Thursday, January 20, 2011

Writer's Solitude

I was thinking about the last three weeks of my life. And. The last year of my life since I’ve started writing my novel. Alright, I'll admit, I'm a homebody. Since, I have started writing, it seems like solitude has become a feature of my life. I escape down to my "office"—the basement couch, and there I spend countless hours typing, typing more, and typing A LOT more. During which time, the cell phone sits by my side (yep, it's my extra appendage). Will I answer it while writing/revising/editing? ABSOLUTELY NO! I will answer texts because at least that doesn’t require a full conversation commitment. Mean, I know! When I am in my writing zone, I am in my zone. And. Nothing should tear me away from the glorified zone.
The cartoon "Emperor’s New Groove" expresses  well how I feel when I'm in my zone:
Pacha: What happened?
Old Man: Well, I threw off the Emperor's groove.
Pacha: What?
Old Man: His groove! The rhythm in which he lives his life. His pattern of behavior. I threw it off. And the Emperor had me thrown out the window.
Pacha: Oh, really? I'm supposed to see him today.
Old Man: Don't throw off his groove!
Pacha: Oh, okay.
Old Man: Bewaaare, the grooove.
Pacha: Hey, are you gonna be all right?
Old Man: Grooove...
My groove can’t be thrown off during this time. My poor parents have been placed on the back-burner. A lot. They come down to talk to me, and I half listen/half type.
I read a post by Kiersten White today discussing the craziness that happens in a writer's life.  IE: How many days has it been since we've showered? Personally, I have a hard time not showering every day—perhaps I'll miss one day, but for the most part I am a daily showered writer. Maybe the writer’s solitude is not a good thing, but we get the happy job of writing done. Seriously, over the last three weeks, I haven’t socialized very much outside of work. This weekend I am determined to hang out with friends—my treat for a long three weeks of getting another edit/revision done. I must apologize for the solitude that tends to infiltrate my life, but it is a consequence of being a writer. We have this intense desire to write our story, so we often sacrifice other important things.
Writers, how do you cope with the solitude? Do you skip showering? Do you force yourself to get out in the social scene? Do you lock yourself in your "office" for days or weeks at a time? Non-writers, what do you think about this post? Would you be able sacrifice so much to write?


  1. This post makes me want to watch Emperors New Groove. I may do that right now.

  2. ah....welcome to the world of being a writer...where you can never turn your brain off and you watch TV with your computer on your lap. Showering on a daily basis, however, is essential. ;-)

  3. Kiki - Thanks for the comment! The world of being a writer is FUN! Last year, I wanted to watch all of the X-Files series. I did it while typing away on my laptop.

  4. Julia,

    I have to admit this is my first time on your blog, and I hope it isn't my last. You are so cool for doing this! You inspire me! And, We MUST schedule a non-in-the-zone hang out.:)

  5. ps that last comment was from Jenny/Tao-