In our dialog with other writers, we met D. Jean Quarles and traded some observations about the writing lifestyle. Jean’s networking with additional writers generated a collection of observations, lessons, and confessions that she thought appropriate to share. And thus, through Jean’s vision and effort, evolved an anthology that became the book, The Write Balance: Journaling The Writer’s Life now available as an Amazon download.
My short contribution is titled First the Path, Then the Companion. The piece contains the kind of advice that an older writer might give to a younger one. The first college professor who told me that I had the potential to be a literary artist tried to warn me about the detours to art that romance constructs.
Here then is my contribution to The Write Balance. You might want to download the entire book to see what other writers advise.
“After you have made the life-altering decision to travel in the direction of the literary arts, the next crucial decision is who will go with you as spouse or companion. Do not put the second before the first, or you will create constant conflict instead of literature.
My second wife understood my passion to write, and she thus became
the great facilitator for a very productive writing period that did not depend on commercial success. As my partner, copy editor, researcher, and manuscript preparer, we were able to produce novels, non-fiction books including a long two-subject biography, and libretti for an oratorio and two grand operas over a period now spanning 29 years.
Meanwhile, we operated a seasonal manufacturing and retail business to support ourselves and our three, now college graduated, daughters.
During those years, I wrote full-time six months and then worked seven days a week for six months in the business. With the girls married, we sold the business in 1992 and have devoted ourselves full-time to the literature ever since.
We count our satisfaction with lives lived in the dedicated pursuit of art not on published success, but rather by the manner in which we have remained faithful to whatever literary work was inspired for us to do. We honored whatever talent we had in the completion of more than 50 major literary works. We fulfilled and continue to fulfill the will-to-art that provides meaning and purpose to our life together.
As a genetically mandated writer, first commit to that path, and then find the very special someone who agrees to go that way with you.”