It’s almost customary, it seems like, that an author, somewhere in the acknowledgements section of his or her novel, along with thanking the many folks who have helped the book come into existence, will include a few words of thanks for the patience and support of their long-suffering spouse and family members.
The image I get is of the irascible, eccentric writer, locked in his writing space, drinking too much coffee or alcohol, slaving away for long hours, ignoring the rest of the family, missing important events, and yelling at everybody for making noise. Jack Nicholson in The Shining, but without the ax. Usually.
I’ll certainly have many people to thank when I write my acknowledgements section for Rumi’s Field. But I’ll want to take extra care to use an excess of exclamation points for the bit about the supporting spouse. Not only is Sally being patient and supportive of a writer, she’s being patient and supportive of an Aspie writer, which is a bit like Writer2.
Irascible? Not really. Eccentric? Well, I’ve been told. I don’t yell, but I do keep my headphones full of music, to drown out any distracting noise. Mostly I stay in my end of the sun room, curled up on my sofa, working long, long hours on my computer, writing and editing and working on marketing matters and reading about author websites and the benefits of blogging and how to build one’s platform. I don’t use an ax (though I get strange feelings with a knife in my hands…) but there are many days where all work and no play does make Tim a very dull person. Or not dull, perhaps, but unavailable. Like obsessive unavailable. Like singularly focused unavailable. Like “special interest” unavailable. Like not noticing that there’s another person in the house unavailable.
And this when Sally’s going through some restructuring of identity and meaning and purpose herself, and might need more support than an obsessive Aspie writer might even think to give her, let alone know how to successfully pull off.
Maybe I should use a large font when I write those acknowledgements. And italics! Yeah, italics. That’ll do the trick!
Meanwhile, back to work.