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WRITING AS A BAD RELATIONSHIP


Hello readers! I’m Andrea Arntson, better known as The Writing Mom.

I’ve been blogging on and off for a few years and writing for much longer. I’ve consistently been trying to publish a book since I was seventeen. I’m thirty-eight now, with no book, so as you can tell it’s not going the best.


But writing a book is hard! It’s really hard.


A while back while playing with several ideas on what to blog about, I mused over how difficult writing a book is and how it’s frighteningly similar to being in a bad relationship.

You start dating the minute you open a document.


Everything is fresh in your mind and filled with promise. Mornings are lazy and coffee is always hot and ready. Afternoons are full of beauty and bliss. Evenings are spent in front of a cozy fire with a glass of wine.


You spend countless hours together and there’s an all-around feeling of excitement.


Then you’re a few chapters in.


That euphoria has dwindled slightly. You’ve settled into a comfortable pace and while you still feel damn good about everything, the rush has dissipated.


You still spend your mornings together chatting over coffee, spend a few hours in the evenings cuddling and chatting, but not like you used to.


You’re halfway in and now you’re too comfortable – comfortable enough not to spend every waking moment with your novel.


You might go all day without seeing it or even thinking about it. You get busy and neglectful. The novel strikes back the only way it knows how: by picking the first fight. It lays the smack-down with writer’s block.


You spend a lot of time confused over why this is happening. You try to convince your novel that there’s still something worth writing for.


You cry and scream. You might even throw things or give your novel the silent treatment in the hopes that it will get the point so you can make up, have a drink or two, and sleep in the same bed.


(Yes, writers go to bed with their laptops. Sometimes there are late night epiphanies that need to be documented. Don’t judge).


What comes after that monumental blowout is something that seems forced and unnatural. It might look good on the outside, but inside you question everything.

Uncertainty and indecision plague you.


By the time you’ve reached the end of your novel, you know it’s over.


You’ve accepted that the relationship has run its course and it can end in one of two ways – amicably, with each of you going your separate ways and finding healthy closure, or with a massive fight ending in both of you storming off swearing that this is the end, but leaving a cliffhanger that suggests otherwise.


Thus, the process will start over again when you’re ready to hit repeat on that entire mess. Because much like people who gravitate back into those bad relationships, writers are masochists.


We always go back for more, even when we can remember in painful detail just how much it hurt last time.


So, there you have it – writing vs. bad relationships. Not much of a difference, is there?

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