Living With a Creative Writer

Things you should know if your spouse, roommate, family member, or friend is considering pursuing their dream of writing:

  • Their answer to “how are you?” is as likely to be “I suck, please don’t leave me for one of the rich authors” as it is to be an extended description of a plot point they just wrote
  • In fact, you can expect a lot of detailed plot descriptions…
  • …and hand-drawn maps all over the dinner table…
  • …and approximately 8 million scraps of paper on the coffee table…
  • …and their study…
  • …and your study…
  • …and maybe the cat…
  • You will hear things like, “Okay, I’ve got about 20 minutes until the pies are cooked, which is almost enough time to write the massacre”
  • Writers have the capacity to believe both that they’re one of the greatest writers who ever lived and that they’re one of the worst writers who ever lived. Not on different days, on the same day. Literally at the same time.
  • You’d think it’s mystery authors who have the highest body counts, but you’d be wrong. It’s not even military thriller authors. It’s SciFi authors. You wrote a murder? That’s cute, I just destroyed a planet.
  • There’s approximately a 1 in 7 that anything you say will be met with, “that gives me an awesome idea for a story!”
  • They’ll spend a lot of time talking about things such as the latest measures of page counts in ebooks, the French branch of a major retailer, or some equally obscure part of the publishing industry.
  • Often, they’ll be totally fine with their reviews. Occasionally, even a good review can send them into a tailspin. Refer to this chart for best practices.
  • Staring at a screen, wrestling with words is genuinely exhausting. I don’t know why, I just know it’s true. Just prop them up somewhere and let them drool down their front. Maybe cover them with a decorative blanket if you have company.

Anything to add, authors?


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