(I ran this post last year around this time and it’s worth running again. I’m all about helping people.)
Nearly every female writer I’ve become friends with has had the same fight with her man: she spends too much time on the computer. (I don’t think ANY of these dustups came during football season, either. We’ll be ahead of the curve.)
The fight happens because your man feels disconnected, so let him know he’s not boring to you. Bored wives end up angry and file for divorce. Bored girlfriends end up becoming ex-girlfriends.
He probably doesn’t want that.
Happily, you can hammer out a writing schedule that works for everyone, without appearing to do so.
- Take a week off from writing and track just how much time he actually wants. Don’t announce this, just don’t get on the computer when you normally would. Attempt to be a part of whatever he’s doing – unless it’s woodworking; that, he wants you to have no part of. Because tools. Just gaze adoringly at whatever exotic hardwood object he eventually presents.
- As a woman you’re practically a pre-qualified CIA spy. While spending time with him during this week off, covertly keep track of things. Whether it’s an hour of doing puzzles or watching SVU, note when you start and when he doesn’t seem to require you by his side. After a week he’ll be tired of trying to be interesting – and you’ll know how much time he really needs.
- Talk. How’s the (your local NFL team)’s draft prospects this year? Or the (local baseball team)’s schedule? Those two questions alone show you’re trying. (If SVU is on, do this during commercials.)
- Let your lion know he’s still king of the jungle. Yes, that means sex, but you initiate it – and don’t take no for an answer. Attack him after dinner and give him what he likes best, right there on the couch. Casually ask if he’s thought about having a three way with you and another woman, and then before he can answer, rock his world.
After a week, he’ll beg you to go back to your computer, not because he dislikes the new arrangement, but because he’s exhausted.
Then start work on your old writing schedule again, adjusted for your week of recon. Maybe write on Monday – Wednesday – Friday, and on Sunday morning while he reads the paper.
- Stop writing and give him a smile when he walks into the room, not the “I’m busy, don’t interrupt” face. He’s not being mean; he simply doesn’t know the refrigerator is where the cold sodas are kept. Accept that.
Yes, it’s an unfair a one-way street for a while; but unless he’s a complete bozo, things will turn around quickly. He’ll have new enthusiasm for your writing and you’ll have a busy writing schedule. Everybody wins!
Besides, baseball season starts soon. You can go the extra mile with a new schedule until it does.
(Ladies, turnabout is fair play. Tell us your strategies to keep things happy and productive for the writer that is you!)
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Dan Alatorre is the author of several bestsellers and the hilarious upcoming novel “Poggibonsi: an italian misadventure.” Click HERE to check out his other works.