How to survive your boy/girl friend writing a novel…

— a guide by Laszlo Von Glitz, with added nagging from Lala… (but actually written by Lala…)

The process of writing a novel is an agonizing descent into hell for some writers. Self-doubt, rejection, and hours of solitary focus can make your beloved mate nigh-on unrecognizable. How can you save your relationship and your health during these trying times? The answers might surprise you. So, kind readers, buckle up and start taking notes… 

1. Avoid sudden movements. Such as sneezing. Even if holding it in shatters your brain and puts your back out.

Losing braincells to sneezing could be worse, he thought. At this rate he’d have at least 5 more years of life.

2. Avoid interrupting the writer‘s thought process by showing her how you just framed a pretty picture of her, by offering her coffee, or by stealing a snuggle. These are all capital offenses and will be rewarded with withering glances. Or screaming.

The creative process can be wonderfully rewarding for a new couple. Please note the use of the word “can”. It’s also a good idea to do like we do and not live together during these trying times.

3. Talk in a low voice at all times. The novelist is skittish and prone to bolt.

4. Do not try to fix how the garbage bag has been placed in the garbage bin, even though pineapple juice is all over your hands as you go to remove it.

Lala: I did not throw those in there. You must have.

Laszlo. I just got here. You did. I’m holding them. They were in here.

Lala: Don’t criticize me! How am I supposed to have any confidence in my novel if you’re always criticizing me?

Lazlo sighs and goes to rinse out the bin, which also has some aged tuna at the bottom of it.

Listen, buster. I don’t wanna hear none of your lip: I mess up garbage cans by nature. Got it? And why are you so skinny? It pisses me off. We eat the same things and I’ve got this fat booty, and you have a flat stomach. Grrrrrrrr

5. Do not take her out to a new restaurant… particularly a vegetarian restaurant (such as Candle at Broadway and 89th near her apartment). You will discover later in your intended-romantic evening that there are consequences to healthy eating. You will not see your novelist (you may hear her) for several hours due to these consequences.

Side note: By all means, do not attempt to get amorous. This could be fatal for you. Instead resign yourself to seeing this all night:

After eating a full on vegetarian meal, the novelist-in-training retired to the loo in order to “take notes for the novel.” Right.

6. Do not attempt to hide.This can be construed as shirking, and may prompt extreme hostility from your novelist. You could lose an ear.

7. For god’s sake, act normal, and do not show your nervousness. Novelists can sense fear.

The novelist surprised in its natural habitat is actually more afraid of you than you are of it. Proceed with caution, and never show your fear. Avoid telling it that it’s pretty.
But by all means continue to buy your novelist things. Like this shirt.

So there you have it, beloved readers and writers and still-living mates of writers: the way to handle a budding novelist as she crashes and burns against her own psyche. I don’t mean to suggest that being the mate of a writer is all skulking about. Sometimes it can be quite rewarding for you as well. Simply delete her manuscript one afternoon, when she’s not looking … and sit back and watch the fun!  Sparks will really fly for you two.

That is all.

End transmission.

What are ya waiting for?

“Laszlo?”

“Yes, funny bunny?”

“Did you touch my computer?”

“Nope.”

.

.

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17 thoughts on “How to survive your boy/girl friend writing a novel…

  1. Before I got my teaching credential, I took a course as an undergrad in primary education, and the advice that stuck with me all these years from our prof was this: If you end up being a teacher, don’t marry another teacher, especially not a pre-school teacher. Your vocabulary will go downhill and you’ll forget how to act around grown-ups. I suppose the same could be said of writers—not the vocabulary part, surely—they probably shouldn’t pair up. I mean, one writer in a household is crazy enough. And what if they mate and produce another writer…

    Love the perspective in your blog.

  2. Wow! I just read ‘About Writing Blanks’ and a huge chunk of what you say feels very true to me. I’d love you to have a look at my HB/NW material to get feedback on whether or not the concept makes sense to an artist like yourself. The notion that you have to write, whether you like it or not, hits home especially – unless I create, I literally lose the plot. Anyhow… loved reading ‘How to Survive your Mate Writing …’ Lots of truths wrapped up in funnies! Excellent work.

  3. Dear Laszlo:
    I’m communicating with you via our blog, because that seems to work. So, um… I just noticed that as of today, this minute really, you have elected to follow my solitary blog “The Terrifying Blank Page” (etc.). Just NOW?

    sigh.

    • Um, Writing Blanks,
      I’ve been following you forever….literally…..forever.
      Don’t know why you’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve just begun.
      xo

  4. Aww, I need to copy, enlarge, print, frame, and hang this on the door to my office. But my sweetie probably would miss it trying to open the door without spilling my coffee…which he just knows I’ll appreciate the interruption since it is him and he is being soooooo sweet. But would you mind if I try it in poster size??? 😀

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