Charles, you make writing sound like true lunacy. Reading a passage to the wrong man standing in line could easily get you a bloody nose. Your prescription for how to treat your mate could get you out there looking for another unsuspecting mate.
Yet all you say is true.
You have to love it. You have to love story in many forms. You have to read it or see it once, then read it or go see it again to find out how the creator of the piece did it. Then again. You have to make friends with embarrassment because you will be embarrassed exposing yourself in the way you have to do to be a writer. (This is true for creativity of any kind, by the way.)
Speaking of movies, I have to give a shout-out to "Searching for Sugar Man", the riveting documentary about Sixto Rodriguez (which you turned me on to) who was and is true to his creativity in ways few artists are. I've watched it three times now, and am finding characters among the real people in his life, and particularly in him. He inspires me to imagine, and those imaginings are creating some fine, fine characters. I'll say more about Rodriguez when you've weighed in on him.
Given your weight, don't weigh in on him all the way. Or the weigh.