Are All Writers This Way?

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Article by Wendy McCance

Last night, I had a small amount of time with my husband without the kids around.  We had said goodnight, went up to bed and were spending our last minutes before sleep watching the end of a football game.

I had been on the computer earlier watching a documentary about Fleetwood Mac.  The band fascinates me, especially since their best album was made while the band was in its worst state of turmoil.  It’s fascinating to see how a passion for what you love can propel you through your darkest hours handing you the ultimate gift after fighting through blood, sweat and tears.

Moments like this, when I read or watch something about human nature that inspires me, I end up picking my husband’s brain with a thousand questions.  Although he is usually game to answer a few questions, if I get too deep he begins to feel the exhaustion of all the intrinsic details I am examining.

It occurred to me last night in the midst of asking him questions that I felt an odd sense of floating alone in the world.  My husband really does get who I am about 85%.  There is a small portion of who I am that I don’t think anyone has ever gotten close enough to completely understand since I was a kid.

Much of the time, I enjoy living in my mind more than living in the moment.  As I say this, it sounds crazy even to my own mind.  I get this incredible kick out of being able to create.  It is surely an obsession that if not touched on daily makes me feel a little out of my soul.  I feel a little off  when I am not able to put words to paper or draw a picture or listen to music that gets my mind moving and thinking about the littlest of things.

My husband will say often that the things I question have never been on his radar.  He has trouble understanding how or why I question the smallest most minute of subjects.  I am so curious and want to so completely understand the entire human experience before I die.

My husband in contrast goes through life without seeing or feeling the little details.  He doesn’t pick up on smells or music which take him back to a memory.  He can’t sit on a porch and look around at the view as though he is seeing a masterpiece of a painting.  He just doesn’t have the same sort of sharp focus.

I often wonder if this is what a writer’s mind is like?  Or even the individual that creates for a living.  Not those who are trying to eek out a living, but those that have no choice because creating is something they obsess over.

There are times when I share my thoughts with my husband and feel like he must think I am a little nuts.  He doesn’t portray that attitude, but when a response is one of complete lack of understanding, it makes me pull back and quietly reel in my emotions.  I no longer want to share for fear that I will look crazy for the way I soak it all up.

I have not had the pleasure of meeting other creative types who live a life in this same fashion.  I have not met someone who gets carried away in their own mind, feeling an incredible sense of fulfillment in what they are able to create out of thin air.  Or maybe I have, but they just didn’t share this information with me.

So, I ask you, are all writers this way?

My husband has a way of quieting that need I have for him to know and understand all of me.  He tells me that know one can know every nuance of an individual.  It’s just not possible.  This disappoints me because of my fascination for understanding what makes a person tick.  I want to understand the mechanics of each person.  I want to throughly understand what drives a person to operate the way they do.  People have told me I have a keen sense of being able to open a person up and see a soul that few are even aware of. From my perspective, I feel like I am only touching on the very tip of their existence.

I have come to realize that my disappointment in my husband’s lack of understanding the completeness of me is so similar to a game of let’s pretend.  As a child, you make up games with your closest friends.  When both parties understand a game that kids on the outside have no understanding of, the relationship feels magical.  You and your friend are living a moment where there is a higher connection and a closeness develops that confirms why you are best friends.  I want to be able to play that game with my husband.  I want to feel more closely like it is us against the world and that we know secrets about each other to a depth that others could never conquer.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a terrific relationship and feel lucky to have the husband I do.  He gets me like no one else.  I just wish he had that extra creative gene that allows him to look deeper into what is around him in the same way I do.

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Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 9 local papers online, including the Oakland Press. The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: [email protected]

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29 thoughts on “Are All Writers This Way?

  1. Hi Wendy, I think all writers do think this way. We are creative in a different way to artists and designers etc. Its who we are. It’s in our D.N.A and we owe it to ourselves to fulfil our destiny.

