On the Care and Feeding of Your Smutlancer
I’m not exactly young anymore (but I’m definitely not old!), and I’ve finally had to admit to myself that I’m not the same person I was in college. That chick could write until 2am, sleep until 6am, go to an 8am class and stay up until 3am studying the next night. (Yeah, I know that was nearly 20 years ago…)
These days if I’m not getting at least six hours of sleep, I can barely function. But sometimes you just don’t have a choice. You’ve got a deadline – self-imposed or from a client.
You work long hours and get little sleep. If you find yourself in this position, make sure you and the person closest to you know how to help take care of you.
Keep Your Smutlancer Hydrated
My beverage of choice is coffee, sweet, sweet coffee. Iced with extra cream and more grams of sugar than grams of caffeine. Your smutlancer should probably drink water, but go for whatever keeps them from growling at you.
Smutlancers: When your caretaker tries to give you something like water or juice, throw a pen at them and demand wine, margaritas, a shot of tequila, or tea — whatever you need to keep your eyelids peeled open so you can stare at the keyboard or pad of paper a little longer. .
Throw Food and Run Away
John Brownstone dropped a bag of almond M&Ms in my lap and walked away. He’s a smart man, that one. No words spoken and no direct eye contact. When your smutlancer is on a deadline, deliver the food and go away, quietly and quickly.
Smutlancers: Cookies, candy, onion rings, whatever you need, you should have. Send out a demand list for the next food run. Growl when the
lion-tamer care giver brings it near and wipe your sticky or greasy fingers on your shirt to show you have no fucks to give.
Ask How You Can Help
Don’t be afraid of the audible teeth-grinding you can hear across the room. Carry a long stick (a broom works) and prod your smutlancer from a few feet away. When their crazed stare lights on you, mumble something about trying to help and ask what you can do for them.
Smutlancers: Try not to scream, “I don’t know! I hate words! Give me more food!” like a mythical banshee. Better to stare at them until one of you blinks. You’ll win because blinking is too close to sleep and no one has time for that. They’ll take care of whatever needs to be done without you, but they might not make eye contact again until tomorrow.
Encourage Them to Go To Bed
Everyone needs sleep. The older we get, the less we seem to get, but the more important it is. You know if your smutlancer doesn’t get some sleep tonight, they’ll be worse tomorrow. Gently or firmly, whatever your kink, encourage an earlier bed time.
Smutlancers: Shriek that you don’t need sleep, pull at your clothes and cry because you tired of wearing them, and then upend your desk. When your trembling caregiver wraps you in a warm blanket and turns out the light, just sit the hell down and take a nap.
The care and feeding of a busy (and overwhelmed, stressed, frazzles, and exhausted) smutlancer helps keep everyone safe and sane. When in doubt, just do whatever your smutlancer asks until they come out of their sleep-deprived, deadline-induced haze.