Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Does creativity breed creativity? (1)

Yesterday I asked the potentially awkward question of whether writers are difficult to be romantically involved with. When I wrote that piece and then blogged it, I had no idea that there would be so many opinions on it; and I had no idea that discussing those opinions with people would lead to yet another question, that I felt the need to blog about today. 

If writers aren’t compatible with people who don’t write, do they stand a good chance of being compatible with other writers? And, if that’s the case, what happens to the creativity in that situation? Does it suffer, like it can when you’re involved with a non-creative person, or does it blossom? In other words, does creativity breed creativity?

Oh, sorry, did I say one question? I actually meant about one hundred. 

I’ve been on both sides of it, and I’m honestly no closer to answering any of the above questions, so please, if people have opinions about this post too then I strongly encourage you to share them with me! Being with someone who doesn’t do the whole creative thing can have its perks, in my experience; but there’s also the outstanding drawback of them ‘not getting the whole writer’ thing, which, believe me, can be a much bigger problem than it sounds on paper. Then there have been the two relationships I’ve had with fellow-writers, of sorts at least, and frankly, they were massive disasters in their own rights. Bloody outstanding disasters actually. Colossal. And many other words that will assess the outright terrible-ness of those past relationships. But were the problems in those relationships anything to do with writing? I don’t think so. Did they have something to do the type of people artists are? Well, maybe. 

Depressing as that last bit might be, give me a second to try and recover from it…

If you’re seeing someone who doesn’t write, or ‘create’ for want of a broader term, and they don’t enjoy reading, then what on earth are they meant to do while you’re off being a committed reader and writer? They’re your partner, and they want attention, damn it! And it’s completely normal for them to want your attention - that’s how relationships are meant to work. However, it’s hardly the most inspiring situation in the world and yes, if we’re all being honest, there are times when having a partner who doesn’t write can be extremely difficult, I think, for the partner who does. Probably no more difficult than it is to be involved with a writer though (I have to add that last bit in order to have a balanced and grown-up argument, I think). 

It feels like a never-ending battle against what’s best for both parties. I mean, a writer hooking up with a writer is all well and good but… Hughes and Plath, anyone? 

If you’re a writer reading this I would actually love to hear from you about what your partner does, how your partner feels about your writing, and whether it’s ever been a problem. Equally, if you’re romantically involved with a writer, then I’d love to hear from you about that, too! If for no other reason than to hopefully wrap my head around how romance with writers works, and offer some kind of remedy to this query that seems to be occupying my writing at the minute. 

In order to gain a little focus, it might be worth going back to the original question here about whether creativity breeds creativity, and whether that bodes well for writers in relationships with writers. Again, referring to personal experience, yesterday was a fairly creative day for me, with my eager fingers churning out a little more than 2700 words over the course of the morning. Last night when I finally settled down with a good book, all I wanted to do was write. I’d had a massively creative day and instead of running out of juice, I found that I’d got more than I’d had in a while. So much so that I’m blogging twice in two days, something which I haven’t made the effort to do since my days of writing tortured poetry as an undergraduate student. Yet here I am, typing away (even if it is complete drivel) and saying things like, ‘I’ll think about dinner when I’ve finished this’ to anyone who dares to interrupt me. 

So if your own creativity can breed more creativity, does having a significant writer in your life mean you’ll breed even more of the stuff? It sounds a little too good to be true, to be honest. Although I suppose you’re paying the rather high price of having to make a relationship work, which sounds like a hard task at the best of times, let alone when you’ve got a load of writing hinged on top of what, in my experience, is often the emotional equivalent of a jack-in-the-box. 

It might be a little romanticised, but to me the perfect relationship revolves around the image of a couple in bed together, both of them reading, neither of them speaking. There’s no noise, no disturbances, just peace, quiet, companionship, and room to be your own person without having to kick the other person out of your life to gain some independence. So maybe I need a reader, rather than a writer? Although many writers would probably agree that the writer’s job is actually to be both of those people - which might be an over-complicated consideration to incorporate into this already complicated discussion, so we’ll just leave a pin in it for now.

Possible curveball, though: if our own creativity breeds more creativity, and if the more we write, the more we want to write, is that area something we even need to look for in a partner, or is it a box that we can tick on our own?

So what do we think? Are writers romantically involved with writers on to something? Or are they doomed to end up with their heads in the oven while their ex-partner, well, you know how that story goes…

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