Ten Years and Counting

I’m not doing NaBloPoMo because July is going to be a bit hectic for me, and I’ve never make the daily posting goal. But I saw a post from someone who is participating, and today’s prompt grabbed me.

Do you think of a decade as a short or long period of time? (Is the century a 10th full or a 10th empty!)

This prompt jumped out at me because Ari and I are celebrating our 10 year anniversary of writing together next month. She jokes that we’ve lasted longer than some marriages. I’ve joked that we’ve become heterosexual life partners. But I never really been struck by the timespan until I saw that prompt.

Ten years. Dang.

In some ways, it feels like we just started writing together. We began by roleplaying together, and then we moved into writing fanfiction. I look at our stories and think, “It hasn’t been that long since we wrote that”. Then I look at the date on it, and I realize it’s been a lot longer than I thought!

In other ways, it feels like we’ve always been writing together. We’ve got this collaboration thing down cold, and our writing process is like a well-oiled machine. Well, except for the usual pitfalls, like when real life intervenes in some way. One of us is out of town, one of us gets sick, something’s going on with the family, etc. But we’re never lacking for plot bunnies or inspiration.

That’s not to say nothing ever goes wrong. Sometimes, an idea peters out, or we get distracted and lose our mojo for it by the time we get back to it, or the characters just aren’t gelling. We’ve got a trail of partial drafts and rewrites streaming in our wake. All I can say is thank God for folders in Google drive.

We don’t get to see each other in person except once a year, but we chat just about every night. Despite the constant contact, I can count on one hand with fingers left over the number of times we’ve gotten out of sorts with each other. We’ve never had a fight. There are plenty of times when one or the both of us are snarky or moody or pissy, but there’s always a reason external to our friendship, and we explain what it is. “It’s not you, it’s [family/work/general life stress]”. There’s no projection of whatever is really going on onto the other person.

Would that change if we saw each other more often? Maybe, but I doubt it. We joke that if we ever lived under the same roof, we’d sit in separate rooms and communicate through chat anyway or we’d just leave a cake outside the door and back away when we realize the other is in a bad mood. Neither of us are particularly extroverted, so we get each other’s need for space and privacy, and we communicate with honesty because we know we can. We have our own safe space.

So this particular decade has seemed both short and long, and while we won’t reach a centennial mark of writing together simply due to the limits of the human lifespan, I’d consider this  1/10th of a century full, not empty, and I’m hoping for as many more as possible.