Sunday, 13 November 2011

Co-writers


Working together is so fucking hard sometimes. Sitting in a café over breakfast, my pledge not to raise my voice at Virgil goes out of the window. He accuses me of losing my temper. I assure him I haven’t but don’t lower my voice.

 We’re writing a piece for a book. Our joint contribution is about group sex. It’s an account of the first time we went to a sex party together. It’s only a few paragraphs but there is much to disagree on. The thing is, Virgil and I both like to write. Even though we like each other’s writing, we have different styles and when push comes to shove we each prefer our own.

I don’t think Virgil realises it, but once he’s changed all the words he thinks need changing the only ones left are his. We end up having a furious argument about the first sentence (mine).

My problem is that I get frustrated, raise my voice and become combative. I respect Virgil’s opinions but I don’t always agree with them. I don’t think he understands this. I say, I refuse to change a sentence that I am basically happy with just because you have an objection to it that I disagree with. We can change it if you can suggest something better, but I will not commit to changing it when I do not see anything fundamentally wrong with it.

We argue in circles. I get progressively angrier and he gets more upset. He tells me how much I am hurting him. I tell him how frustrating it is to not be listened to and that I am sick of repeating myself. Then I have to run out of the cafe to catch a bus and go to work. Later I call him several times to try to make peace. He tells me that he doesn’t want to talk about it today. He says he feels accused, criticised, disrespected, unloved, alienated, disenfranchised.

I am unhappy with the first line I eventually submit. I know Virgil will be too but I can’t think of anything better in the end. 

2 comments:

  1. It's sounds as if you need to agree who the dominant partner will be. Do you prefer being on top?

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  2. That's a very lazy way to settle disputes, Mr Bananas, and not one I would recommend for human relationships, although maybe we could try taking turns being the dominant one - a week on, a week off might work.

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