Congratulations! You are now the proud owner of a writer! Your writer will perform amazing tricks for you, such as spending hours and hours by themselves working on something that they may never finish. Or, accumulating a small collection of editors who thank them for their work but it’s just not right for this publication.
You may be wondering how to feed and care for this moody and reclusive creature, who is “writing a novel” but won’t tell you what it’s about. Writers need specialized care, so here are 10 easy Do’s and Don’ts to take care of this special breed.
- Do give them a minimum of 1 hour of writing time per day. For many writers it may be more, but this is the minimum for a writer to stay healthy. Also do not make your writer feel guilty about this. It is really hard for them to ask for it, because they want to spend time with you. Don’t worry, your writer will still watch a movie and go on that walk with you.
- Do feed them encouragement. Feed them small doses of positive reinforcement 2-3 times daily. You don’t need to stroke their ego, and it should be authentic and constructive.
- Don’t compare them to other writers. People who don’t understand how to care for writers will often compare them to best-selling authors. This is very neglectful treatment of your writer. If you assume that your writer will be rich and famous, then you set them up for failure. Do not have your own ideas of who your writer should be. Recognize that they are one of a kind and give them space to find their own way.
- Do hold them accountable. Your writer won’t admit it, but they rely on you to support them and see that they meet their goals. They may be resistant to putting themselves out there. Support your writer in meeting their goals and deadlines. To do this, it’s important that you follow Step #1.
- Don’t criticize them. Writers are not recommended for critics. If you are someone who makes harsh judgments or is overly critical, then writers are not recommended for you. This kind of influence is very toxic for your writer. Writers already posses a harsh, internal critic, so they don’t need you to be a critic as well. They do not pair well with those who quickly find fault in things. If this sounds like you, then perhaps you should carefully consider your relationship with your writer.
- Do exercise them regularly. Walk your writer daily, or take them for a run or a bike ride. Fresh air and exercise is important for keeping your writer healthy and happy and for keeping their mind sharp. Make sure that your writer engages in regular physical activity.
- Don’t enable their bad habits. Drugs, alcohol, television, and anything else that is basically a means to escape will hinder your writer’s productivity. Do not engage in these behaviors with your writer, unless they have completed their writing for that day. Drugs and alochol are highly discouraged. Despite what Ernest Hemingway, Jack Kerouac, and Charles Bukowski would have you think, substance abuse does not make a great writer.
- Do encourage reading. They may have an obsession with books. This is healthy. Quite often a writer’s passion for the craft comes from a passion for reading and storytelling. In addition to writing in isolation, your writer will read in isolation. This is an important time for them to feed their imagination. Suggesting books for them to read is highly encouraged.
- Don’t be bossy. While there are many tips here for caring for your writer, don’t think that you know what is good for them. Pushing your writer too hard may shut them down.
- Do believe in them. This is the most important and the hardest thing you must do for your writer. Your writer faces many obstacles on their path such as fear, distractions, rejection, failure, and self-doubt. These obstacles weigh heavily on your writer’s shoulders. The best method for easing the burden is to believe in them.
If you remember to follow these 10 easy steps, you will increase the happiness and longevity of your writer and create a strong bond of love and support.