Caring for Your Writer – 10 Easy Steps for Friends & Family

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5.  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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.


34 thoughts on “Caring for Your Writer – 10 Easy Steps for Friends & Family

  1. Question? Are coffee and hugs recommended for writers. I’m afraid I may over excite or coddle my writer.

    Also my writer is always claiming there is “never enough time to write”, is there some way I can expand the day? What do you know about time machine technology? How can I help my writer find time to write?

    I would appreciate your advice. My writer can be rather persnickety at times.

    1. Check in with your writer before bringing them coffee as they may have already had too much already. Hugs are highly recommended. Writers need these in abundance.

      As far the issue of “never enough time” is concerned, writers are always complaining of this. They are afflicted with a condition of carrying around the whole story in their head. This can only be treated by writing the story in one day, which in many cases is simply not possible. This will drive them a bit crazy and may be the root of any madness.

      This may be the reason why your writer is persnickety, that and writers are quite sensitive to the time, space, and environment in which they work. I’d hazard a guess that your patience is not lost on your writer.

  2. This should hang in public view in the homes of all writers worldwide. I’m going to shrae this at my next writing group meeting. And yes, it’s a tactful piece for all writers to read as well. I like your style.

  3. Reblogged this on Dead Machinery's Blog and commented:
    These are very busy days, my apologies. In the meantime, read and amuse yourself and your writer with this 🙂 In fact, I’ll sit down and write my own list on how to care for this writer (me!) because I suspect it could highlight what’s making me so busy and yet not particularly productive lately! Enjoy 😀

  4. This post is terrific! You found the very words that can explain everything about me to my kind, patient and supportive husband who sometimes wonders if I am going to be okay. Okay? Yes, I am going to be okay.

  5. Reblogged this on Plotting Bunnies and commented:
    Just a spot of fun. I love this little instruction manual.

    I shared it with my boyfriend and he approved. We’re hitting the gym more often as part of #6. I told him his little writer would be working very hard this holidays. Then he said, “I like your working ethic. Another reason why I love you.”

    And I stopped.

    Did he say ‘working ethic’? WHAT working ethic? I had one?! He must not have seen me dazedly mashing at Skyrim this morning and screwing up my save point, which of course meant I had to procrastinate on youtube for another two hours, and naturally I was obligated to kill another half hour on the awesome Despicable Me: Minion Rush app. Yeah, he really didn’t. Except he might’ve noticed me challenging him to rushes.

    So um, you might want to rethink that, honey. At least, I was about to text him that. Then I thought about it for another millisecond.

    Sometimes there are things about yourself that others know better than you do. Quite often it’s because you’re so in tune with yourself that the small details fly off your radar, and even more often it’s because we don’t want to self-praise ourselves and end up with twice the disappointment afterwards. Then again, I might really be as bad as I think. But at least my favourite boy doesn’t think that, and I’ve got some good friends behind my back. I boldly tell my parents that I’m writing a novel when they ask what I’m doing. It’s out there. I can’t imagine living with myself if I gave up, either. That means I’d better get my act together.

    So I didn’t tell my boyfriend that I had no work ethic.

    Mostly because I’d noticed he had bought a limited edition costume on Minion Rush without telling me and I keyboard smashed out a “YOU BOUGHT A NINJA COSTUME?!?!?!?!?!!” That changed the topic quite subtly.

    (But really, the moral of the day is to try believing those who believe in you. Let’s start of with me, who believes in you guys – YOU CAN DO IT! Make the munchkin proud!)

  6. Perfect! Now I just have to show this to my boyfriend! Although, I think he already does all of those things pretty well

    1. That’s great to hear! It’s important to let our friends & family know how much we appreciate their support. I don’t think I could do it without them.

  7. This is going up on the frig! You may want to start making posters or tees for this. It would save a lot of time and confusion when we get (as mindfulfitnessservant stated) persnickety. 🙂 Thanks for the great post!

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