What it’s Really Like to Live with a Writer
As most of you know, along with my many, many talents for losing my phone, tripping over imaginary steps and forgetting… umm… whatever it was I have just forgotten, I also write Victorian crime fiction books for a living.
For those of you who wonder what it must be like for my Beloved Husband of 41 years and still standing (just), to live with a writer, I offer the following thoughts on the breed.
Writers tend to “live” in whatever book we’re writing, 24/7. This means an innocent question about the location of a shirt, or what’s for dinner, could trigger a long explanation involving imaginary characters and scenarios that bear little relevance to what has been asked, except to us of course.
We jump from one state of mind to another with the agility, randomness and skill of a ballet dancer. We were sad two seconds ago. Now we’re happy. Now we’re sad again. Keep up at the back.
We like to spend a lot of our time on our own. Indeed, we CRAVE it. Deprive us of our precious solitude and we are like floundering fish in a dry desert. Interrupt us when we are writing at your peril!
We live on a diet of coffee. Or wine. Coupled with cake. Frequently all at the same time.
When we go out, we eavesdrop on conversations. Your conversations, all conversations. Though nobody ever notices what we are doing because we generally seem to be preoccupied with something else (see first point). Occasionally we might get out a notebook and jot something down. If you ask, we will tell you it’s a shopping list. We are lying.
We don’t make many enemies. This is mainly because we tend to see everyone (apart from ourselves) as fictional characters in some gigantic global narrative. But if somebody really annoys us, we will always put them in our next book and kill them. Slowly and painfully. Be warned.
But it isn’t all bad news!
Because we don’t have a vast crowd of “real” friends – we have hundreds of imaginary ones instead – we are very loyal to those few friends we do have. Stick with us; we will always get your back.
We are socially useful. The phrase, “my best friend is a writer” will guarantee you an instant and fascinated audience. Try to big us up a bit, OK? and always quote the title and buying options of our latest book.
And finally, if you ever find yourself at a loss for words, we know all the really good ones. And we know how to use semicolons too.
What writerly perks would you add to the list? Do you have any unusual writer friends, and what do you like about them? Maybe you are an unusual friend yourself? Do share your thoughts with us in the comments.
Carol Hedges is the successful author of fifteen novels for teenagers and adults. Her books have been shortlisted for various prizes: her YA novel Jigsaw was long-listed for the Carnegie Medal and her historical novel Diamonds & Dust was listed for the 2013 CWA Historical Dagger. She is a cancer survivor, a vintage car driver, a cat owner and a doting grandma. She is currently writing the fifth book in her Victorian Crime series. She blogs on her website and posts on Facebook and Twitter about her life, her writing and minding her small granddaughter.