My girlfriend accuses me of doodling instead of writing !

Relationships are tricky at the best of times… and I definitely don’t want to turn my blog into a ‘Dear Abby’ advice column.  But it is possible to participate in a meaningful, emotionally mature relationship and still write.   The key is careful apportioning of your time.

First of all, ARE YOU doodling on the computer or are you actually sitting and writing?  This is an important distinction as much for your girlfriend’s peace of mind as your own as a writer.  Everyone has days or nights when stuff just doesn’t flow.  But at the same time, if you do thorough planning prior to beginning each writing session, you will likely know what needs to be done each and every time you sit down to write.  And, needless to say, you should do it.

What you write on some nights may be crap.  Crap happens.  At the same time, it is not our job to judge our writing as we write.  Your only job in the first draft IS TO FINISH.  Ask your girlfriend (or boyfriend) to embroider that for you as a wall hanging.  That is your only job this time around – to finish this draft.

The other thing you should do is really make a commitment to writing, and to your writing time. Screenplays and novels don’t write themselves. Try booking an appointment with yourself – put it on your calendar. And take it as seriously as if it were the big-ticket opportunity you hope your writing may become some day. Take it seriously now, to be taken seriously later.

And your partner?  Well, you might try engaging her/him in the process.  Try reading some of your work to her or him.  Have them get invested in helping you finish.  Be careful though… in an effort to keep your nose to the grindstone, she may start canceling appointments herself if she likes what you read to her.  Involving loved ones in our quest can become a really useful motivator… but a double-edged sword too!

I hope this helps.  And I do wish you the best of luck with your writing.