Saturday, January 4, 2014

Why a writer's family are saints

There are some professions where the family has to have the patience of a saint. I contest that the family of writers need that kind of patience. And I'll tell you why.

At least in my case, when I write, it's almost as if I'm in another world. I might be sitting on my sofa in the middle of my living room, but if I'm writing, it's like I forget everyone else is there. I don't mean to ignore my family, but I just do. All my attention is focused on whatever story I'm working on, whatever part of the process I'm engrossed in and the rest of the world just disappears for me.

The family of a writer also has to deal with our mood swings and the fact that we sometimes do nothing but talk about our story. We get to the point where all of our interest is in our story, the characters who are in our head, and the little whispers they put into our ears. Our stories take over our lives. Sometimes we feel what our characters feel. And then there are deadlines, and those moments when we're overcome with the urge to write. We get frustrated, and it feels like there's nothing we can do about it.

Our families have to deal with all of this. Our partners, parents, and children. Extended family and friends. They have to deal with us talking about a story that they have no idea about, listen to us gripe about writer's block and complain about deadlines. They have to deal with us being locked away in a study for hours on end and being emotionally distant for God only knows how long.

So if you ask me, the family of a writer has to have the patience of a saint. After all, they have to deal with us.

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Edited by - Stephanie King