So listen, while I’ve spent plenty of time with writers, I’ve never had to live with one. My husband and children get true props for putting up with my random discussions on plot ideas, my sneaking off to write when inspiration hits, and my emotions during the rollercoaster ride of publishing. Some of my loved ones have taken it upon themselves to learn about the process of querying literary agents, revising a manuscript, being on submission. And not because they want to write a book and figure out what to do next with it, but because they love me and are interested in my life and my passion.
Here’s some ways to love a writer:
-Ask questions: What is the process like for traditional/self publishing? What are you working on next? Can I help you in any way? Can I *beta read for you?
-Invite them to coffee: Having coffee with someone in a crowded coffee shop rather than working on a project in a crowded coffee shop is weird for a writer. But it’s also good. Being out visiting with a friend gets the creative juices flowing and also, eavesdropping is a writer’s best friend.
-Gift them blank notebooks: Writers love notebooks of any shape or size. Sometimes we’re picky and have our favorites but if someone is giving me a free notebook, I’m not gonna complain.
-Give them space when they need it: For the most part, writing is a solitary act. And unfortunately we cannot create/produce if we aren’t given the time to do it. So give them the time without the guilt trip.
-Give them a soundboard: Sometimes we just need someone to listen while we bounce ideas or dialogue or plots around. We don’t necessarily need you to give us your fantastic best seller idea, just give us a listening ear.
*Beta readers. So I have, for the most part, a set group of fantastic beta readers. Once in a while I’ll throw someone new into the mix, depending on the genre I’m writing and the interest of the beta readers. I’ll share a post about beta readers another day, but keep in mind that family/loved ones aren’t necessarily always the best choice for this. Typically, it’s a good idea to choose one. Two tops. Having that one person who is always willing to read your work and who’s in your corner always rooting for you is needed when you’re most definitely going to receive subjective feedback on your writing.