Help Me, I Love a Writer!

You can’t help it—words intoxicate you, and you are a patsy for anyone who can weave them into a screenplay, feature article, or novel. You read every book review you can get your hands on, and you swoon when an author signs that hardcopy, Best wishes! Truman.

But it has gone beyond hanging around at bookstores and poetry readings: you are now in a relationship with someone who writes. Don’t despair! Many of us have been there and survived. Follow the seven tips below to manage your writer and bring sanity back into your life.

1. You don’t have to read everything your writer writes. She will want you to, and often, more than once. Be firm. Say: “It’s so thrilling seeing it for the first time in print.” And make Hot Pockets for you and your signifying other. (Junk food comforts writers.)

2. The writer tells you that you are a wonderful editor and wants you to proofread his 420,000-word answer to Infinite Jest. Think of Anna Dostoevsky. Say, “I can’t change a word of your genius. Ever.” Make Hot Pockets.

3. A fellow student at your writer’s MFA program has won a major literary award. The writer’s face has turned purple. Quickly say: “S/he probably slept with the judge.” And then: “For sure, s/he slept with the judge.” Over Hot Pockets, read articles about rigged literary contests

4. Only eleven people came to the launch reading for the writer’s new book; she is not being retweeted and no one “likes” her book’s Facebook page. Over Hot Pockets, talk about how you will have real friends like Brad and Angelina when the movie with James Franco based on the book premieres.

5. The writer has maxed out the credit cards buying how-to writing books, digests, and Writers Markets. He has attended eight writing workshops in the past six months averaging $300 a pop. Say, often: “You mustn’t be sullied by other writers and lose your unique voice,” Make Hot Pockets, which is all you can afford.

6. Your writer has received her fifth rejection notice from the New Yorker.  

THIS IS NOT A TEST — THIS IS AN EMERGENCY SITUATION. Leave the premises immediately. Go to the nearest nonverbal safe house. Call the writer from there and tell her where the Hot Pockets are.

7. By now, you may be wondering what attracted you to the writer in the first place. It can take a while to realize and admit it, but you may have the courage to do so now. If you love a writer, you are probably a reader. Reach out for help (and have a Hot Pocket).

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