So you’re living with a writer

… but do you understand them yet?

Living with a writer might not be as easy as you first thought.

I mean, they will turn the volume down if they’re writing and can’t concentrate because of the decibel level you’re insisting on blasting the TV at even if you’re not in the room. Or how many times have you walked back into the room to find the TV simply turned off? They have an extra remote!

Writers will find inspiration in any and all happenings around them, turning that embarrassing slip and fall into the most hilarious thing online.

You’ll find them writing to ask questions, to mull over recent events, to let go, to find peace, to find anger and release it, to find answers from deep within them only writing brings to the surface.
Or even for no apparent reason at all, but simply for the pure pleasure of putting pen to paper – which might seem like a total waste of time for you.

They will want to be alone and want you gone when they’re deep in thoughts, staring at that blank page you can’t understand why they’re not just filling up already.
And then they’ll want you back the minute you’re not around.

During a writing session, most likely they won’t reply to your questions or stories. Or if you’re lucky, you might get a “Hmm…”, “Yeah, sure”, “No. Yes. I don’t know.” or “Let me just finish this paragraph…” before they sink back into silence and comfortably ignoring you for the rest of the evening.

And when an idea flashes through their mind, they will stop from anything and everything to jot down said thoughts. And they’ll give you an impatient look if you start asking why they couldn’t wait until getting back home.
Writing will not stop just because they don’t have a notebook or laptop with them. A napkin, business card, coaster, leaf will suffice too for penning down an idea.
Even if you’re currently watching a movie. Or staring at the ocean’s waves crashing into the rock you’re sitting happily chatting on. Or in a busy shopping center right in the middle of the women’s products isle. Or sleeping – don’t you just love having the bright lights turned on in your face when the best part of your dream comes on?

Or even if you slipped from the edge of a cliff and they’re currently holding your hand to keep you from falling. They will stop to make a note of anything you might say, to describe the view and the feelings they’re feeling at that exact moment.

However, they won’t ever let go.

40 Responses to “So you’re living with a writer”

  1. The tuning fork in my spirit has just been struck hard… the ringing and tone are echoing through my being, and my inspiration has been turned on to high gear… You reminded me of who I am, who I have always been, and who I will never give up. It answers the question of why even my kids are the way they are… writers of a different sort, but writers none the less. No one goes out without the tools of the trade, and everything is subject to the pen…

    I know this is for those who need to understand us, but for those of us who sit at the page, looking up to find the blank stares of the non-writers around us, this helps us to explain ourselves, even a little (without coming up with a new story to write from the encounter)

    In short (as if that is even possible from a writer), I LOVE THIS!!!! :-)

    Let me finish now, so I don’t launch into another story… :-)

    • “No one goes out without the tools of the trade, and everything is subject to the pen…” SO true!
      I love that you love this, Kenneth, and I know exactly what you mean on leaving short comments. I sometimes struggle to keep my thoughts down to only a few sentences, especially when the post I read rings so true and I’d be capable of rewriting it in a heart beat in my own words :)

  2. Estrella, you nailed it! I was alternating between laughing and nodding vigorously. And your question

    … but do you understand them yet?

    is so perfect. I’ve been living with my husband for 13 years. Although he knows my characteristics well (and teases me about them heaps!) in a way he doesn’t understand at all. (But he is very supportive, so I’m grateful.) He’s an engineer so we think and behave very differently. While I’m immersed in my writing world – even if I’m just mulling things over – he is busy being good at manual dexterity, finding his way around, noticing details (but not the kind you’d add to a story ;~) and generally being very competent. Meanwhile, I’m stumbling around in a fog of ideas and plans for my writing.

    I love-love-love your ending! This reminded me that even when I’ve been in dangerous or stressful situations, part of me is observing how I feel, what the drama is and figuring out ways to describe it in writing.

    • That sounds so wonderful, even if they don’t understand us the way we’d like, having support matters so much! I’m so glad to read your husband is supportive (and so competent).
      I ended the post with that thought because, like you, I also observe myself working through situations, feelings describing them in writing.

