This weeks post comes from the virtual pen of Adrian, Annies partner of 19 years and is part of this weeks series over at Write Anything of getting to know the regular writers there better.. and from different angles.
Whats it like to live with Annie – the writer?
Not only do I live with a writer but she is a scorpio, a chameleon, changeble on a whim, off on a tangent with passionate abandon; but perhaps these are just feminine qualities?
Annie has always had creative pursuits, from acting and performing, to various craft and sewing projects to drawing and sketching and now writing. She’s always been a bit of a writer as she chronicled our 5 years living and travelling through Europe in fortnightly newsletters, faithfully typed up, photocopied and sent to a variety of friends and family. (this was before the internet and emails) Even back then people used to say she should put all our adventures into a book as it was always so interesting to read. (still has not happened.. its another project with a low priority)
In your opinion, what makes a writer and how can you tell if some one is a writer?
Gone are the days of the ink stained fingers as the dead giveaway of a writer and you don’t need to be an alcoholic or unsociable to be the next Hemingway, so it’s quite difficult to tell.
I would always suspect someone is a writer if I hear them muttering under breath – “I could use that.”- they are either a writer or a extortionist.
There are all sorts of writers; some people write as a form of self discovery or to find out things about themselves; others write stuff they secretly want to do but can’t in real life; others are just compelled to write stuff down.
The thing that makes a writer is the passion driving their words.
Annie doesn’t have the confidence to paint, so she writes. They go together for her – its her artistic expression which she’s compelled to pursue now through words rather than images.
Since she started writing on a serious note what changes have you seen?
Annie has only been writing really for about 20 months. She was at a real creative cross roads and was encouraged by Jodi to write a short story for Friday Fiction. She hasn’t looked back. One of the things I have seen is that she talks less – its almost as if she has used up most of her 10000 words women are supposed to need to convey by the time I get home from work. This is a plus as its a quieter house. She seems calmer when writing. This is a good thing…
Have you read any of her work?
I subscribe to her Friday Fiction and read it each week. I have also followed the Captain Juan series but its so infrequent now I have lost track of the characters and its a bit confusing when that happens. She has started to continue with several story lines – but with so many projects and worlds – from sci fi to fantasy to historical, its sometimes hard to keep up. I haven’t read the book which Jodi and Annie wrote last year.
Are there any characters or situations you are concerned about from her writing?
No not really. I find that most of the work is readable and characters are interesting. Though the multiple projects and stories on the go can be a bit confusing as they come into everyday conversation as real people sometimes. Thankfully Annie doesn’t do the batty old lady writer experience much as she writes late at night when everyone is asleep.
From my experience of her writing that book with Jodi, and of her two NaNo projects, that writing is more painful than birthing – for everyone involved.
Are there any pluses to having a writer in the house?
It serves as good variety as there are always weird and odd ball questions thrown at you at all hours of the day and night. I’m often used as a sounding board or to help make decisions on subplots.
Are there any disadvantages to having a writer in the house?
We seldom go to bed at the same time as night time is her time to write. On the infrequent times she does agree to come to bed when I do, there is always the call “Just one more sentence and I’ll be there.” and I know it will be hours before she crawls into bed.
What has suffered since she became a writer?
Annie does nothing in half measures. Especially during NaNo – there has been virtually no relationship time or sex life. I hardly saw her – perhaps in the hall at times as a ghost muttering incoherently about word count.
I have learnt to nod wisely when outbursts explode after Annie reads something online or in the newspaper of “This is rubbish or how can they publish this?” as she carrys on about the lack of plot or character development or the editing, punctuation and structural misgivings of a piece.
Advice to partners
- Like any of the creative arts; be prepared for long period of not existing as they will be absorbed in their project or story.
- Be prepared to be a patron. Its only rare that it is going to pay.
- If the computer breaks down – fix it fast or life is hell.
- In saying that though its fairly benign as a hobby – compared to painting or other artistic hobbies. As an art form its pretty cheap as there aren’t any expensive materials or continuing classes to attend. There is generally no mess with writing. You don’t need to build a special room or a studio or have smelly paint wafting through house.
If Annie wasn’t writing she’d………
……be doing something equally time, energy and soul consuming with over zealous passion.
Its like trying to stop the tide or ignoring the moons phases. Annie will write and we as a family will live with what comes out of it.
What would your other half , room mate or best friends say about you as a writer?
Photo is of Annie and Adrian Evett from a private collection.