Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Can't wait till it's over

I'd like to say, working closely on a project with one's chosen life partner, well, isn't it all hearts, flowers, and sex games involving the office filing cabinet.

It isn't. At least not round here.

Here - thanks to our unavoidable mutual interest in birthing a 94-page book on the future of the comma* - I will find that working together as the Grit'n'Dig team will be, ahem, difficult.

But we have done it plenty of times before, so I know what I'm in for. At least now we do not resort to chucking objects at each other's heads or having screaming fits over the turn of a phrase or the choice of italics. We merely pass electronic copy and image between each other in grunts while both of us try and fettle it once and for all. Yet I already anticipate how the process will alternate between moments when we look at each other in gratitude for a job well done; and one minute later, when that solid and shared understanding is unpicked so completely and intimately that I never want to see the bastard ever again. (For that read both book and husband.)

The problem is, unless you share identical brain-twinning with your chosen partner, working together on a creative product is a slow process far more excruciating, exposing, precarious, and dangerous than any other shared and partnered moment of living, whether it be refusing sex, or declaring it's not your turn to take the bins out.

The reality of working together is that day after day of gruelling negotiation over the Great Book of the Comma, I will come to know what it is like to live in the partner's writing brain (annoying, requires endless patience); I will have to tip-toe through another's complex thought processes (filled with obstacles, requires enormous diplomacy); I must navigate a way through their political difficulties, strategy problems and unresolved issues (requires me absolutely to keep my mouth shut); and then, as the editor part of the ill gotten team, I will have to understand, construct and help articulate a persuasive world view from their point of view (requires a great shift of thinking and a not insignificant wilful suspension of disbelief).

If that wasn't enough, there is always lurking that unspeakable peril. By the time you have finished creating together your profound work of great endeavour, the Big Forecasting Book of the Comma in the South East Asia Region, you will turn to your partner and resolve that you never want to have anything to do with their brain ever again, thank you very much, now give me mine back, because all it wants to do after that shredding experience is something unintensive, undeep, unlaborious, uncomplex, and unpainful, like mindless sex with the milkman and buying a pair of pointless sparkly shoes.

* Not available in your local bookshop.


Deb said...

I need more information. When is the book going to be available? Where will it be available? Are you going to get rich and abandon us all for yachting with the glitterati?

Grit said...

not, nowhere, and no. it is not available. plus you wouldn't want to read it. there's no sex or violence in it either, although i could try and write some in on page 33 before it went to the printer. it is another of dig's works which are v important, enough said. and another thing. writing books in the scholarship world does not make people rich, rule 1. some of the people i've typeset would have been wealthier had they mugged a kid in the street for their pocket money.

i can try and encourage dig to write a bodice ripper if you want. i could ask him to call it 43 varieties of wishful thinking.