So you’ve decided to adopt a writer. Congratulations! Many people are a little afraid of writers; after all, writers can be a bit eccentric. But the fact is, most writers are friendly and kind. And writers can make great companions. They’ll add adventure to your life, and they have an awful lot of knowledge about lots of different topics. If you ever need to know how long digitalis stays in the body, or what the climate in just about any city is like, all you need to do is ask your new writer companion.
Adopting a writer is rewarding in many ways, but it’s a big responsibility. So, you’ll need to be prepared for what to expect when your writer joins your family. But don’t worry; you don’t have to go it alone. I’m here to help you with
Your Guide to the Writer
Before You Bring Your Writer Home
Planning ahead of time will save you a lot of work when your writer joins your family. The less you have to do once your writer arrives, the less anxious everyone will be. Here are a few things you’ll need.
- Writers often don’t feel safe out in public, so you’ll need to provide a special place for your writer. That space should have a computer; a desk and comfortable chair; and a couch, day bed or some other place for occasional naps. Expect your writer to spend quite a bit of time in that safe place.
- WiFi is an essential for writers. Without it, your writer might become depressed, anxious, and unwilling to communicate. Writers have even been known to throw things when they are having WiFi withdrawal. In order to prevent these problems, it’s highly recommended that you ensure that you have a solid WiFi connection, and that it is as stable as possible.
- You do not need to provide a large wardrobe for your writer. Bathrobes, yoga pants, sweatshirts, T-shirts, and track pants will be all your writer really needs. Most writers won’t pay much attention to what they’re wearing when they work, anyway.
Feeding Your Writer
You’ll need to provide meals and snacks for your writer, of course. And it’s a good idea to know what writers tend to eat, so that you can be prepared. It’s really not difficult.
- Writers don’t require a complicated diet. As long as your writer has a steady supply of pizza, Chinese food, Indian takeaway, or sandwiches, that should be sufficient. It’s a good idea to keep several delivery menus handy.
- If you decide to cook at home, be sure your meals don’t require delicate timing. Your writer may not be willing to leave that special place (see above) just when dinner is ready, especially in the middle of writing of an important scene.
- Writers like treats, just as we all do. So you’ll need a supply of trail mix, chocolate bars, Cadbury Clinkers, Hot Cheetos, or whatever snack your writer prefers. Different writers have different preferences, so find out what your writer likes. Treats may be used as snacks or as training tools (see below).
Communicating With Your Writer
You and your writer will have a much better relationship if you understand the way writers communicate. Once you know that, it’s much easier to respond. So pay attention when your writer is sending you a message.
- Writers are not comfortable with ungrammatical words and sentences. They tend to react negatively and will probably correct you. Don’t let that get to you. Learn the difference between your and you’re. Learn how to use their, they’re, and there. And don’t forget to, two, and too. There are many online resources to help you master these things. Trust me, your writer will be much happier, and is less likely to nag you.
- You may find that your writer stares blankly into space when you’re trying to have a conversation. There’s no need to worry about this. Your writer is likely plotting a scene from a story, or wondering whether a push from a fourth-floor balcony is enough to kill someone – fictionally, of course!
- You’ll find that you have the best conversations with your writer when you discuss people and events that don’t even exist. That’s right; writers think a lot about their creations, and those fictional characters can seem more real than living people do. So when your writer starts talking about fictional people, respond with interest. Those characters are quite real to your writer.
- If your new writer is a crime writer, don’t be put off by conversations about dead bodies, knives, decomposition, or poison. You’re probably not in danger yourself. Probably.
Training Your Writer
Like the rest of us, writers need self-discipline. You’ll want to be aware of some of the common issues that arise with writers, so you can prevent them from being problems.
- Writers can get off track, especially since the Internet is as distracting as it is essential. So, every couple of hours, go to your writer’s safe place to make sure that your writer is actually, well, writing.
- Don’t underestimate the value of rewards and treats. When the word count’s done for the day, give your writer a piece of chocolate, a bag of Doritos, or whatever your writer really loves. Wine, margaritas, tequila, or beer can also be useful as treats.
- Make sure your writer gets enough exercise. Walk your writer regularly to the nearest coffee shop. Be sure that your writer’s special place is not near the kitchen. That way, your writer will have to get up and walk to the kitchen. Little things like these will help your writer keep in shape.
You see? Adopting a writer is an important decision and a major responsibility. But it’s fun, rewarding, and doesn’t have to be difficult. You’re welcome.
Fellow writers, any suggestions to add?