Dear Author Margo,
I am a writer. It's been difficult with limited success, but I'm willing to make the sacrifices that come with the path I've chosen. My wife, though, complains about having to do without things like vacations, satellite TV and meals out where we don’t have to order from our car. We’re growing apart and it's distracting me from my work. How do I keep my wife and not compromise my writing?
Dear Guy at the Barnes & Nobel Starbucks with the Four-Year-Old Laptop,
Of course you don’t want your wife to leave you and not only because, presumably, she’s paying your integrity bills. There’s a certain thing you can do for her that’s almost 99% guaranteed to distract her from your lack of earning potential. If done right, it’ll keep her humming dreamily for hours on end. She might even make you a sandwich afterward. Considering you don’t have much money for movies and flowers, you should already being doing this. A lot and without prompting or complaint.
If that doesn’t don’t work, get a job that actually pays you on a fairly regular basis. Yes, yes, you have a job. You write novels, but maybe you should try selling books…at a Barnes & Noble…that has a Starbucks.
Writing is a fine and noble endeavor, but the truth is only Stephanie Meyer, Dan Brown, Stephen King and that woman whose books crowd the entire third row shelf at Target are making enough money to keep their noggins north of their significant other's belt buckle. The rest of us have to do what we have to do to keep doing what we want to do.
So pin on a name tag, smile and think of it all as research for your next book. If your wife still leaves you, at least you can comfort yourself with all the lattes you can drink and paging through bestsellers on your break. And, really, how different is that from the life you’re leading now? Not much except for the getting paid to do it part.