The dirty secret no author really wants to admit. True artists, no matter their craft, will more than likely pull away from those they may truly love when they work. Because well, we love our work more than we love anything else.
I’m not saying every author or artist is like me. But I’d dare say it happens more often than not. I’m talking about the authors who work jobs, have demanding lives and still carve out time with their bare hands to write if they must.
Loved ones, we know you’re neglected… I know I don’t see my family as much as I should, I don’t get my niece with any sort of regularity. My friendships are in shambles and my current relationship is rocky at best. Yet every day I wake up and I make the same choice, I choose to sit down at my computer and write and I choose that more often than I choose to sooth their pain.
I love my work more than you, and as much as that hurts. As shitty of thing that is to say. It is the truth, a truth many of us are ashamed to admit.
I looked at my ex one day, and with startling clarity I realized suddenly that although I loved him, I would never love him as much as my work. It was both a horrifying realization and yet I felt unburdened by finally accepting it as truth. I had made my choice. I knew without a doubt if I was backed into a corner and someone made me choose between being with him and ever writing another word again. I knew I would have given him a heartfelt goodbye and parted ways at peace. There would be regrets I’m sure, feelings of guilt. But I’m not sure how much of that would be from a place of truth and how much of it would be because those feelings were expected of me.
I had accepted the fact that I would more than likely never be a mother some time ago, and now perhaps I was giving up my chance at marriage. Yet both of those prospects terrified me far less than the thought of abandoning my own self-defined dreams for the pursuit of the dreams of my mother, grandmother, and many women before me.
Failing would cut so deeply now. Success my only vindication for all that I’ve sacrificed on the altar.
Perhaps one day all of this will change. So although I’ll love my work more than I love anything thing else. I’ll do my best to never let them feel it. I’ll do my best to hide the ugly truth along with the many other ugly truths in my heart.
I love my work more than I love you.