So here is my version of So You Think You Want to Love a Writer.
- If you are in her day to day life & in her bed, you matter to her. There are only so many relationships a writer can maintain at one time and you are one of a very select few.
- Words have great weight to a writer. There are thousands of ways she could express warm friendship, but she won't say the words if she doesn't feel them. If she has told you she loves you, she does. If she doesn't, you will be written out of her script!
- It is easier for her to write how she feels and what she feels than to speak it. Speaking it feels weird and she fumbles around and circles back and keeps repeating things hoping they come out better each time. Writing her feelings is way easier for her. The problem is that she speaks the way she writes and her writing has a great deal of editing. So please bear with her when you are talking and she confuses the hell out of you by changing her mind or when she repeats her thoughts because she liked how the words flowed together!
- She cannot write when you are here. It takes so much more concentration when someone is moving around you. Even when you are trying ever so sweetly to not be noticed, you are noticed. Trains of thought derail the fuck off the track with each interruption or pass by. You know that feeling when you are telling a story and lose your train of thought, while it sucks in general conversation, it is infuriating when you had the perfect word phrase created and then lose it. If she is by herself when she loses her train of thought she will turn her frustration inward. If in your attempts to feed her or remind her of the time or your attempts to clean around her you cause the derailment, then the frustration has a target. She won't mean to bite your head off or be snippy, but she will be thinking that this is why writers move to the solitude of the mountains to write uninterrupted.
- She will feel guilty for wanting so much alone time, because while you truly do matter to her deeply, so does her writing. You are her comfort, her muse, her distraction, her inspiration, her safety and her escape. However, she really wishes she could carve out more time to be alone in her own head without hurting your feelings.
- While it is super sweet of you to go out and do things and tell her this is time for her to write, it really doesn't work that way. That is almost a recipe for disaster every time. Her muse doesn't like to be told when is a good time to write. Her muse will expect her to pay attention whenever she calls and for as long as she needs.
- You cannot imagine the amount of solitude she needs to write. On the weekends when she doesn't have her children, she could sit and write from the moment she gets off work on Friday afternoon straight through until she has to attempt to sleep on Sunday night. She would put on her most comfy ninja pants and t-shirt and pull her hair up and put on big cozy socks and sit and tap, tap, tap the hours away. She would eat, maybe not a real meal or at a normal time, but when the gnawing hunger distracts her enough that she cannot form sentences, she will go in search of food. After eating, she will fill a tub full of hot water and soak and continue crafting her thoughts while bathing. While she is writing, she wants no sounds around her, no music, no tv, no chatter.
- If you want to sit near her, you will need to wear headphones and keep what you are watching out of her field of vision. If you find her staring into space, this is not an invitation for conversation. She could spend the whole weekend inside her own head and never require any outside stimulation. Inside her head is plenty full of people, places and exciting adventures.
- That being said, when she stops writing for whatever reason she may want to curl up and read from one of the many books on every flat surface around the house and this is an acceptable time to sit close to her and snuggle. She is very capable of snuggling and reading. Reading is essential to being a writer. Filling your head is more important than filling your belly.
- If she is in need of a break, she may want to get out. Even when she is taking a break from writing, she may want to stay in her head. This could be walking or hiking, where she may want to just hold your hand and stay in her head while she thinks things through or she may want to hear your sweet voice and hear all of the things you have been doing and seeing while she was in her head. It is difficult to judge which she wants, so you may have to ask. Hopefully she will remember that you don't have a crystal ball and will squeeze your hand and smile up at you and sweetly tell you what type of stroll this needs to be.
- She may want food and by food, she means that little hole in the wall with the Jordanian spices and hot sage tea that make her feel all cozy, even though finding a parking spot is quite a bitch to find. Depending on the time of day, she may want to grab the food and take it two doors down at the little hole in the wall bar where they will let you bring in food from other establishments and sit at the front window with a full glass of Cabernet while she makes sounds that let you know her belly is greatly appreciating this meal and the beautiful company.
- It will seem at the oddest of times that she will crave being out with friends. Some evenings, she will kiss you on the forehead and announce that she needs to go see her girlfriend, like right now. Sometimes she need to think something through or debate something with someone she knows understands her need. Her friends are the coolest people in the world. You will benefit greatly from getting to be in the presence of her friends. Each one is different and brings the most special parts of her out. Each friend is an important connection to a piece of her that she needs to touch and connect with.
- She will want your undivided attention to read each and every piece she writes, but she will not ask you to be her editor. Please, by all means point out when auto correct has changed her word to something ridiculous that makes absolutely no sense, but don't get out the red pencil and critique it. She will ask a friend who she does not curl up with at night to handle that responsibility. Please read everything she writes and know that while everyone else gets to read it without responsibility, she is sharing it with you because it is a piece of her soul that she wants you and only you to know.
- In her focusing on writing for hours and days at a time, she needs you to know that she doesn't need you cleaning & cooking & doing laundry. Do what you want, but do not be a martyr. She will and has always managed to get everything done that needs to get done. While she appreciated your help, she would be equally happy if you were watching a football game instead of doing chores. She doesn't need you to spend your time with all of the chores, doing it to make her happy. She is wearing the same clothes all weekend, and creating meals out of what is left in the pantry, so she is perfectly at ease with dirty laundry in piles taller than herself and two sinks full of dishes means she gets a few seconds of creative genius on where to best stack the coffee cup and bowl so they are actually in the sink but make an artistic statement about the state of chaos in her life! Spending some time doing chores is fine, but don't take it on because she is too busy to do them. That is a quick way to find you not having access to her space. There is enough guilt in carving out space to write, do not add to the stress by making her feel like she isn't pulling her weight. Sit the fuck down and chill with a head set on so she can write. Love & be patient with her, that is all she expects you to do.
Loving a writer is no easy life. It is messy and frustrating and very boring at times. Only you can decide if you can withstand the scowl long enough for her to gaze off the screen and notice you trying to get her attention. Can you fill your own life with enough joy to make it through the quiet nights when throughout the house all you can hear is the keystrokes. Can you love her when you know she is deep inside her head when she is just supposed to be relaxing. Can you live with being written about, even when you feel you aren't being portrayed nicely or accurately? Can you be responsible for your own happiness and know you are loved, even when your lover is distant. Do you have the fortitude to know in your heart that you are loved and not the cause of the silence?
It would be fabulous if you can, because she loves you very much.