Loving a writer isn’t easy, to the point that there’s quite a few people who will try to tell you to just avoid it altogether. We can be emotional, insecure, and sometimes, overly devoted to our craft. We have wild imaginations that don’t always work in our favor, and we don’t always have the best people skills. Just being in our lives means we might steal little pieces of you -or far more- and give them to our characters, and there’s a chance it won’t be the nice things.
Still, there’s also something beautiful about being in love with someone who feels things down to their core. Writers are curious and inventive, willing to try just about anything if they think it might give them something to use in a project someday. We’re very empathetic creatures, able to put ourselves in others shoes like they are characters in our stories. We’ve learned about love from studying the classics, and aspire to have relationships like those in our favorite stories.
Beyond the romanticized veil, being in love with a writer does have a practical side, just like any other relationship. Working with my boyfriend, Austin, I’ve come up with eight practical ways to show the writer in your life how much you care. I will warn you that these tips might not apply to the writer in your life because writers aren’t stereotypes. Make sure you’re doing your best to learn about all the things that make your writer a unique and beautiful human being if you want to have a successful relationship.
8 Practical Tips to Make Loving a Writer Easy
1. Give them Supplies and Books
Writers always appreciate a thoughtful gift, especially if that gift a nice notebook, or that fancy pen they’ve been crying about every time they go into the office supply store. Knowing what tools your writer prefers is very important here, especially if your writer is a bit superstitious . If you want to get them a new book, I’d recommend scoping out their bedside table, and hunting them down on Goodreads to see what is on their To Bed Read (TBR) shelf.
2. Go Inspiring Places
Want to see your writer get super excited? Take them awesome and inspiring places. Try going to a place with a setting similar to one in your writer’s pet project, or somewhere with information you think they’ll find fascinating. The zoo, a museum, the beach, and especially the library are all great places to get your writer’s mind buzzing with new ideas. If you’re really smart, you could even take your writer somewhere that relates to something in their current project.
Don’t be afraid to try new things together! Go try out a food you’ve never heard of, or do something that scares one or both of you. Not only will these experiences inspire your writer, but they’re a great way to bond and might give you some stories of you own to tell.
3. Try Being Bookish
A good writer is a bookish writer. Even if you can’t afford to buy every book on your writer’s Goodreads TBR list, there are a ton of other ways you can support your writer’s bookish side. Try visiting the library, or talking about some of your favorite books, even if all you have to choose from are the ones they’ve made you read in school. Take your writer to the movie adaptations of the books they’ve read, and let them rant about how the book was better, or about how they’re actually impressed with the adaptation. (In case you’re wondering, that second one does not happen very often.)
4. Be Genuinely and Enthusiastically Supportive
One of the big issues many writers have is feeling like others don’t take their works as seriously as they do. DO NOT BE ONE OF THOSE JACKWAGONS. Let your writer know that you’re willing to talk about any issues they’re having with their projects or any ideas they’ve just come up with. Be willing to read over rough drafts and give honest feedback, and realize that having your writer share their work with you before they’re ready to share it with anyone else is a REALLY BIG DEAL. If your writer has something published or has a blog, recommend it to anyone you think could have an interest, and READ IT YOURSELF.
Honestly, I think that Victoria at Something Delicious summed it up pretty well with this:
@SpunFromInk Sometimes our loved ones need to offer doses of encouragement and be able to stand still while we flail in circles around them.
— Victoria Fry (@victorialfry) August 21, 2015
She also had this bit of advice for lucky writers with enthusiastically supportive partners:
@SpunFromInk It’s also important to realize that even if your loved one doesn’t write as much as you do, they can still have valid ideas.
— Victoria Fry (@victorialfry) August 21, 2015
6. Let Them Write It Out
Most writers are writers because they feel like they can write better than they can do anything else, including talking like a rational human being about their feelings. Writers are quite perceptive when it comes to things like subtext and body language, and might rely on these things to communicate instead of saying things out loud. This can turn our relationships into giant struggles very quickly, especially when the other person isn’t as perceptive.
Fortunately, there is a relatively easy solution to this very frustrating problem: let your writer do what they do best and write it out. I don’t remember exactly when Austin figured this trick out, but I do remember the immense relief I felt when, in the middle of an almost-argument, he just gave me a piece of paper and a pen and asked if I wanted him to leave the room so I could figure out what was going on in my head. It helped us solve the problem so much faster once we both understood what the problem was, instead of forcing Austin to sit there and probe about it until I got out a mangled response that almost explained something.
7. Write Them Letters and Notes
Taking the time to write something out just for your writer is a great way to brighten their day. Even if you hate writing or don’t think you’re very good, your writer will surely appreciate a short note of encouragement slipped into their purse or wallet, or a surprise text telling them how amazing you think they are. If you want to get really fancy, you could try writing out all the reasons you love them or giving them a big stack of “Open When…” letters for when you can’t be there. If you need help figuring out what to say, I’d recommend finding examples or just watching this scene from A Knight’s Tale and crying cause it’s perfect.
8. Learn to Appreciate Quiet Time
Writers really value their quiet time. Between needing it to work on their projects and to recharge from hectic days at work or school, an hour of silence is a godsend for a frazzled writer. If you notice that your writer is a bit stressed, it might be a good idea to head to the library or another quiet spot and let them decompress for a bit or work their WIP. Just make sure that you have a quiet activity of your own to do so that you’re not tempted to bother them until after a decent amount of time has passed or your writer feels like dealing with people again. If the two of you spend a lot of time apart, make sure you’re still respecting your writer’s need to have work time by not distracting them when they’re working on a project.
What tips do you have for loving a writer? Share your responses or other comments below, and then make sure to spread the love using @SpunFromInk on twitter! If you want more of these types of posts, you can follow me via e-mail or Bloglovin’ using the buttons on my sidebar.
Until Next Time,
((PS: Have you heard about Spun From Ink’s big move yet? If not, make sure to read my August Wrap-Up post, and keep your eyes peeled for more announcements))