Is the writer in your life being snappy when you’re just being sweet and asking him if he wants to take a break for dinner? Chances are, you don’t know your writer enough. Here are a few things you should know about many writers.
You don’t tell a Writer to Check his email or to “come in for a Quick Conference” when he’s Busy Writing
Here’s the thing about writers. They have what you call a writing flow. The slightest interruption can break that flow. You can’t tell them to drop their pens and eat the take-out pizza when they’re in the heat of a story. They’d rather starve than lose that thought forever. If they won’t even go to the toilet, how could you expect them to check their emails or voicemails? Distractions are a no-no for a writer, and you shouldn’t feel rejected if they can’t hear you through their ideas. You see, this is what usually happens – their thoughts are so fast that they’d have to write them down or say goodbye to them for eternity. Sometimes, they’re still carefully constructing their thoughts, and the wonderful smells from the baked chicken you made is eating away at the construction, reducing it into rubble. The only time you should disturb a writer is during a life and death situation (for instance, the writer hasn’t been eating for more than 21 days. I only use the 21 days as limit, because Mahatma Gandhi himself is said to have survived 21 days without eating. Hunger strikers have been reported to go for as long as 40 days without food. Not eating for 46 days has spelled death for some.)
A Writer can usually Focus in the Busy Din of a Coffee Shop, but not when frequent Bursts of Noise are exploding in the Background (like Manic Laughter or your Loud Voice)
Ambience is key in the writing environment. Put in some ambient noise in the background, and the writer can usually write. Music by AIR is a wonderful example for ambient music. However, you can’t put a serious writer in the same room with say, boisterous men who can’t resist cracking green jokes ever so often, punctuating each sentence with manic laughter. Don’t be surprised if this earns long glares from the writer in your life. The best solution would be to shut up.
The Best Gifts for them would be Books. Or the Perfect Chair. A vacation in some Beautiful Wilderness will also make the Grade.
Writers are very easy to please. Give them a good book, and you can be sure that’s they’re already in throes of ecstasy (if not outwardly, inwardly). Show me a writer who doesn’t read, and he’s probably not a very good writer. Of course, it also depends on what he reads (sparkly vampires should never be part of the syllabus). As they say, garbage in, garbage out. The writer in your life should have a favorite genre or author. Find out what this is if you want to give him a nice gift. If you want an alternative, a good writing chair would do the trick. Some writers are so focused that they can’t distinguish a good writing chair from a bad one. Once they feel the difference, they’re sure to be grateful to you for life. Another option would be throw your writer into solitary confinement in some paradise. You’d think you were being mean by sending them off alone, but they’d absolutely love it. A writer who’s alone is never lonely.
Are you a writer yourself or do you know someone who’s a writer? Do you agree with this list? What other things should the people around you know about writers? Sound off in the comments.