Today the Husband has been given a voice. Not that he didn’t have one previously. That would be awkward. Rather, he is the writer of today’s post, detailing his experiences of being the partner of a writer, and imparting wisdom to other sufferers who are shacked up with them.
I have set him free from his Man Cave and allowed him to write on my precious baby blog. Don’t go messing it up now, Husband. I’m watching…
As a reward for his hard work, here’s a link to the Husband’s amazing blog: My Modelling and Painting Blog. It’s full of his fab painting of little, itty bitty, gaming figures and the games he plays with them, like Malifaux, various superheroes, Warhammer, MC Hammer… (maybe not the last one).
Go check his blog out, particularly if you are a fantasy or Sci-Fi reader or writer – the characters are amazing.
Now let’s get back to business…
The Husband’s Advice for Living with a Writer
1. Have chocolate. Lots of chocolate.
Writers like chocolate. This became clear very early on in the process. It could be argued that actually, wives like chocolate, or women like chocolate, but I am going to stick to writers.
I have learned that there is nothing more important than having an ever present, but hidden supply of this magical substance in the house. A lack of chocolate when the need (and it is stressed to me that it is a need, not a desire) strikes, has led to early morning and late night runs to the shop.
Inadequate hiding has led to it being found, and eaten. So I can only suggest that you keep some locked up, and make sure that only you have the key.
Of course, if you aren’t there when the craving strikes…..perhaps some sort of frequently changed combination lock.
Lisa: Darling husband, you have immediately failed; writers ‘worship’ chocolate, they don’t merely ‘like’ it. In my defence, if you will leave it sitting in the cupboard, hidden behind the healthy food stuffs, within a cash tin, locked up and with an oh-so-easy to figure out combination, you only have yourself to blame when you are sent out once again to keep ‘Dairy Milk’ in the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed.
2. Coffee is a right, not a privilege.
Writers like coffee. Immediately.
If you are in the process of making one, and she/he hasn’t been offered, then you need to be ready, at a moment’s notice, to pretend that the cup in the machine is hers/his. It helps if you take your coffee the same way, simply to make this ruse more believable.
Lisa: So that’s why I keep getting black, industrial strength coffee? Epic fail, sweetheart. I thought you were denying me milk for freaky dietary reasons and overdosing me on caffeine so I’d stop moaning about being tired all the time.
3. Nothing before coffee.
Before that first cup, nothing at all. No conversation, no contact, and definitely no questions. Or at least, no questions that can’t be answered with a non-committal grunt.
Lisa: True story. This is one of the many reasons why I love this man. He knows to remain silent until the coffee has started coursing through my veins. Nothing happens before the coffee transfusion.
4. Sleep when they do.
Inspiration may strike your writer at any time. Since none that I know of can write in the dark, this means that when they need to write down an idea, the light comes on.
This is the time to ensure that both coffee and chocolate are available. If you sleep heavily, then perhaps some sort of light sensitive alarm will be your friend.
Lisa: It pisses me off as much as it does you. I spend the whole flipping day, ready to write the next blockbuster, an open receptacle for ‘All the Ideas in the World’ and very little happens.
Then, the writing hour is upon us. Sleeping soundly, my brain vibrates around my skull. The ideas have woken up and so must we. Yes, it’s 4am but they are no respecter of sleep.
I could go to another room to write but I value the part of our wedding vows where we stated that we would take each other for ‘the worse’ as well as the better. I hate to suffer alone.
5. It’s all about you.
You will appear in the writing. Perhaps not as you, but your mannerisms, your style, and your giveaways will appear.
Guard everything you do, lest your smallest idiosyncrasies become your defining features in print.
Lisa: * Frenziedly editing first draft of novel in fear of divorce*. So that was the catalyst I needed to get off my arse and start the second draft. Cheers Husband.
6. Except when it’s not.
There will be times when they write stories about murdered husbands, cheating spouses, and dissatisfied lovers. This (hopefully) isn’t about you. Accept their assurances. It’s for the best.
Lisa: True story. We went for a lovely summer evening’s beach stroll a few months ago. I came back brimming full of ideas for a short story. A romantic piece? Nope. It was a beach walk taken by an abusive husband and his vengeful wife. I let the husband read it, not before telling him how much I love him and am very blessed to have him.
7. Never reject.
There will be times when they will feel rejected. Competitions, publishers and the internet will somehow lead them to believe that they can’t write. They are wrong. Your writer is amazing. Never ever let them forget this fact.
Lisa: Fragile flower that I am, the Husband has seen me through those mournful, ‘I am a crap writer and I give up!’ moments. We all have them and it can feel like the end of the world. Writers are so dramatic.
Thankfully I have an amazing man who believes in me, who encouraged me to write long before I dared to, and tells me all the time how good I am at it. No bribery involved.
8.They will ask you to write guest posts.
Yes, they will. If you don’t, or you complain, well, then expect to get murdered in the next novel.
Lisa: Husband, you’ve earned your keep. Now behave yourself as life can imitate art.
Lisa’s Final words because I’m a woman and a writer: Joking aside, I am so incredibly blessed to have such a supportive, caring and understanding husband. I could not write without him.
I hope that you have family or friends that keep you going too. Show them some love for it.
Husband, this one’s for you xxx