How to Feed a Writer by Jen Violi

coffeecupGive her a big pot of coffee, just for her.  She may or may not need the whole pot.  She might not even drink coffee.  It’s the idea of a whole pot of something, of possibility, something steaming and warm and enlivening that will give her the sense of spaciousness she needs to create.

Speaking of spaciousness, give her room.  Room to roam the catacombs of her soul.  And a room of her own, Virginia Woolf-style, a corner, some place and time, undisturbed, where she can write, or not write.  Stare at the wall and daydream her way to a first sentence, maybe.

Give her a little bit of the best chocolate you can find.  Quality sweetness is a slow burning fuel.

Same with delight.  Surprise her with a treat that makes her giggle and gasp and remember the benevolence of the universe.  Writing raised with generosity then lifts everyone.

Let her sit in the dark.  Let her eyes adjust naturally so she can gracefully navigate places where others might stumble. Let her live by sun and moon and candle and twinkly lights.

And finally, for dessert, send her with a stack of books to the beanbag chair in the back corner of the library and let her get lost in words and stories—the rants of madmen of incriminating heartbeats beneath the floorboards, the bravery of children who time travel and save everyone with Love, the resilience of women.  The Resilience of Women. Let her feel the stories rattle her bones, shatter her expectations, reveal queendoms and unfathomable fathoms, and remind her that her heart has cockles that can be warmed.

Let her remember why she first picked up a pen, with the tender hope that maybe, just maybe, she could rattle some bones and warm some cockles herself.


About Jen Violi