Thursday, February 9, 2012

Why writers marry engineers

I've met lots of other writers over the years. I've found three things that many of us have in common.

1) We're daydreamers--otherwise known as having ADD. Hey, what's going on in our imaginations is way more interesting than what's going on in real life. Why should we pay attention to the real stuff? Or remember incidental things like the fact that we were supposed to pick up our kids from school fifteen minutes ago? In my mind, I have been happily living as a member of a Galactican fleet for years.

2) A background in drama. I'm not sure which produces the other. I do know that those drama classes ended up being some of the most helpful classes I took in high school. Drama makes you pay attention to dialogue and it also makes you dig deeply into your character looking for motivation. (Now every time I think about finding motivation, I remember the movie Galaxy Quest. If you haven't seen it, you should. One of my favorite movies, ever.)

3) A surprising amount of us are married to engineers. (Or that type. Adam Rex is married to an astrophysicist, if I'm remembering right.) I have no idea why this is. Opposites attract? Nature's way of protecting the artistic type? (Without my husband, I would probably forget to do things like pay taxes or put the garbage out on the street and would either be dragged off by the IRS or die of some garbage-related disease.) Or perhaps the spouses of engineers are just forced to find an artistic outlet? (A lot of my husband's work is classified so he can't talk about it. I don't mind.)

Whatever the reason, this Dilbert cartoon made me laugh. This is what would actually happen if I worked at my husband's company. Except it would probably also include a galactic space fleet.



19 comments:

Coleen Patrick said...

Hey! Writer married to an engineer checking in here!
:)
We think so differently, but I think that's one of the reasons we work.
Love the comic!

Janette Rallison said...

You're so right. And thank goodness he can make the computer behave, because I certainly can't.

Jennifer J. said...

My dear husband has an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering. He is definitely handy around the house.

It is true: opposites attract, and engineers and scientists are about the most opposite from a writer that you can get.

even when you lose, you win said...

Also, I find i'm fascinated by his Mechanical Engineering trade magazine. So many sci-fi possibilities!!

ps I just added you to the www.momaconda.com cool writer blog list, if you don't mind!

Rachel Rossano said...

These are some great observations. Love the engineer one. My husband doesn't get the romance side of my writing, but now that I am delving into science fiction, he is completely on board. :)

Janette Rallison said...

A good husband always comes in handy!

Thanks for putting me on your cool writer blog list, EWYLYW

And Rachel, I'm totally with you on the romance thing. My husband's only comment about that is: "Wait, this means you're fantasizing about other men, doesn't it?" (My answer was: "Yes, but I'm getting paid to do it."

Last night I was asking him about the properties of lasers though. Most useful.

Kaylee Baldwin said...

Another writer here married to an electrical engineer. I proofread his 50 page thesis and that was really interesting (I learned more about phase noise than I ever needed to know.)

I think we compliment each other very well. We live in an area with a high concentration of engineers and most of the wives are artistic/creative in some major way. It's really interesting.

Janette Rallison said...

It's either nature's way of protecting us or loosening them up, one of the two . . .

Susan said...

This is so funny! I am a writer and my husband is a mechanical engineer but also a poet. No wonder I picked him!

Joan Sowards said...

My hubby is an industrial engineer. We are a good match in spite of it! He's great at brainstorming with on my novels.

Theresa Small Sneed said...

Loved it! :)

Tanya Parker Mills said...

My husband's an accountant, but both of his brothers are engineers. Does that count? We're definitely opposites, though.

And Galaxy Quest is one of my favorites, too.

Anna del C. Dye said...

Sorry here in Utah a lot of authors are or were Accountants. I happen to be married to an account so they let me in the group too. :)
Great post though. Thanks
Anna del C. Dye
Author of "The Silent Warrior Trilogy"
http://www.annadelc.com

Writers said...

No husband.

I do know a author who is an astrologist working at the Lowell Observatory, David Lee Summers. He writes sci-fi and steam punk. So there is the possibility for split personality I suppose.

Margaret

Donna K. Weaver said...

That cartoon is hilarious. I'm married to a builder. Does that count?

Rachelle said...

If not our hubby, we have one in the family. My brother is an aerospace engineer, and sometimes I just say, "You know you're talking a different language right now, don't you?" :)

Beedubbs said...

I don't have a hubby yet. And I'm not planning on getting one soon. I mean, I just earned my Young Women's Medallion. Marriage is still far down the road. But I'll consider an engineer based off of your reasons. But he must be from Australia and be a Cowboy. Because it's surprisingly hard to find a good-looking cowboy-engineer in Arizona.

Janette Rallison said...

Beedubbs, yes hold off on that husband thing. And any guy with an Australian accent or who looks good in a cowboy hat gets bonus points.

Rachelle, your parents produced a writer and an engineer? Awesome! (My parents produced two lawyers and a banker. Thankfully I redeemed the family . . .)

Pepper Dine said...

What if you're a writer and an engineer? I'm graduating from uni in engineering next month, but I've been writing since I was 11 and still am working on a novel! Wonder who i'll end up with?