  2. Thank God, there is balance among loving couples. It would be a travesty, if we all felt,or viewed everything the same. As a musician, and now a writer, I do concur with you. I see things, and want to put those sight s in writing, but by the same token, my wife who is a decorator, and an artist, sees her surroundings so differently than me. Often times I’ll ask what she saw in a certain home we have visited, or how she would remodel that particular home. I certainly didn’t see anything that would grab my attention. She always wants me to see beyond the four walls. In my case, it is with music. I want her t hear what I hear, but no can do. To answer your question, I guess we are like that, or are we? Blessings.

    • It’s so true. We do have a fabulous relationship, I just question sometimes how I got so lucky when there are such big differences in parts of our personalities. Just part of who I am, I question everything to death. 🙂

  3. I have always lived in a place apart. Maybe it is emotional distance, but it gives me a deeper understanding and view of the people around me. Add to this an insatiable need to understand stuff. It drives my wife nuts when I get on a kick and ask questions like “what if our day 17 hours instead of 24?” Questions like that have no real answers but our a way of delving into the outside forces that shape our world.

    • It is lovely to hear this from a male perspective. I am not a talker … my husband wishes I would talk more about what I think and feel … but I am always unsure how he will take me! I give him some of my poems to read which helps him to understand a little more about where I am coming from. But I am learning that we can be very different in how we view the world, but still love each other and be a support to each other. As long as we don’t judge … but simply accept that we are all different. And there are plenty of other people in the world to philosophize with, without driving your own family nuts. 🙂

      • That’s a thing. I don’t speak too good. But I can write. My wife and I realized coming in, and still approach life this way, if we agree on everything then one of us is unnecessary. There is a reason why we are different. These are the qualities that attracted us to our partner.

        Building your life on a base of understanding and shared values and then accepting the ways where you are different forms a stronger relationship.

        There are still times when I look at her and say what the heck is wrong with you. She does the same thing to me too. What’s worse is my kids are growing up and I have to look at them and say Who raised you. Cause they seem so alien some times.

  4. Your column made me think of a book I read one time. I was going through a divorce, and agonized over how it impacted our shared friendships. I found a book that differentiated between “friends of the road” and “friends of the heart” — and explained that while the former are only temporary (ending when the shared experience ends), they play an important role nonetheless and we should let them go without guilt. Anyway, back to my point. The author interviewed men about the nature of friendships, and most of them sort of stared at her blankly, not understanding what there was to analyze. So I’m wondering if to a certain extent what you describe is a “man thing”? (I am a fellow writer and had the same problem with my ex-husband. I exhausted him in my efforts to try to get him to think deeply about everything!)

  5. (Clap-clap-clap) - I think this one of the best posts you’ve written, Wendy. I feel as if I’ve gotten to know you much better and didn’t realize how curious you were. Your thoughts come across with great depth. I get where you’re at.

    Maybe it comes from childhood or life experiences that make us want to ponder and consider if there’s more to the world than what we see. I don’t know. But, for me I can always remember asking the same questions and hungry for discussions and a dialogue to explore them with others. I think that’s why I write, too, to hear what others think, as well as discovering myself. It’s wonderful.

    It helps as my husband has spurred this on for me over the years being an avid reader and an intellect. He’s an explorer too of self-discovery and spirituality and we’ve had many great talks.

    Keep asking, keep exploring and surround yourself with interesting people wondering the same things and having the same discussions. It will enrich you and give you material to share that special piece of yourself with the world. I’m happy your here with me, my friend, on the internet.

  6. Thanks again. Both life partners generally value the feeling that they are an instrumental part of each other’s journey. If you’re like me, you may discover that your well-intentioned heartfelt curiosity and plethora of thoughts may at times leave your significant other 1) impressed with how your mind connects & flows, & 2) desiring of clear ongoing indicators of your matching core heart connection as well. Keep going, learning, growing -*- for life … individually and together.

  7. I can completely relate to this Wendy. The more you move into the realm of imagination, the more disconnected you feel from the ‘real world’ - or at least, the world that appears to be real, but is less real, than the one in your imagination … if you understand what I mean (and I think you do!).

      • Is it a skewed view … or are you simply seeing things as they really are for the first time? I think that the more you write, and read and think, the more you discover about yourself, and that enormous wealth of knowledge that we all have deep inside us. If you give way to your creative energy, then you are finally seeing with your eyes wide open … even when you close them and listen to the silence. 🙂

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