10 Ways to Support a Writer


It came up on my Facebook news feed again, a meme titled “10 Ways to Seduce a Writer.” It was written by Amanda Patterson, and you can read it on the Writers Write website.

Seduce? Merriam-Webster says seduce means to persuade (someone) to have sex with you; to persuade (someone) to do something. So is this basically a list of ten things to do to get what you want (wink wink, nudge nudge) from a writer? I find it a rather creepy thought process: buy books for a writer and the writer will have sex with you.

Maybe the writer who wrote this list (perhaps a writer who was hoping to be seduced?) meant it as a list of things to do to develop a deep and lasting friendship with a writer. Maybe.

Don’t get me wrong. I would really like it if someone bought me books. (Actually, I do have a dear friend who occasionally buys me books. I am pretty sure he does not want to have sex with me.) I would like it if someone took me to dinner near a bookstore and sent me to a writer’s retreat and introduced me to new independent bookshops. But I don’t know if I would be seduced. If seduction is going on, there better be kissing. I agree with what Neil Gaimen said:

Many writers figure out that they’re being seduced or flirted with if someone is actually kissing them.

Also, while everything on the list sounds nice, I don’t know if most writers have time to be whisked off to restaurants and tea gardens (Tea gardens? Is that a West Coast thing?) and bookstores and writing retreats. Most writers I know are slogging through life on little sleep with barely time to put on pants in between dropping kids at school, picking up groceries, trying to make a dent in the laundry, and possibly even (gasp!) working a mind-numbing “real” job. Most writers I know are trying to fit some writing in the gaps between kids, significant others, housework, and personal hygiene. I propose to anyone trying to seduce a writer, try supporting that writer first. The seduction may come later (if the writer can stay awake).

10 Ways to Support a Writer

  1. Listen to the writer speak about her/his “process.”
  2. Buy the writer cute new pajama pants so there’s something clean to wear when the laundry (still) hasn’t gotten done.
  3. Clean up the writer’s hard drive so the computer moves faster than a cold snail on Monday.
  4. But don’t touch anything on the writer’s desk! Each pile of books and scrap of paper sits where it sits for a reason. “Cleaning up” will not be helpful. If you want to help, do the laundry.
  5. Happily participate in endless discussions such as “Which character name–Fiona or Astrid–is more believable?” and “Is there a copyright on hobbits?”
  6. Bring sustenance of any kind to the writer so s/he can spend another hour at the desk without starving.
  7. Amuse the children. An hour (or 15 minutes) of quiet is precious.
  8. Coax the writer away from the laptop and into the sunshine so s/he doesn’t suffer vitamin D deficiency (again).
  9. Sympathize when the poet-writer laments the lack of rhyme for the words “orange,” “silver,” and “purple.”
  10. Don’t run away when the writer is grumpy, discouraged, tired, disheartened or unwashed. Your support might be what the writer needs to finish the masterpiece (or the 2,000 word article on muscle cars that buys the groceries this week).

About Blaize Sun

My name is Blaize Sun. Maybe that's the name my family gave me; maybe it's not. In any case, that's the name I'm using here and now. I've been a rubber tramp for nearly a decade.I like to see places I've never seen before, and I like to visit the places I love again and again. For most of my years on the road, my primary residence was my van. For almost half of the time I was a van dweller, I was going it alone. Now I have a little travel trailer parked in a small RV park in a small desert town. I also have a minivan to travel in. When it gets too hot for me in my desert, I get in my minivan and move up in elevation to find cooler temperatures or I house sit in town in a place with air conditioning I was a work camper in a remote National Forest recreation area on a mountain for four seasons. I was a camp host and parking lot attendant for two seasons and wrote a book about my experiences called Confessions of a Work Camper: Tales from the Woods. During the last two seasons as a work camper on that mountain, I was a clerk in a campground store. I'm also a house and pet sitter, and I pick up odd jobs when I can. I'm primarily a writer, but I also create beautiful little collages; hand make hemp jewelry and warm, colorful winter hats; and use my creative and artistic skills to decorate my life and brighten the lives of others. My goal (for my writing and my life) is to be real. I don't like fake, and I don't want to share fake. I want to share my authentic thoughts and feelings. I want to give others space and permission to share their authentic selves. Sometimes I think the best way to support others is to leave them alone and allow them to be. I am more than just a rubber tramp artist. I'm fat. I'm funny. I'm flawed. I try to be kind. I'm often grouchy. I am awed by the stars in the dark desert night. I hope my writing moves people. If my writing makes someone laugh or cry or feel angry or happy or troubled or comforted, I have done my job. If my writing makes someone think and question and try a little harder, I've done my job. If my writing opens a door for someone, changes a life, I have done my job well. I hope you enjoy my blog posts, my word and pictures, the work I've done to express myself in a way others will understand. I hope you appreciate the time and energy I put into each post. I hope you will click the like button each time you like what you have read. I hope you will share posts with the people in your life. I hope you'll leave a comment and share your authentic self with me and this blog's other readers. Thank you for reading.  A writer without readers is very sad indeed.

4 Responses »

  1. I like your list of 10 SO much better!!! It’s perfect. I’ve seen the FB meme several times before, and “Lame” is the only adjective that comes to mind when I see it.

  2. Pingback: Gifts for the Writer | Rubber Tramp Artist

I'd love to know what you think. Please leave a comment.