5 Love Languages of a Writer

You might be familiar with Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages. The idea is that everyone can learn to speak(do) all of them, usually, but personally have one that’s dominant. And that is the way you most feel loved and give love. The five choices for love languages are:

  • – Quality Time
  • – Acts of Service
  • – Physical Touch
  • – Gifts
  • – Words of Affirmation

 

(If you want to find out what love language you speak, go take the test at : http://www.5lovelanguages.com/ I recommend all newlyweds and newly engaged folks to read this ASAP! And if you have been married for a century or four and have never heard of this idea, I recommend it to you too! May revolutionize your life and marriage.)


When you know your love language (and the others), it becomes easier to recognize these love languages in others. It’s kinda fun to see them come LIVE in your house and life.

So how does this relate to writing? Are there truly 5 Love Languages of a Writer. Yes. I believe there are and I’d love to tell you about them. They may not be exactly the same for every writer, but I’d venture to say it’s rather close:

The first Love Language of a Writer is: Coffee

Now before you coffee haters chime in, this love language really counts for ANY drink you NEED while you write. For some, like LK Gardner-Griffie, it’s tea. For some, like Denise Grover Swank it’s wine. For Veronica Roland it’s hot cocoa. Soda, okay. Smoothies, yes those too. And still for others it’s something entirely different.

Coffeeeeee

The idea behind this love language is that you need to be hydrated… and awake… and able to carry on a conversation. If we’ve been up all night thinking, dreaming, building our world, this is a vital love language. If you bring a writer her favorite cup of anything, I guarantee you will be speaking abounding love into their life and manuscript. Mostly because they didn’t have to get up out of their chair and interrupt their world building to get their caffeine fix. Just please, when your writer-friend is writing, know that a quick, “Hello, here is your drink, buh-bye!” is ideal. Not that we don’t like spending quality time with you, but seriously, you can’t make a fictional character wait too long or he/she will go on vacation without you. #truestory

The second Love Language of a Writer is: Time

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Time waits for no man.” Right? Well, as true as this statement is, I think our non writer-friends need to understand that time waits for no fictional character, as well. In fact, the fictional characters in our novels seldom wait for anyone or anything before they gallivant the country. And if we don’t follow them around (our heads) the moment they decide to go off to the wild blue yonder, we may lose them and not ever know the adventure they experienced. I know, if you aren’t a writer you are probably thinking, “what the, what?” But for us writers, this makes complete sense.

time

Let’s see if I can explain. When a writer has an idea for a story or scene, it’s sometimes vital that we take time to write it down in that moment. Or at least very soon. Because if we don’t, we might have another idea later, that will fog up the last idea. Then another idea will come and the glass is fogged some more. Then another. And another, until we can’t clearly remember what the idea/thought was.

A great gift to a writer is time. If you know this is their writing time, the greatest gift to them would be to give them time to get their thoughts out. Give them time to go exploring with their characters. Give them time to NOT get frustrated by the thousand comments you have about the tea in Mongolia. If they have their writers hat on, this is a fabulous gift.

Now don’t mistake this time gift as a “Don’t ever bother a writer!” Because that isn’t what I’m saying. What I am saying is that TIME is a gift to us. And if you give us time (once a day, once a week, once a month) you are showing us abundant love. It means you believe in us and know our time is being well spent.

The third Love Language of a Writer is: Food 

I know, I know this seems silly. But, when a writer is in the zone (especially if said writer is a mom), food can be the door to their heart. When I’m working on a deadline, sometimes I forget to eat. At all. I never forget coffee, but there have been days in which I’ve totally forgotten any food. Luckily my children are all old enough to feed themselves, so they never go without, but this writer will often just write right through the meal. So if a friend were to stop by with a meal for me (or even just throw a french fry through the door at my desk) I would know that was an act of love. Food fuels the brain (but not as much as coffee, right??) and bringing aromatic treats that feed the tummy, soul, and heart is amazing.

booksfood


I feel like it would be silly for me even to mention that chocolate falls into this category. You’ve heard the research, right? Chocolate is full of GOOD things for your brain, body, and health (in moderation). So it should be a no brainer that included in this food love language is the Random Acts of Chocolate. And if you don’t like chocolate, then I’m sure those around you think you’re nuts… BUT they probably DO know what you want. Like my friend Branli Caidryn. He prefers Skittles. So to make him feed loved while he is writing his novels, yup… bring the boy some Skittles.

Food is a powerful love language and when used wisely with your writer, it can be amazing!

The fourth Love Language of a Writer is: Words

Seems a bit obvious, right? Well, the words I’m referring to are words of encouragement.

encourage

Encouragement is one of those love languages of a writer then I believe sits at the top for each of us. Writing is a hard industry. We pour our hearts and souls into these stories and then throw them out there for the world to critique. Some writers refuse to read reviews, the good or the bad, because they’ve come to realize that they can’t please 100% of the people 100% of the time. There will always be people who DON’T like your writing. And there will always be people who LOVE it.

When my writer-friends get a bad review and are feeling mortified, I am quick to remind them of the thousands and thousands of horrible reviews that authors like J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, Suzanne Collins, Veronica Roth, John Grisham, and others receive EVERY day. Yet, they are considered some of the best authors of our time. But not everyone likes their stories. And that is okay.

So if you have a writer in your life (even if you are a writer), make it a point to encourage them often. Your few words will mean much more than you can ever imagine! They will feel the love and they will be empowered to create something because of you and others like you.

The fifth Love Language of a Writer is: Listening Heart

Sometimes this is the most overlooked love language of a writer. What does it mean to have a listening heart? Well, often us writers just need to regurgitate everything in our minds. I know, sounds lovely right? Well, it is lovely, to us. We we spew everything on our minds, and in our current WIPs (Works in Progress), it helps us think through plot holes and problems. And usually, though we are just spewing to “hear ourselves talk it out”, we do need feedback! Your feedback is so valuable to us! If we are opening up our souls to you about our ideas and you have truly listened with your heart, we would love to hear what you have to say. We value what you have to say. We thrive on what you say. We may not agree with everything you say, but your input is why we came to you in the first place.

listening

Being a good listener to a writer is worth it’s weight in gold. We are confiding with you our precious characters because we feel like you have something to offer.Another depth to the listening heart is to actively engage your writer-friends in a topic surrounding their novels. Especially if you know they’ve been struggling with writers block lately. Ask them how things are going. Ask them what they think their block might stem from… then, truly listen when they tell you. Sometimes we aren’t at a place to know what is the problem, but just knowing you are asking with a listening heart will mean the world to us. And it may spark some conversation that leads to encouragement, that leads to coffee, that leads to food, that leads to time and a finished novel!It’s amazing what a listening heart will do for your writer-friend.

So let’s recap:

  • Coffee

  • Time

  • Food

  • Words

  • Listening Heart

 

Do you know a writer who could benefit from you speaking their love language? I challenge you, this week, to step out of your comfort zone and make a difference in one of your writer-friends lives. Speak one of their love languages and help them feel the love.

love

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