Writers--who puts up with your sorry behind? (Kudos to them and tips for the Significant Other in your life)
If being a writer is tough, just imagine what it must be like for the poor soul who happens to live with you. You know, that one person who has to put up with your sorry behind. I’m talking about your significant other, the person behind the scenes—husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, roommates, or your mom—who wonders if living with Charlie Sheen would have panned out better.
We writers are a strange bunch for sure (don’t kid yourself, you are). We have our quirks. We hear voices. We spend endless hours at a computer only to have a handful or words (if we’re lucky) to show for it. We hobnob with other writers who happen to be as neurotic as we are and who love discussing plot holes, comma usage, point of views, and tensing issues just like we do. We fill our Saturdays going to grammar conferences, workshops, coffee shops with free Wi-Fi, or hiding under the covers refusing to face the world after rejection. We have Facebook, Twitter, and email accounts we check at least every ten minutes (or sooner) like clockwork. We collect books. Lots of books. Hoards of books. They’re everywhere. We drink lots of caffeine and are slightly jittery too. We may even own a “special” pen no one is allowed to touch for fear of taking away its “magic.”
Thus is the life of a writer.
So who in the heck would want to hook up with a person like that?
Jeez, I’m a writer and I wouldn’t even want that. Yuck. Weirdos.
The silly thing though—people do.
Most often, behind every writer, is a special someone who encourages, motivates, and pushes us to write. AND if they’re not encouraging, motivating, or pushing, they’re at least biting their tongues.
Go on. Hug this person. Tell them how much you appreciate their support. It can’t be easy for them to watch you wear your PJ’s all day or spend hard earned dollars on one more writers convention. It’s gotta be tough.
A great big round of applause for the significant others in our lives. Kudos to them.
Okay, enough of that. Let’s get down to business.
What can our significant others do better? What advice can we give them? I’ve complied the following list. Please feel free to pass it on:
1) Do NOT touch my laptop. Don’t even think about it. I will hurt you.
2) Tell me I’m the best darned writer the world has ever seen. And make it sound like you mean it. Repeat this often.
3) Do NOT ask me if I need another book on writing. You’re just wasting words by doing so. YOU already know the answer, so don’t ask. Just stop. Let it go.
4) When I receive a rejection, see #2 and then add, “Everything’s going to be okay. It’s their loss. You’re totally awesome.”
5) DON’T comment on how many Pespi products I drink a day. This is necessary to my creative process.
6) Even if you don’t read my genre, at least pretend to listen when I try to bounce plot ideas off you.
7) DON’T give me stupid plot ideas. You’re not a writer. Don’t pretend to be. Radioactive chickens, though cool, have no place in my contemporary YA novel. Sorry. Stop suggesting it.
8) Let me write. A free, uninterrupted hour or two without you or the kids pestering me for one thing or another, will earn you SOOOO many redeemable points (for activities of your choosing) you can’t even imagine. This is a win-win for both of us.
9) DO NOT follow me on twitter. Seriously. You don’t want to know what I do all day. I promise.
10) Love me despite my craziness. ‘Cuz boy am I crazy in love with you.
What other advice would you offer significant others? I’m sure there are significant others out there going, “I have no idea what MS, WIP, YA, MG or ARC is? And once, when I suggested she take a month of from writing, she threw her thesaurus at me. What did I say? I don’t get it. ”