Loving a “Creative”

A year and half ago I attended a conference panel of writers, editors, and their spouses. We, the panel and audience, collectively landed upon “Creative” as a term to refer to the person in the relationship doing the writing, editing, art, or some other creative endeavour. There were many jokes and much laughter, but a common theme arose in the questions the audience posed. When an artistic pursuit ceases to become a hobby and transforms into a passion one hopes or has already turned into a career, it introduces an element of stress into relationships. Granted this is true of many professions. Doctors, soldiers, police, firemen, lawyers, stockbrokers…those are just a few that come to mind where the job intrudes upon home life. Sometimes a couple or a family can find balance and sometimes it gets washed away in resentment and hurt until nothing is left. While this is very similar for the “creative” there’s another element involved. Often times the writer or artist must pursue his or her dream for years, most of the time while holding down a job that pays the bills. The longer it takes, the more family and friends perceive it as a “hobby” or “silly dream”.  Even more, the world that only the creative can see is always there forever lurking in the background demanding attention. Sometimes inspiration is lacking and other times the Muse demands immediate attention. In either case hours can go by that others view as wasted time.

“They don’t understand,”  one woman said in tears.

The muddy waters of emotions slosh around until nothing is clear. There are those that quit because without the emotional support they lose the will to forge ahead. Some worry about what their family thinks to the point that it paralyzes them and the cease to create.

I believe that a healthy loving relationship can survive any storm that blows in. Relationships, whether sibling, parent, significant other, or best friend, they are our safe harbors. I think it’s important to realize which relationships can survive a hurricane and which ones deal better with thunderstorms. Everyone need not understand, but the person you choose to lean on the most should. As with everything, understanding does not happen right away. Time and communication are key. A healthy relationship is one that supports both individuals, encourages them toward seeking their highest potential without jealousy and with infinite love. That is the ideal, which reality finds it difficult to match, but not, I believe, impossible.  So confess your fears, explain your hopes, search for balance, and above all, believe in yourself.


3 responses to “Loving a “Creative”

  1. BRAVO! Very well said. And it’s good that you put there needs to be a balance and sharing between not just family or significant other, but friends as well.

    Too many people think writing is “just a hobby” and I’m not sure whether that is because they are not happy with what they are doing, or if society just tagged us that way. I also love if you’ve had something published but people are like, is it a book? As if only a stand alone book counts as writing and when it’s a poem or short story, they are even more liberal with the hobby tag.

  2. Robert DeVries

    This is one of the most true messages ever said. You are a wonderful soul and I am glad that you have someone like this in your life now.

  3. Anne’s comment about people’s perception of writing is an important one. Sadly I believe it is something that stems from our culture and ignorance towards the arts. I’ve thought recently on the mistaken ideas of work and recreation and the isolation of certain tasks to one or the other when they can fall into both categories. We have made our working world, like our education system, a haven for sameness. It works for a few specific types of people, but we tell everyone they have to participate and fit in a specific way. You have to be pretty bold to try to make a living at what you love! We need more people like this and it requires a lot of encouragement and help from people who are willing to understand just how much work it takes to create something beautiful. It probably doesn’t help much that our standards for quality have continued to drop. It makes the hobbyists appear as a Picasso or Michelangelo to some. Divergence unfortunately is one of my flaws… back to the subject at hand. Cheers to the people who keep us going! We desperately need them! Kudos for saying these people are needed and appreciated!

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