Your Writing, Your Social Life, and You

Let’s be honest here. Nobody understands us writers better than each other.

So I want to talk to my fellow writers out there about something that most people just don’t seem to get about us.

It is very difficult for writers to have a social life.

And trust me, I know there’s going to be at least one exception to this rule. There are probably a few writers out there who have mastered the art of balancing life and are actually able to make appearances at regular social functions, but most of us have not.

Maybe this issue becomes easier over time (please let me know in the comments if you have any insight), but as of right now, I see no light to the end of this busy tunnel.

Honestly, nothing would make me happier than just focusing all my time on my writing. Taking a day, having a cup of tea, sitting at a bookstore or somewhere productive to just relax and write…that sounds like a great day.

But that doesn’t happen in normal life. Normal life is full of dentist appointments, actual money-making part-time jobs, and social obligations. Yes, eventually our friends would like to spend some time with us.  And after all, we do need to get out in the sun once and awhile and refresh. But who has time for that when writing is such a time-consuming passion?

Is this what you want to do with your life?

All writers are different. We have different techniques, styles, and ways of procrastinating. I happen to be one of those slow writers who can sometimes take an entire Saturday to write a short poem. There’s nothing wrong with writing slowly, it just cuts into my time for other activities. So, I try to plan time with friends accordingly.

If you want to be a writer, you really do have to make a choice. Writing is a seriously demanding job with very little thanks, and when every ounce of creative juice has been sucked from our brains, the last thing we want to do is go to a social gathering (witty writer…not so witty at parties).

There are definitely ways to try to balance writing with having a social life. I try to schedule time for writing, specific times during the day when I’ll write my blog posts and other assignments, that way I’ll have some sort of free time later. Sometimes life does get in the way though, and the writing has to be put off until later. Other times, writing needs to be the top priority.

There really is no right or wrong way to do this. It is your life, and that means you get to decide how you spend your time. I guess all we as writers can do is decide what matters most, and understand that our lives might be a little bit different from the rest. When you want to write, that’s just how it is.

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5 thoughts on “Your Writing, Your Social Life, and You

  1. Sure understand how you feel, and many times suffered the same choices.
    However, sometimes in the midst of friends and family, I am inspired to save
    some of those moments for prime writing time. It can be win-win depending
    on how you choose it….

  2. When I am most consumed with writing, I am terribly anti-social. I do believe it is possible, as you write, to set “boundary lines” for your passion so you can have other pursuits… including friendships, family life, etc… Not all writers are lousy friends, fathers, mothers, etc… I just haven’t been able to create a very good balance in my own life.

  3. It is very difficult, especially if you’re really trying to pursue writing. Since I started blogging my wife knows she has to at least give me an hour or two each day to write, since otherwise it would fall by the wayside. Either to working, raising our daughter, or whatever else. It’s not that we’re trying to be anti-social, but to be a writer you must write. I have a handful of people I spend time with outside my lovely wife and family, but I don’t see it as a big loss. I could build up a network of friends and hang-out buddies, but it wouldn’t satisfy my urge to write. It’s a fair trade off.

  4. Your observations make me think of what I wrote recently regarding attitude. The deeper I get into the writing life the more 1) I demand to be left alone when I wanna, and 2) authoritative about my subject. As with the moment of being tipsy, when inhibitions fall, I feel more and more bold to say what I have to say, live the way I need to live, and be what I need to be. I do, however, enjoy going to parties so long as I have gotten a solid day’s worth of work done first.

    Thanks for mentioning your post to me – I enjoyed reading it and sharing these ideas.

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