It’s got to be challenging, sometimes. And most likely no one warned them it was going to be. Writers should come with warning labels.
If you’re thinking about living with a writer, here are eight things you need to know:
1. Want to stick to your budget? Stay away from office supply stores. They’re irresistible to writers. You might think you’re going in there for printer ink, but then you’ll come out with Sharpies, Post-Its, notebooks in all sizes….just a heads-up. Leave your writing friend/spouse at home.
2. We may make many inconsistent statements about our manuscript. We love our book! We hate our book! Yes, it’s the same book. We might even say these things on the same afternoon. The love/hate thing just goes in cycles.
3. If you treasure your time sleeping, hopefully you’re a heavy sleeper. Writers are frequently either up really early in the morning or up really late at night. Sometimes we get ideas in the middle of the night and turn on lights to scribble them down before they disappear. We can be obnoxious to sleep with.
4. Moodiness is an occupational hazard for writers. Nuff said.
5. It’s possible that we might talk to ourselves if we’re working out a plot point or testing out a little dialogue. Please don’t schedule a mental health evaluation for us. It’s all perfectly normal (usually.)
6. Many writers need a special reward to slog through to our daily word goal. It might be some amazing coffee, a bar of gourmet chocolate, or an incredible wine. Don’t raid our stash!
7. Daydreaming and writers go together. Unfortunately, our daydreaming might occasionally coincide with a moment when you’re trying to hold a conversation with us. We really don’t have a lot of control over when characters and plot ideas pop into our heads (and these ideas come all the time.)
8. We can’t be persuaded not to write. Yes, you’re right—our lives would be a lot less stressful if we weren’t unhappily getting rejections from agents, editors, or reviewers…we know that. But it’s sure as heck not going to make us feel better to stop writing altogether just to protect ourselves from these situations.
Do you live with a writer? Are you a writer? What other warnings can you think of for non-writers to be aware of?