So you’ve decided to adopt a writer! Congratulations! Writers are a big commitment, needy and high maintenance, but with proper care, they can be excellent lifelong companions. Here, we’ll walk you through all the basics of keeping a writer.
Writers have particular dietary needs, varying with their area of expertise. Please note that a genre writer is going to have different needs than a freelancer or technical writer. Familiarize yourself with the particular cravings of your writer. Perhaps they need a daily piece of chocolate or require a few shots of whiskey before they’re ready to pen their opus. Your writer will let you know, probably rather loudly, what it is they need to fuel their writing and be their best self for you. Learn to listen to telltale cues such as crying, whining, and leaving passive-aggressive shopping lists around the house.
A writer, like any other creature, needs a comfortable space in which to stretch their proverbial legs. A room of one’s own is, of course, the ideal habitat for a writer. But a writer can easily make do with a smaller space, such as the corner of a living room, so long as you set it up appropriately.
Most writers need a desk, though the type of desk varies depending on your particular writer’s focus. In a pinch, a writer can make do with a kitchen table, coffee table, or repeated visits to a local coffee shop, though your writer may become restless with such an arrangement and show signs of discontent.
Some writers require specific pens, notebooks, or typewriters; check to see what sort of items your writer has pinned on their Pinterest boards to get an idea of what might be needed. All writers will require a computer, laptop preferred. Be aware that these necessary tools and the associated word processors can be a significant expense, and factor them into your budget.
Once a writer’s physical needs are met, you cannot neglect their emotional needs. No matter the genre of your writer, they will at one point or another struggle with illness, most commonly writer’s block or imposter syndrome.
Imposter syndrome, in particular, can be very serious if left untreated. It can be sparked by either success or failure and can be found in writers of all ages. While for some writers it may be useful to share anecdotes of successful authors who also struggle, others may simply require more food, sleep, caffeine, or alcohol in order to function again. Reminding them of previous triumphs can also be helpful, but use this method sparingly, lest they think they have only had one or two triumphs.
Above all, be supportive. Provide them with hugs or food as required and be gentle with their egos during these times.
All writers will also cope with rejection, and when they do, their emotions can become excessive. Give your writer space and offer to nail up their rejection letters inside their habitat as fuel for their motivation, once they have recovered some dignity.
While writers can sometimes be unwieldy companions, with delicate treatment, sensitivity to their habitat and diets, and plenty of attention, a writer can be yours to love for many years to come. The number of poems or gushing thanks in writing bios you will receive will be more than enough reward for your efforts.
Does your writer need some gentle encouragement? A fresh set of eyes to provide feedback on their work? The Scribe Source team is here to help.
About the Author
Karly is a writer and editor with a keen instinct for the way text should sound, no doubt a result of her daily consumption of everything from The New York Times to C. S. Lewis’s novels to her son’s Dr. Seuss books. She has been a part of the Scribe Source team since 2014.