the care and feeding of writers

So, you live with a writer. Exotic and charming and glamorous, isn't it? What, the shine has worn off? Well, if it hasn't, here are some cold, hard truths about us and our needs.

We like to be alone. Well, it just looks that way. Writers are never really alone. We have our characters yammering chatting in our heads all day. Don't take it personally. We love you too. We just love our characters more.

There will be spoilers. Yeah, so. Can you just move your cube back a bit? You don't get to be a reader or a fan. You live with the damned writer. S/he's gonna talk to you about the stories because, you know, we don't really talk coherently to too many people, except when we're hanging out with other writers in the bar and then it's all looking at giant spiders on your iPhone and having long, drawn out conversations about our kids and bitching about how damn early the bar closes--oh god save me from talking about writing. You live with a writer? You're it, bub. The main sounding board.

Writers are about the process. We like the writing. We like editing the manuscript, hacking our way through a tough scene, meeting our word count. Oh sure, we like finishing as much as the next guy (except it's a little scary, especially if you don't have the next project ready to think about) (okay, a lot scary no matter what). But finishing isn't our main concern. Yeah, it should be. But if it was, we'd be an accountant or something that pays us a living wage.

Often, the last thing we're all that excited about is the release. I know, you are! There it is, you say. Something to show for all your staring out the window, you say. We like our books. We kiss them when no one is looking. We gaze adoringly at them. But to us, releases are little annoying because they keep us from writing. Sure, we fake it well, but we're really thinking about our next story and our next writing session, all the time. Every writer I know is excited about their releases, but we really truly are more excited about the project we're working on right now!  (Or would be working on, if we weren't dealing with the release.)

We're addicted to writing. If we don't get our fix, we get crabby.

When we're staring at the wall, we're working. When we're driving, we're working. When we're reading, we're working. Everything in our lives is a story. Everything. We aren't capable of not putting a story around people we're interested in. Oh, and when we stare at people, we aren't flirting. We're working.

Yeah, you're right. No matter how much we deny it, most of the time we aren't actually listening to you.

The answer to "do you want coffee/tea/alcohol?" will always be yes. Don't bother asking. Just bring it. 


James R. Tuck said...

Yep, yep, and hell yep.

sex scenes at starbucks, said...

Mr Tuck: =}

Matt Duffy said...

Excellent post, right on the money.

sex scenes at starbucks, said...

:) I live the life, man.

Amara Royce said...

Yes, yes, hell, yes.

By the way, I've nominated you for a Liebster Blog Award. :) Here's a link to my blog for the award and guidelines:

I hope you'll play along!


Merry Monteleone said...

LOVE... really, LOVE.

The thing about this is, it takes a special brand of insanity to live with one of us... literally, you'll annoy the hell out of normal people tuning them out the way we do...

I think it's a little difficult for people who live solely in the concrete world to understand...

Like the new layout, btw.