Yesterday I wrote a post in which I put on my Talent Wrangler hat and discussed how I intend to spend the next month aiding and abetting Howard’s creativity so that we can get the next book done. I got a couple of responses to that post which essentially said “I wish I had someone like that.” My first response was “Who wouldn’t?” We would all love to have someone devoting themselves to making our lives easier and our creative pursuits more enjoyable. But before anyone goes misty-eyed and tries to find their perfect creative-supporter/soul mate, or worse, tries to remake their current mate by pointing at my post and saying “why don’t you that for me?” I need to make a couple of things clear.
1. Healthy relationships require balance. I am willing to devote a large part of my energy this month toward assisting Howard because on endless occasions he has dropped all of his tasks to assist me. I am also willing to do it because it is truly necessary. Howard is truly buried and needs help digging out. It is wrong for a creative person to expect this level of devotion and support without giving in return.
2. Ask what it costs, because nothing is free. My efforts to talent wrangle Howard are going to exhaust me. There will be days when I will hardly be able to see straight, but I will still need to get things done. I will be putting Howard’s work ahead of my own aspirations. Even on a temporary basis, that can be emotionally draining. These are all costs that I am very willing to pay. I love the work Howard does and I can see that this is necessary to getting the next book out on schedule. Thinking about the costs of dreams is part of moving carefully and safely toward reaching them without going bankrupt.