I’m not sure if it’s nature or nurture, or both, but you have to admit, we writers seem a bit . . . odd to the rest of the world. Even to the people who know us best, and love us anyway.
I asked a bunch of my writer friends for anecdotes that proved this. They sent me the following:
I write romantic suspense. My wonderful husband (my biggest supporter but someone who never reads my books) told me I could “practice on him anytime” while doing my “research” (wink, wink). When I said I was researching creative ways for my villain to kill my hero and asked tongue in cheek if I could practice on him, he got that “deer in the headlights look.” He never offered to help me with my research again. It’s now one of our favorite inside jokes.
Amy Lam w/a Amelia Autin
When I was writing one of my first novels after my day job, my husband walked into the computer room. He asked if I was going to make dinner. I answered, “When it’s dinner time.”
“It’s eight o’clock. Guess I’ll have cornflakes again.” He turned and walked out.
A number of years ago, my allergies/asthma went out of control and my doc put me on strong steroids to get it under control. But, it turns out that I have a very serious reaction to steroids and terrible side effects. My hubby called the doc when I began hallucinating and explained, “she’s hearing voices that aren’t real and aren’t her characters talking to her either. Gotta love a man who understands the writer in me!
The other day I was fixing my son’s lunch before school. I’d gotten up early to get a writing session in before the craziness started. My husband and son and were at the table having breakfast. Apparently I stopped in mid sandwich prep and waved the knife around then said, “So that’s what happens next! ”I hear a quiet, “Um, mommy, what happens next?” My husband counseled, “Don’t disturb her, she’s talking to someone else.”
One night, in tears, I told my oldest daughter, “The characters won’t stop talking to one another.”
“Mom,” she said…in that drawn out way kids tend to do when they’re about to unleash their opinion…”You created them. You can shut them up whenever you want.”
More sobs. “No, you don’t understand. Leah and Carl have this thing they’re trying to work out, and they’re just finding it so difficult.”
Huge sigh. “Okay, I’m hanging up now. You’ve crossed over into crazy-land, and you’re totally weirding me out.”
My husband’s cousin who decided I had to go on a cruise with her and her husband because I had to be making millions, just like Richard Castle on Castle.Or a lady in town who wanted to know when my publisher was going to give me a new car because Temperance Brennan got one on Bones.I have a plaque in my office that says, “I know the voices aren’t real but they have such great ideas.” But there are times when I’m at a family reunion or having dinner with friends and the voices in my head are a helluva lot more fun than the ones I hear around me so I leave temporarily to listen to their ideas and when I come back my family says I went into my “dementia” world.
My family especially loves when we’re on vacation or at a restaurant and I’m trying to get information out of my husband who is a judge. I’ll say ‘how much time could I get for murdering….” or “If I killed so-and-so would this be admissible evidence?” I don’t’ even notice the odd looks we get anymore.
I got a call from homeland security a few months ago. I was researching “can you get sick from eating human flesh”, then searched pressure cookers, then bought a body bag for my book trailer video shoot. They were like, we just wanted to make sure someone wasn’t using your IP address.
Actual text between Brynley Bush and her daughter Lyn.
“Is it wrong that I’m currently Googling ‘How to Fake Your Own Death’? #RomanceWriterProblems Step 5-decide if you really want to do this.
“If someone ever looks at your search history, you’re going to have a lot of explaining to do.”
“I’ll have to show you later. I’ve moved into a fake murder series.”
“Because that’s normal.”
Here’s direct quote from my only sister, Liz, whom has been my closest friend and sometimes roommate since she was born: “My sister has revealed to me the charmed life of a writer: discipline, isolation, hard work, hard work and more hard work interspersed with self doubt and bouts of neurosis. The fact that I am a Licensed Mental Health Professional helps our relationship.”
How about it?
Do you have an anecdote to share with us?