Why Polyamory Is Good for Artists: Keeping a Sharp Edge

a pair of hands sharpening a knife on a sharpening block
Image by Didriks / CC BY

“I don’t know how you do it,” she says.

“Do what?” I say.

“Polyamory,” she says.

“Happily,” I reply.

She laughs. “It just always seems like you have something stressful going on. If it’s not an issue with one of your partners, something’s going on with one of their partners. Or maybe someone is upset because they aren’t dating enough. They’re too lonely. Don’t have enough going on.”

I nod. “Accurate.”

“With all of that, how do you manage to keep your head on straight? Your writing schedule is really aggressive. Daily blogging, working on books, freelancing.”

“Ah,” I say. “Actually, I like my head being a little askew. It can be conducive to creativity.”

*

The suburbs are a beautiful place to live, but they don’t exactly evoke peak experiences. Challenges. Difficulties.

When I was monogamous, I noticed that I wrote better and played better music when I was single. Lonely. Struggling. During the brief periods when I was partnered, I found that my output suffered, both in quantity and quality.

Being in love and monogamously partnered was wonderful in many respects but when it came to creating art? It often caused me to lose my “edge.”

It’s been a long process building up discipline, but I’m at the point now where I can drag myself through the motions and hammer out writing, whether I’m in the mood to create or not.  But if I want to create work that really excites me? Well, I need some unrest in order to propel me forth. Conflict inspires me.

And strangely, polyamory has helped with that. It’s the best of both worlds.

Because even though I have wonderfully stable relationships, if I look far enough into my web, there’s always some sort of unrest going on. Perhaps it’s a minor conflict in one of my relationships. Or one of my partners is undergoing life stress. Or maybe one of my metamours.

If you ask enough people (and they answer honestly), you’ll find conflict. Tension. Someone’s always having a bad day.

So my creative “edge?” Well, it stays nice and sharp.

*

My book is out!

Poly Land: My Brutally Honest Adventures in Polyamory

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