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Don't be alarmed should your writer appear withdrawn or suddenly seem uninterested in conversation.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!
* * *
Please connect with her at:
Pages and Stories: www.pagesandstories.com
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!