13 Scary Things About Living with a Writer

By Edie Melson @EdieMelson

There are a lot of scary things about living with a writer.
My husband and family know this only too well. Unfortunately, they’ve been
subjected to just about everything on the list. And yet they still love me—even
more than that they appear to enjoy my career choice at times.

Still, if you’re not expecting some of these things, they
can be frightening. So since it’s Halloween I thought I’d give those
unsuspecting family members a sneak peak at what they’re in for with the 13 scariest things about living with a writer.

1. Going out in public can turn into a foray into the art
and craft of eavesdropping.
As writers—whether we writer fiction or
nonfiction—we’re always looking for a good story. And I’ve found a lot of good
stories by eavesdropping. For some reason this tendency makes my husband and
family nervous.

2. Sometimes family members are drafted as impromptu actors
when the resident writer is trying to accurately portray a scene.
I’ll just let your imagination run wild on this one. Trust me, it won’t come close to the reality. ‘nough said.
3. Normal dinner conversation can be off-putting for
unsuspecting meal-time guests.
For some reason people don’t like to discuss
gory details during dinner—go figure.
4. Normal dinner conversation held at a restaurant can make
those around you nervous.
I remember the odd looks my husband and I got once
while we were out. I was discussing different ways to kill people without
leaving a trace. The looks from other diners were comical, to say the least.

5. Writer’s block is felt by the entire family. Ever hear
the saying, if momma ain’t happy then
nobody’s happy
? Well if momma is a writer, then that’s doubly true of
writer’s block.

6. Normal hours aren’t so normal. Writers write when
inspiration hits. Hopefully that’s during daylight hours. But if the muse works
the graveyard shift, so does the writer. Beyond that, if inspiration strikes at night, experienced writers know to write it down because it won’t stick around until morning. It’s the writing it down part that can cause family members difficulty. Imagine lights snapped on at 2am, loud exclamations as sleep-fogged writer tries to find a pen that works and something to write on. You get the idea. Inspiration isn’t quiet.
7. Writer’s have an insatiable curiosity. I believe that
trait is one of the reasons many of us are so successful. We go through life
with a goal of finding out who, what, when, where, why and how. My husband
refers to this as being nosy, but I think it’s a trait that’s stood me in good
stead with my chosen career.

8. Writers don’t just write books, they also collect them.
For some reason reading and writing go hand in hand. This means stacks of books
everywhere. If you live with a writer, just get used to it. This is one battle
you’ll never win.

9. Family situation frequently end up in print. Oh don’t
worry too much, we’re careful to change the names. But the tendency of writers
to write what we know, can almost
always leave a trail back home.
10. Writers have a love/hate relationship with technology,
especially computers.
We all have our favorite brands and are fiercely loyal
(can anyone say Apple?). But we also are the first ones to rail against the
necessity of relying on such temperamental beasts.
11. Writers wear their hearts on their sleeves. A good
review puts us over the moon. A bad review makes us vow to give up writing
altogether. Just get ready for it, we’re an emotional bunch.
12. And along that line, writers are insecure. No matter how
many good comments we get, it’s the one bad one that we’ll remember. We’ll
dissect it, analyze it, and agonize over it for weeks.

13. We’re always afraid our last book (article, devotion,
blog post, etc) was the last one we have in us.
We’re certain we’ve reached the
pinnacle of our career and the rest won’t be worth reading.
This is my list of the scariest things about living with a writer. I’d love to know what you’d add to the list. Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Melson—author, blogger, speaker—has written numerous books, including While My
Soldier Serves, Prayers for Those with Loved Ones in the Military
. She’s also the
military family blogger at Guideposts.org. Her popular
blog for writers, The Write Conversation, reaches thousands
each month, and she’s the Director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. Connections:
Social Media & Networking Techniques for Writers
is a print expansion
of her bestselling ebook on social media. She’s the Social Media Mentor at My Book
, the Social Media Director for Southern
Writers Magazine
, and the Senior Editor for NovelRocket.com. Connect on Twitter and Facebook.