My husband is a writer, which means he spends a lot of time in his head, silently piecing together ideas and characters and storylines, and I have no idea what’s going on in there. After years of watching his mental processing from an outside perspective, I decided that I wanted to share this part of his life with him and broached the idea of us writing something together.
But he didn’t jump at the chance of writing something with his wife like I’d hoped. Instead, he was extremely hesitant. After all, I’d never written a script before and, sure, even though we’d been married for years at that point – there’s still something extremely vulnerable about opening your inner thought process up to another’s scrutiny.
To make things worse, Kyle had previously worked on a tv show where the married head writers had let their own personal marriage issues play out in the writer’s room. Writing together only seemed to bring them contention and unhappiness and competition and Kyle couldn’t help but assume that husband/wife co-writing teams were doomed to failure…and that we’d certainly be doomed too if we attempted such a feat.
However, eventually, after enough pleading, Kyle acquiesced and agreed to try to write something with me. We stumbled onto a heartwarming story idea that we both felt drawn to. We sat down together a few times to develop characters and outline a basic story structure.
But we couldn’t do it.
We just couldn’t work together.
Our overall visions were different, our creative processes did not mesh, and there were insecurities on both our parts. I didn’t know the right “writer-speak” words to use and was afraid of not being taken seriously by Kyle; Kyle struggled with letting me into his creative process. Anytime either one of us threw out an idea, it was received as an attack against the other’s creativity. Instead of discussing and molding our individual ideas into something we could together be happy with – we argued about them. Instead of being vulnerable with each other to try to understand each others’ creative processes – we let our insecurities shut down our communication.
A couple years later, after we’d begun working through our underlying communication issues and were at a much better place in our marriage, another story came our way that we knew we wanted to be the ones to tell.
Though uncertain if we’d be able to work together without letting our insecurities get the best of us again – we decided to go for it. I’m not gonna lie, it was a still a bit rocky in the beginning. But we eventually came to a place where we decided that we were either telling this story together or not at all…so we might as well give it our all.
I don’t have a Hollywood ending to this story…yet. We’re still developing it and we still have a ways to go before we’ll have a final script. But no matter what happens, it already has a happy ending:
Because instead of letting our insecurities about writing together tear us apart, we’re using our vulnerabilities to work together as a team in a way that we never have before.