Following on from my blogs about 'Being a writer's husband' and 'Being a writer's husband at booksignings', I thought I'd post about the tough part of being an observer standing on the outside of a creative process.
Over the years I’ve watched Gina ‘create’ through writing, drawing, painting and any other media that happens to be on hand. I’ve watched her (not over her shoulder!) make something physical out of her thoughts, emotions, knowledge, passion, beliefs, observations, research, etc.
It’s amazing for me, I stand back in awe as new life is breathed into the world by her creativity and skill. That’s the easy part of being a writer and artist’s husband. Actually, there are many easy parts to being a husband of someone so artistic in my opinion, too many to list here.
One of the hardest parts of being the observer over an internal creative process of someone else, no matter how much you love them, is being helpless to support her at those times when she hits that creative wall. A plot, a word, a character, a brush stroke. Something that doesn’t feel right for her and she needs to do it differently. I’m not an artist or writer. I’m not even very imaginative. Anything I say will hinder, not help, so I sit and watch as she struggles with herself, getting tired, losing energy as that intense focus goes further inward to a place that I can only begin to imagine but never actually understand.
Even after the work is ‘complete’, there’s the editing, the amendments, the ‘one last change’, the search to make something ‘more’, the frustration and philosophizing. I see the process tightening her stomach muscles, furrowing her brow, making her tired. I love her so much and yet I can’t do anything but say the occasional supportive word, but not too much or I will derail the process! I’m assured that ‘being there for her’ is a comfort but I am not blind, it is little or no comfort at times like that.
The thing is, taking a step back always helps her. It’s the timing that’s tricky though. When she’s in the middle of a struggle, that’s part of the process as far as I can see. I know it’s necessary so I don’t interrupt it which, when considering how she looks at times like that, is bloomin’ hard I can tell you now! Anyway, when she does take a step back, probably the following day, all is well and it’s on to the next challenge. It is truly amazing and sometimes heartbreaking to behold.
I am so proud of her, how she manages to get back on top of it all and steps back onto the path she was on before hitting a creative wall. I share her feeling of achievement and elation and watch again in awe and wonder. Although this is definitely one of the hardest parts of being a writer and artist’s husband, I’m very fortunate to be part of the process, even by not being part of it.
Life is good.
Causes Ryoma Collia-Suzuki Supports
World Wildlife Fund
British Heart Foundation