It’s finally come to that point. Although I was expecting it, I didn’t think the computer screen would start to look so friendly so quickly. With my school work getting heavier and college deadlines creeping up, writing has been coming to mind more often than usual. I think about what edits I have to do, when I’ll have the time to do them, where I’ll be doing them and what music I’ll be listening to, if any, when finishing them. In other words, writing is starting to become that escape from everyday life.
What’s wrong with that, you may ask? Nothing…at least, that’s what I would have said had I not read Nathan Bransford’s post entitled, “Writing and Loneliness.” In his article, Nathan explains the dangers of social isolation, a health problem equivalent to smoking and obesity. While he focuses on lonely writers in his explanation, I believe that any writer who becomes too centered on their work can become socially isolated. How? Perhaps Nathan’s description of what it feels like to write (and my quotation of the week) will help shed some light on the matter: “I don’t find the act of writing to be a lonely one. There’s something about the concentration, the empathy required to imagine what characters think and do, and being immersed in another place that never makes you feel you’re actually by yourself. It’s comforting to have control over an imagined world that we can never have in the real one.”
As cozy as it sounds to get comfortable, settle down, and make a living in the world you’ve created, your made up world can’t become a replacement for reality. Though it’s hard, it’s important for a writer to find the balance between his or her work and the meaningful relationships he or she has with others (not including your characters). So while I’m enjoying the progress I’m making with my book, I can’t allow myself to get glued to the screen every time I have a free period. I need to discipline myself in designating specific times for writing and using the rest to do homework, meet with a teacher, or even, as bizarre as it sounds, socialize with friends. There’s a whole other world outside of the one I created and its a writer’s destiny to learn how to best enjoy them both.
For those who are interested in reading Nathan’s post, you can find it at, http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2013/09/writing-and-loneliness.html. I hope you learn as much from it as I have.