How Being a Writer Can Hurt Your Relationships

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Here’s a sneak peek into the mind of a writer if you will…

I’m a new writer. Well, actually that’s not true. I’ve been a writer pretty much my whole life. More specifically since I realized what an incredible art form writing can be. But only recently I have begun to share my work with the public. And I’m realizing that with it comes great responsibility to prevent potential problems in my close relationships that I hadn’t considered… until now.

Most of my inspiration to write comes from my current life situations. Interactions and conversations with people around me fuel my creativity. Often what happens is inspiration will come, and I will draw upon all of my research in the fallout from similar experiences. I’m not talking about formal scientific research where data analysis leads to scientific theory. My research is informal, anecdotal, and combined with all of the ideas that others have shared, both scientific and not. I geek out on Ted talks, peer reviewed scientific journals and papers, popular culture and whatever material Google generates in search after search. Am I the only one who has 100+ tabs open at any given time on the same subject?

I have an extremely analytical mind and can go down rabbit holes for hours, days, weeks…(you get the picture) on subjects that fascinate me. I spend a lot of time in deep critical thought. In fact, I have to force myself to remember to take breaks to clear my mind. Meditation and activities with family and friends helps, but even then sometimes people stare at me in strange delight and amusement, particularly when I start going down a rabbit hole out loud. Especially when my mouth can’t keep up as I drift away into my own thoughts. Weird? Maybe lol, I dunno… I don’t care. I used to feel a sense of social anxiety, around this actually. But since have stopped caring so much about what other people think. I think that’s part of what makes me unique and so I embrace it. I may actually have a slight addictive tendency for epiphanies.

…people stare at me in strange delight and amusement, particularly when I start going down a rabbit hole out loud. Weird? I dunno…

I also find it thrilling to recall past events and imagine how I might have handled such situations differently knowing what I now know. I’m pretty sure that we can all look back and do a face palm when recalling certain events that we may not have handled well at the time it was occurring. Some call it ruminating but that’s not so for me. As a person who has rarely avoided trying something new due to fear of failure, I’ve made it my life’s purpose to learn from failure. Rather than beat myself up about them, I see every perceived failure as an opportunity for growth and learning. I use experiential knowledge to shift my perspectives on situations and intentionally seek a deeper understanding from all angles.

The trouble comes when the people who are closest to me are supportive, and are reading my work. Especially when they recognize that something they said or did, sparked my inspiration. I think it’s difficult for them to know if much of what is written is an indirect message meant for them. I’m fairly certain that it’s easy as a reader who knows me on a personal level, to get confused about this. Part of the reason I love to write, is because I am able to express myself in a way that I feel truly reflects my thoughts and who I am. But often, these thoughts that make their way onto paper (or into digital format) are not generally a clear reflection of my present situation. I tailor my material to target my entire audience, as I’m sure most writers do.

And so, as a writer for the public, I’m realizing how much more important it is to have clear and direct communication with the people in my life. I sometimes forget and assume that they should just know what is and isn’t about or for them, but we all know what happens when we assume.

Fellow writers… have you had similar experiences? How do you combat this? Do you ask your nearest and dearest not to read your work? Do you give them a heads up that your recent interaction sparked creativity but the entire message is not intended for them?

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