Who was it that said, “Ignore everyone, write your book” first? Every motivational best selling author I’ve heard speak (and there are a lot of them) have repeated this time and time again. Redundant or important …. both are true.
With social media, the need to interact with others on a daily basis seemed important at one point. Then, as we all had to isolate, some of us felt a deep sense of relief. We didn’t HAVE to socialize at all.
We were able to finally listen to the sound of silence, which is a glorious thing when you also like being alone.
My once upon a time trauma response to isolation was to feel very nervous as if I was going to miss out on … something. Today, I know that it’s just not true. The things I thought I would miss were a myth. The things I’ve gotten back are priceless.
Writers need time to write. It’s the day job, meaning, it’s the job, meaning …. for better or worse, it’s the preferred way to be.
Writing. Cats. Old dog (not dying today). Laptop. Electricity. Silence. Thoughts. Coffee. Snacks. In in that order.
The more we can sit with our silence, the more peaceful our lives become.
Our social media is just white noise. For those of you in my generation, it’s snow on the television. Background noise that simply fills our ears, but not our soul. I hear that YouTube has channels that offer this low noise canceling sound, similar to a devise used in therapists offices to drown out in the intrusion on the conversations.
Something that should be a requirement in every therapist’s office actually. Privacy seems to be at a premium. It’s vital to our mental health.
So is time alone.
So are trustworthy moments where we know that we can and will be fully okay if we are alone.
It’s easy enough to say, “just go be by yourself so you can write your book” if you have never had to want for anything.
To say that to someone who has anxiety, or trauma or a deep sense of fear of being alone though? That’s insensitive, bad advice.
Since we can’t always know what someone else is going through …. how about this instead ~
Carve out time to be alone with your own brain. Baby steps for some. A preferred way to live for someone like me.
Be alone with your characters. Be alone with the world you’re creating in your head. The people in our lives who don’t get writing fiction also don’t understand that all that day dreaming, wandering, sitting in silence as we observe every small detail of a place in time is research.
Life is research. What is written was once something that could not be said.
I will share that the line I live between the helping profession where I do hear about the monsters and the fictional world I’m transitioning to, to pursue writing as a full time gig … is a weird place to be.
People have been “giving me advice” for a long time now. Not a single one of them is both in the psychology field AND a fiction writer. Not one. The advice from one half of your life, can’t be applied.
Besides, at what point in our lives do we stop receiving unsolicited advice from others? When does that start happening?
I’d like it to be now, please and thank you.
I’ve written five full length novels. I published one of them. Not because I hoped it would be a best seller, but because I needed some exposure therapy, to get over the fear of the critics.
The critics were there anyway.
That’s a whole other post. A whole other topic for discussion. We’ll go there.
Until then, for all the writers out there with very busy lives, but also trying to write a full length novel in a month …. remember that you are an artisan craftsman. You are creating the lump of clay, where the second go over is turning it into a world that didn’t exist before you made it.
That is pretty awesome.
The fact that you gave yourself to be alone in your own head for a while …. that’s living on that line between psychology and fiction writing. You did it. You found a sliver in the time continuum where you could be yourself. For yourself. By yourself.
That’s all. Just me and my thoughts. Now I’m going back to the NaNoWriMo world I’m imagining into life.
In peace and creativity,
(c) @happinessnoir @K.ArenHenryMiller @InkHoneyPub
p.s… I rarely edit these so if you’re also finding typos …. well, …. that’ll just have to do. Another form of torture for the OCD grammar police. 🙂 Also … crossing the fine line between psychology and fiction writing.
See there what I did?
I just gave myself three great examples of doing both jobs in one … a life lesson learned …. alone.