Living with a Writer isn't Always Easy

Okay fellow fiction writers, it's time to own up.  The cat's out of the proverbial bag so we might as well admit that they're all onto us.

The jig is up.

Everyone knows we have more than one personality hanging around in our heads. Yes indeed. True story.

Fortunately though, writers get to flaunt their imaginary friends all over town! How many professions allow you to do that – essentially be insane – and not only allow it but encourage it? That's the coolest part of my job.

We use the friends in our head to our advantage when developing characters for our fiction. We scribble them down and purge them out. Because if all of those personalities had to reside together up there for too long things could get mighty ugly. 

We need them written and gone.

That's why I carry a pen and notebook around with me everywhere. You never know when a character is going to say something so perfect that you have to take notes or you’ll lose it forever.

I don’t care if I somehow get invited to a big hoo-ha awards show where having a purse is frowned upon, because I'll have one. And inside it you'll find a writing implement, and paper ready for ink.

I’ll be like a Bond girl but instead of a gun in my garter belt my secret stash will be a Pilot Fine Tip Ball-point in black.  The vodka martini of pens. With a twist.

So in the spirit of better explaining what makes our head's tick, here's the top 3 things anyone should know about living with a writer.

1. Despite your obvious astonishment at what comes out of our mouth at times, we promise, we’re not all scary

The thing about fiction writers is that we’re personally easy to live with most of the time. Of course that says nothing about the hundreds of “people” who have built imaginary condos inside our minds, yelling at everyone to listen.

For example, the latest annoying neighbor might be a snarky, divorcee with Aqua Net hair.

If you’re in my life and spend the work day with me, you’re going to watch me become this person (sans actual Aqua Net) because I have no choice.

She must live in my head and sometimes sneaks out of there in order for her to become real on the page.

2. Writers hole themselves up on purpose so you don't have to see all the characters all the time

And there are more of us than we’ll ever let on, but you love us anyway so we think that’s pretty rad. Most writers prefer to be alone while working on fiction. 

Because, as you can see, we aren’t really alone anyway.

But here's your warning: People we can reach out and touch – be it in our homes or through our fingers online – we will use for character research as often as we possibly can.

3. We'll try to avoid the writing by researching for weeks, seemingly wasting time if you don't know any better, but it will likely all come out in one big purge.

Crucial.  Point.

We aren’t really procrastinators no matter how our habits may seem to keep us from "work" sometimes.

Writers never stop working

Out with friends? We're using those times to develop characters and dialogue. Watching television? We're analyzing plots for how it could work in a book. Sleeping? We're still collecting information that could prove useful down the road.

Then, when we get to the point of the purge all of that energy we collected for the past however long goes flooding onto the page.

Don't worry if we seem strange, distracted or burdened with another personality. Because the truth is, we are all of those things.

Luckily our job description fully embraces the departure from the norm. I hope you enjoy it!

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