I can't imagine being in a love relationship with a writer. Historically, we haven't had the best luck on the love front. Have you asked yourself why?
According to Arthur Plotnik in The Elements of Authorship (a really old book I've had for ages), all authors experience these three phases:
1. l'enfant terrible--the phase of the angry young writer ready to take the world by storm. "They feel the juice of genius running through their fingers, and they thrust their rough drafts into the mugs of loved ones as graciously as Cagney served grapefruit to his gal"(121). It's in this phase that loved ones sort of get shoved aside, neglected for the love of a story.
2. Euphoria--perhaps the most obnoxious phase of all, in which the angry young writer manages to gain some success. "For the average writer in euphoria, the eyes spin like wheels of fire while the lips churn out magalomaniacal ravings--'...me-my-agent me-my-publisher me-my-major book chains me-my-miniseries me-my-subrightsrollingin...'"(121). It is in this phase that the loved ones won't be able to get a word in edgewise. They will have to put up with your overstuffed self-promotion while having to set aside their own successes and/or concerns. The only joy that will be received well is the joy for you-your-writing.
3. Crisis of Confidence--this is a phase that might actually occur before or after euphoria, but no matter what, it will always occur. Because "eventually the light dims even for the most triumphant books" (122). Those that haven't published will fear they will never publish, and those that do publish fear they are one-hit wonders unable to write something worth publishing ever again. This is a phase that torments the loved ones quite possibly as much as the writer. There's just nothing loved ones can do to make it better--no words, no devotion, no reassurance. It's a crisis a writer must work through on their own, and this leaves loved ones feeling helpless and sometimes unloved, especially if the writer turns inward.
Okay, that's how Arthur puts it, pretty much. Here's how others might think it goes--7 phases.
1. OMG, I am so freaking AWEsome, Loved One. This is the next Twilight-Harry Potter. I can write way better than Stephenie Meyer, too, and I just know it's gonna be an 8-book series that will make millions, no problem. I totally wrote it, Loved One, all 235,000 words of YA epicosity. Yeah, I sent it to everyone in my address book. Isn't that awesome?
2. I don't understand these rejections, Loved One. Who would send me back my own query with "Ha Ha Ha Ha" stamped in red across the front? Seriously. They just don't get it. It's totally their loss.
3. OMG, I suck, Loved One. I'm the worst writer in the world. I will never publish. I want to die in a totally tragic way, like of some fatal disease that makes me so beautiful they'll preserve me forever in a glass box.
4. I'm sorry, Loved One. I just can't look at a blank screen any more. I've decided to go make a living stuffing pickles into jars. I hope you don't mind. I need to retreat into the mundane for awhile. Sorry, that means no sex.
5. I'm sorry Loved One, my muse has struck once again. I must retreat into my cave to write. Sorry, that means no sex.
6. OMG, I sold!!! I sold!!!! Let's go have sex and talk about my boooooooook and how awesome I am!!!!! (and on and on and on until the book comes out and then for a long time after). Wait. Why are you leaving, Loved One? Don't leave. I haven't told you about that awesome review I just got. Waiiiiiit! The audio rights just sold to Papa New Guinea!!
7. OMG, everybody hates me. I suck. I am TOO awesome. Plus, I'll never be able to write another book as good as my first. I'm doomed. Please come back, Loved One. I need you. You're the only one that knows how to make my smoothies just right. Also, you're the only one that would sleep with me, and seriously, look at me. I'm a writer. I haven't bathed in six days.
Sure. Don't be a self-absorbed a$$. Do not love your stories more than your people. It's that simple. You don't have to be insane about it. Treat writing as a business. Treat your people as your life.
Source: Plotnik, Arthur. The Elements of Authorship. (New York: toExcel Press, 2000), 121-2.