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Things to bear in mind when living with a writer

1. We may keep strange hours. We can be either up at dawn, awake till the early hours or waking up at intervals to get the writing done. Some of us don’t seem to have a sleep pattern at all.

2. We can forget to eat, well properly anyway. We can survive it seems on snacks and mainlining caffeine/water etc

3. We need lots of storage – for the books, stationery, bookmarks, and general paraphernalia we seem to acquire.

4. If you tell us something interesting you may end up in a spontaneous interview because we are trying to see if we can use anything you say.

5. Yes, we need to be on social media a lot. I am maybe a little addicted.

6. Our search history is weird and we have monkey brains – or is that just me? We have no real intentions of harming anyone – for one thing we would have to leave the computer to do so.

7. Housework/food shopping etc can be an unwelcome interruption – I have to write tasks down or they won’t get done at all.

8. We can walk around muttering to ourselves what would appear senseless nonsense – we are trying to work out what happens next or fix the sentence/poem we are unhappy with.

9. We will say ‘Yes!’ for no apparent reason and/or get very excited because 8 finally paid off.

10. We will ask vague questions without explanation like ‘What does X mean to you?’ or ‘What would you do/say if X happened?’ These are fictional and there is no need to call for medical/police assistance.

11. We will talk to you about people/books you have never heard of and probably are not interested in.

12. We will gift you friends’ books for your Birthday/Christmas/special occasion and want your detailed opinion so we can write a review.

13. Losing an internet connection can spoil our day especially if we have the same provider for our mobile.

14. Yes, we do need to have our phone with us all the time – to make notes/do research etc.

15. We are great at finding obscure stuff – we are researchers after all.

16. We know a lot of obscure facts we will never use.

17. We may ignore you if you speak to us – we are in our writing world – please do not be offended. If you really want our attention, bring drinks and/or snacks.

18. Yes, it is normal to have 27 moods in one day for no discernible reason – we have to read our work.

19. We do appreciate you looking at 9 versions of our book cover with very slight, almost impossible to determine changes.

20. We may ask you to help us act out our words. There is no need to fear we just want to check the angle of the knife and if using the other hand makes much difference, we will not actually stab you. Killing our darlings is writing terminology.

21. We may wish to go to strange locations to help us with the setting of our book. These places may never appear in anything we write.

22. We can spend all day ‘busy’ and end up with the same amount or even less words than we started with.

23. Looking off into the distance or staring out the window is actually work – honest.

24. We can hang out in groups which, trust me, is better for the rest of the population.

25. If you are with us for the potential financial rewards, you would be better off buying a lottery ticket.


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