In umpteen tips sections of writers blogs, speeches and books I’ve come across this sage advice: never show your manuscript to your mother, your best friend or your lover. And generally I’ve thought, fair enough. But for the first time in my life I’m dating another writer and I want to share everything.
In the past I’ve had boyfriends who failed to cast an eye over a single one of my stories (and that did not go down well with me) and others that tried, and even sometimes appreciated, but never fully ‘got’ what I was trying to do. Now things are different. And even though my lover doesn’t write in the same genre as me, I trust his opinion and we have taken to, if not editing, then at least critiquing each other’s work – even when it’s still at a fairly early draft.
So far it’s working well. But already I have a suspicion that criticism, even imagined criticism, from him is going to cut a hell of a lot deeper than any meted out by my writers group could. And I suppose I would do well to remember that this could also apply in reverse.
I don’t want to give this up – it’s amazing talking about what I’m trying to do because it’s so rarely something that happens and it is especially rare to do it with someone whose opinion you totally value. But am I playing with fire trying to mix such personal, interior and precious work with the person I want to support and who I want to be totally supportive of me?
And then there’s the possibility of jealousy, and all the times he writes something I wish had come to me first… but I think that’s too big a topic to tackle here. The green eyed monster surely needs a whole post pf her own! For now I’m going to keep growing and hope that it’s a recipe we can both handle.