How my anniversary led to a writing epiphany!

I don’t often mention him here, but I do have a husband, and today is our wedding anniversary. Which one? Well … let’s just say it’s closer to Golden than Silver. My husband tells me his co-workers can’t believe he’s still married to his first wife. I was thinking about that yesterday when I realized I could relate it to writing. You’re not surprised, are you?

We married young—way too young—and, on the surface, we had little in common. (He’s not even a reader. *gasp*) But the most important thing we shared was the concept of marriage as a commitment, not an experiment. We had some very rough times, times when the temptation to give up appeared like a key to the Promised Land. “This is too hard. This is not what I wanted. This is insane.” At times, that was a daily litany, but always we kept going. We had a commitment we would try our best to honor.

Can you see how this applies to writing?

Everything I wrote before the last two years was only an experiment. Could I do it? Would it make sense? Would I like it? Then, for what reason I may never know, my purpose for writing changed. On the lowest level, I could say I just switched “I” to they in that last question. Would anyone else enjoy my writing? That’s still an experiment, you say. Ah yes, but almost immediately my attitude toward writing also changed.

No longer was it enough to see if I could write something a theoretical They might like. I had committed to learning how to write so the well-read They would like it. I committed to learning the craft of writing. I committed to learning the whats and whys and whens of writing so the quality of my work would depend on skill rather than luck.

Quite often since then, my writing litany has echoed my marriage litany –writing/editing/querying/whatever is too hard, it’s not what I expected, why am I doing this? Then I remind myself nothing worthwhile comes easy; those authors whose work I admire worked long and hard to produce it. Writing is not an experiment; writing is a commitment. And it’s another one I’m determined to honor.


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36 thoughts on “How my anniversary led to a writing epiphany!

  1. Happy Anniversary! I agree writing is a commitment in itself. Not unlike marriage, you have to believe and trust in your partner (your writing) to make it work. (Hugs)Indigo

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  2. Wonderful attitude Linda. Marriage is indeed a commitment and I can see why you see the similarity in Writing.

    I am divorced and never want to marry again so let’s hope I can somehow stick to my writing and do better with that than I did with marriage ha ha 🙂

    Congratulations on your wedding anniversary. May you and the hubby have many more!

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      1. Yes, that’s true…I wonder if I’ll stick with it, I’m rather good at always quitting after a while, I am very impatient, a very bad trait and one I am aware I have to keep an eye on.

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  3. Well said, Linda. My writing skill (and knowledge) appears to me that it is in those early days of marriage. At times it is a big mess. Even though I think I have it all figured out.

    In my youthful exuberance I’m sure I KNOW what is right and I’m ready to walk away from the whole thing, because at times, the writing itself often does not agree with me. But I’m stubborn and committed. I continue to search for that common ground between my voice and the proper way to express the story.

    One day I’ll find that happy middle ground where the two become comfortable and satisfied. Until then I’ll keep throwing coffee mugs at the wall, poor story attempts into the fireplace, and I’ll hold onto the notion that one day this will all work itself out.

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    1. You reminded me of the temper I had when I first married. I threw quite a few things! 😀 And just like writing, I thought I knew it all in the beginning.

      You’ll make it, Trista. You have your jaw locked on writing like a pit bull. 🙂

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  4. Happy Anniversary!!!

    “Nothing worthwhile comes easy.

    Amen to that. Andrew and I went into marriage with the same mindset you guys did — it’s a commitment. We’ve been married for a little over three years–being involved in a) a college town, and b) a church in a college town, we’ve seen SO MANY couples get married over the years. I’ve probably sung in more than twenty weddings over the past seven or so.

    Anyway, there are at least two couples who married later than we did, and are already divorced. It makes me so sad for them. Both couples seemed to enter with a “this is nothing more than formal dating” mindset, and things pretty much crumbled when hard things happened.

    I love the way you’ve used marriage as a parallel with writing. Great post, Linda. 🙂 Are you doing anything special for your anniversary?

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  5. Marriage is a journey. Things get tough and you wake up wondering who is this stranger next to me? Your spouse will do something like telling everyone that your bank is giving you money to put into a savings account. Then again I hear her singing with our cockatiels and everything is alright. Its the small stufff that matters.

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  6. What a lovely tribute to your marriage, Linda. I always equate my writing journey to dating…It took me many years and many boyfriends, (just as it took it me many manuscripts!) to find my husband and it was so worth the wait.

    Congratulations to you both!

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  7. The reality about marriage is that not every day is not full of passion and romance. it just isn’t. The one I like is when young couples say they never argue. My question is do they live in the same house? Something I have always done for my wife is that when she comes to me and says we need to talk I stop whatever I am doing. The televison goes off. When she does that I know its serious. Bed time. Tonight I will like who I will wake up next to but there is always tomorrow night!

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  8. I love this post a lot, Linda. See so many truths in it for myself both as a writer (since I am 12, if you allow taking up the pen to express yourself in stories as definition to be a writer) and as the wife of a “non-reading” husband that I am together with for 12 years … touched my heart there. 🙂 Best from Berlin.

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  9. What a great metaphor, and clearly all your commenters have enjoyed it as well. You have a real gift for getting the conversation going.

    I’ll also add: Love. It makes marriage enjoyable and ditto for writing.

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  10. My father wasn’t and I refuse to be like that. We can always get things figure out. Nine years ago today I had a stroke and almost died.

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  11. There has been through the years a joke that my wife tried to kill me. The thruth is that she has been an RN for over 35 years. If she wants me dead then I’m a goner. You know through the years people just take things and never think anything about it. One of the bad things about these ads on T.V. is that people see this stuff and then run to the doctor. In reality it could have been so much worse than what it turned out to be.

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  12. I’m sorry i didn;t get to say congratulations and happy anniversary on the day of, but never too late! hope you both had a great day! (we were 10 years a few weeks back – scary how time passes.) I wish you many more great years, both in marriage and writing.

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