Disturbing a writer whilst they are at the creative coalface is not advisable. Writers are dealing with so much in fantasy land that any sort of interruption or disturbance can make them see red.
When should you avoid disturbing a writer?
- If the writer has overcome a painful episode of writer’s block and has just started writing. Disturbing a writer in this situation could result in you receiving a screech, a yell or even a scream.
- If the writer is in the middle of writing a steamy romantic scene and is showing visible signs of literary enjoyment (cheeky smile, wide eyes and flushed cheeks). Avoid disturbing the writer in this situation, if you do disturb you are in danger of receiving a loud sigh or a roll of the eyes.
- If the writer is huffing and puffing over a plot or character issue. They need to be given time to work it through. At this tense time in the literary process they don’t need to be interrupted. Stay well clear for your own safety. Think literary minefield!
- If the writer is actually writing. Given the amount of distractions a writer struggles with on a daily basis any writing from them should be viewed in the same way as a miracle would be. Don’t disturb it, let it happen and just walk away.
When can you disturb a writer?
- If the writer has been staring into space for some time and they have a blank laptop screen or an empty page in front of them. Nothing much is happening here on the creative front so go ahead and disturb them. They will be grateful for the interruption.
- If the writer is busy tidying their writing desk, their desk drawers, pencil holder and shelves around them. They are busy procrastinating. Nothing is going to happen here for a while so interrupt them. Talking to you will be a welcomed distraction from tidying and avoiding doing some writing.
- If the writer is staring blankly at Twitter. Their literary masterpiece will not be written in the next half hour so ask them if they want a cup of tea?
- If the writer has just returned from a Writer’s Nap. They are busy yawning and stretching at the desk. It will take them a while to get creatively warmed up so seize your chance to talk to them.
- If the writer is suffering from writer’s block and is sat looking strained at a blank screen. Your distraction will be a welcome break from trying to force out one little word.
How does one go about disturbing a writer?
- Be gentle and patient!
- Take it slow – dragging a writer out of fantasy land too quickly can bring on extreme writer irritation.
- Go armed – with a cup of tea / coffee / hot beverage for them.
- Talk softly to them.
- Don’t disturb them with minor troubles like there being no food in the cupboards, the house being a mess, the living room carpet needing a vacuum or no clean clothes to wear. If you are going to risk your life disturbing a writer make sure it’s for a good reason!
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