      Huge hugs my friend!

  3. Giving a fellow writer space and silence is crucial to a healthy relationship. Letting their music play loud, and turning your TV down – it’s worked for me as both the writer and the writee.

  4. I’m with everyone that said non-writing folks will never understand. We are selfish and a bit crazy in their view. I kind of agree with the second statement, tho, heh.

  5. Oh Wow! This is neat! Like Cathy above…I am going to have my husband read it too….loved every word and esp the ending about the cliff…great piece of writing Estrella!

  6. “However, they won’t ever let go.”

    Beautiful way to end this, Estrella. There’s craft in writing, as well as art. As you demonstrate so well.

    Writer as observer, chronicler, teller of stories – all is grist to this mill – and the “all” includes the imagined worlds, words and characters that form a web around writers at times.

    Not, I suppose, always an easy thing to live beside.

    But, it is not all bad (or difficult) living with a creative person. I know, for I am fortunate to do so.

    • Thank you, Kevin!
      No, it’s not always easy to live beside us, but that’s exactly why I ended the post with that line – we won’t ever let go of reality and those we love :)
      It makes me happy to read you’re so fortunate!

  7. Oh yes, Estrella, you nailed it indeed! Yesterday evening the hubby took the boys out to the park and so I used the time to start a short story. I was going at it full speed, deep into the story, hardly realizing my surroundings, when they came home and hubby just started talking to me as if I had been sitting there doing nothing more than waiting for him to come tell me what they’d done. Naturally that broke my train of thought and I couldn’t get it back for the life of me. Ah, he’ll never understand! I’ll definitely be reading this to him. Thanks for this post!

    • That made me smile! Non-writers might be trainable to some degree, but they will never fully understand… Let me know how reading this to your hubby turned out :)

      My mom does that when she’s watching TV – I’m trying to shut out the TV volume and everything and then she comes in to tell me what just happened although I could hear it all very well and have seen the movie 4 times before.

  8. Hey! Let’s can that ‘selfish and crazy’ . . . No need to put a kabosh on the full steam ahead we lovely writer*folk feel and groooooove and move to and move to and move to.You all know the Thoreau stance on beatin’ to a different drummer, well hey guys … we feel we got the whole parade marchin’ around inside our noggins when we’re *on*. Look at the dauntless Deanna up there — she was in heaven, a celestial place where the words and she were having their day. Her man didn’t mean to be mundane and tether her down to a lower world. He was just lovin’ his sharin’ as his lovin’ and she knew that … but she felt … she felt like I do when the chocolate protein milkshake is whirrrrrring, signaling HE is ready to get ready to head to the gym. Hell, I love the gym and the endorphins shootin’ after … but geeeeeez, when you’re midst passage and the clickety-clack, clickety-clack is on track … it’s a spell, a spell I tell ya (you know) that you don’t want to burst the bubble of.

    Holy mixed metaphors aside, all I really came here to say is this morning it hit me that I wanted to come back and use Mr Clean or something and take away the comments when we as writers felt we should kinda like ‘humble down’ to our good life-companions for being how we are when we’re being the who we are — for — you see —

    WHAT WE HAVE GOIN’ IS THE PUREST OF PASSION, THE EXCITEMENT, THE INNER FIRE OF DESIRE THAT BEGITS ASPIRE AND WE HAVE TO SHARE AND YELP IT AND IT’S ALL THE COLOURS AND A KID AT CHRISTMAS OR BEFORE THE PILE’UP OF CAKE AND PRETTY WRAPPED PACKAGES — There should be no “Shhhhhhh” … no “Slow down and pause now” to writing or art or music or theatre or mudpie making … any art or passion midst its get up and go and gumption. We’re the folks who hold high the torch that says, “Hey! It’s good and right to be flying this high!”

    And that’s a natural high, but will someone kindly pass me a drink. I’m wiped after that happy soapbox.
    Gosh, I love you guys.

    ~ Absolutely*Kate

    • I don’t have a clue how better to respond to your wonderful comment, except by saying: you’re so right, honey. Thank you! I suspect you just made my week :)


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