commitment to writing. Luckily, I don’t have to choose. We all want love in our lives, both to give and receive. Sometimes, for some of us, that means giving up something else. My wish for you, my fellow writers, is that you too can have both.