Friday Speak Out!: How to Love a Writer

Friday, July 13, 2018
by Laura Thompson

When I was first offered the chance to edit dissertations, I realized it was an ideal opportunity as working from home would give me more time to write. I set up a small desk in our unused third bedroom, and while my writing space is small, it does have everything I need, a computer, printer, shredder, and most importantly, solitude.

My husband, unused to me being home all the time navigated these uncharted waters uneasily unsure what the guidelines were for a wife who worked from home. Would I still answer the phone/door or did I want him to do it? Why did I get so cranky when he yelled up the stairs to ask a question about dinner which was still five hours in the future? Gee, he didn’t mean to play the music quite so loudly, and yes, he had heard of headphones. To keep the peace and foster love in other relationships where one party is a writer, I put together a few warnings, disclaimers, and talking points:

 The writer can be a strange and difficult creature.

 Often introverted, moody, and even morose, the writer may snap and not apologize for hours or even days.

 The writer thrives on a large percentage of alone time, time to write, time to reflect, and time to watch the dust motes float on a sunbeam filtering through the blinds.

 Don't be alarmed should your writer appear withdrawn or suddenly seem uninterested in conversation. This sudden retreat has very little to do with her personal feelings for you and everything to do with her need to focus on a pending murder, lovers’ quarrel, reading of a will, or drug bust about to go down.

 Yelling from another room or up the stairs is never effective as we are not deaf, merely involved.

 Deprived of a keyboard for long periods of time tends to make the writer anxious.

 In the case of writer’s block, gently and persuasively luring your writer away from her desk with the promise of a lovely meal and a good bottle of wine is the best and most supportive action.

 Writers require energy to work, so the occasional treat such as a cupcake or chocolate is always good for a kiss and a smile.

The writer can be a warm and loving companion when not existing in the nether world of creating, and loving your writer can be a rewarding experience. Sure, it was alarming to find a Google search for “death by poisoning” open on your writer’s laptop when you went looking for tax documents, but there’s no call for concern.

After all, she loves you. It’s that lying, low-life scum-sucking, cheating bastard, Jim, who needs to die. How and in which chapter remains to be seen, but he’s definitely gonna get it!

* * *
Laura Thompson an editor, storyteller, word nerd, and proofreader of her own text messages. She writes about travel, her obsession with food, education, and other random thought bubbles. Her passion for traveling the world is second only to her passion for writing. Laura is currently writing a book about college admissions.

Please connect with her at:
Pages and Stories:
Instagram: @laura_is_writing

Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!


Sioux Roslawski said...

Laura--Yes, we writers commit many crimes... but only on paper.

Good luck with your book on college admissions. I'm assuming--after reading your post--that there might be snippets of humor in your manuscript?

Margo Dill said...

Hahahaha! You hit many great points here on "how to love a writer." This would be a great t-shirt!

Renee Roberson said...


This is hilarious. I also have to remind my spouse on a regular basis that I'm not deaf, just deep in thought over a plot twist or essay I'm mulling over. The other thing that has been making me twitch lately: after years of working from home, I took a job in an office 10 minutes from my house. Now hubby works from home a little more, and he has invaded what was once my office/writing space! I can't go in there anymore without his computer and a separate gigantic monitor taking up my entire desk, and I'll find my manuscript pages stacked to one side under a pile of bills I need to file. We're gonna have to work something out (or I'm going to have to move elsewhere in the house) or I'm gonna blow soon. LOL!

Unknown said...

Yes, let's hope my target audience finds them funny. :) Thanks for reading!

Unknown said...

The t-shirt is a great idea and would make a wonderful giveaway! Thanks for reading!

Unknown said...

Oh, no! Space invader, lol! I totally get it. Even worse is the clutter. Some people are okay with that. Some are not. Personally, I need medication when it starts to take over. :)

Angela Mackintosh said...

Laura ~ I love this post! And the use of "your writer." I can totally see your list as packaging instructions for a mail-order writer. It would make an awesome flash piece!

Thanks for the hilarious post--it brightened my day--and good luck on your college admissions book.

I'm interested to see how you off Jim! ;)

Unknown said...

Awww . . . Thanks, Angela! Thanks so much for reading! )

Unknown said...

I loved it mama! So proud of you!😊

Unknown said...

Awww . . . Thanks, Sweetheart! <3

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