It’s after he’s asked me the question for the third time that I stop following the developing plot line in my thoughts, mentally plug back in to reality, and replay the words that have been spoken repeatedly in my direction.
“Can you pick up dinner on the way home?”
It’s an easy question, with an easy answer, which I give him right away. He’s used to living with a writer, so instead of an argument about my lack of attention, he just gives me an eye roll and a heavy sigh because it took three tries to get that simple answer. Only three. Not five. Or six.
But then, he’s used to the perils of living with a writer.
All the writers that I know have supporters–the people who enable them emotionally, intellectually, professionally, and even financially–to continue the quest for a life as a writer. I’ve had many conversations with other writers that express gratitude for what these supporters provide. I’ve seen many similar posts in the WU Facebook group. Sometimes, however, it is good to acknowledge our supporters—whoever they may be—directly, and to recognize them for their patience and at times bottomless good humor. Below is my gratitude list, acknowledging what my supporters deal with.
If you see yourself in any of these situations, then please take the time today to say thank you to one of your supporters.
Could you Ask that Again?
There are periods in writing when the work takes over a writer’s consciousness. Some call it ‘immersion,’ or ‘flow,’ or being ‘in the moment’. Whatever you call it, it means a writer is more deeply enmeshed in his or her thoughts than in the surrounding physical world. This complicates planning daily existence. It is why my supporter asks me the same question three or more times before getting an answer. And that can get frustrating very quickly. Over the years we’ve learned to minimize arguments with a simple strategy. I tell my supporter when I’m at a stage that requires me to go deep and get lost in my fictive world. This lets him know that slow answers don’t mean I’m ignoring him and he can be more patient. Then he’s able to wait until I plug back in to reality before he asks the question. He isn’t repeating himself, and I’m not feeling neglectful.
Friday, 9am. Comment to supporter—I just finished re-reading what I wrote last night and it’s brilliant. I’m genius. I’m the next great writer.
Friday, 9 pm. Comment to supporter—I just re-read what I wrote this morning and it’s dreck. I’ll never finish this. I can’t write. I should just give up this crazy idea and live a normal life. There’s nothing wrong with just living. [Read more…]