Myth Four: The Writer is a Hermit

 

 

I know, I know, some of you are reading the title of this and saying, “But I write better alone” or “I like being alone.” It’s okay, I can be the same way. Though, when you’re a writer, I argue that you’re never actually alone. The characters are there with you. That’s why most writers write where they can get alone with their thoughts away from the noise of everyday life.

But, since writers are in fact humans, a great majority of them need social interaction. This can be a break from the world when you know you’re far too caught up in the compulsive hell writing can sometimes become, or it can be the urge to find a sounding board. A sounding board doesn’t always have to be a person, nor do they necessarily need to reply – pets can make for great sounding boards, actually – but just that presence can help you iron out your thoughts.

Sometimes it’s just nice to have someone text you or call, even if it interrupts the flow of writing, just to make sure you are, you know, still alive and actually eating properly. Not all writers are elusive hermits (Thanks, J. D. Salinger). It’s okay to head down to a coffee shop or a park and just listen. You never know when you’ll find inspiration for a piece or overhear a juicy tidbit to twist into your writing.

It’s okay to verge away from the assumed norms of being a writer. If you want to hole up in your office, bedroom, whatever, that’s totally fine. If you want to talk with other people during the process, or go out and listen to the world around you, that’s okay too. You do what works for you and don’t let society tell you how you have to write. It’s your project, not theirs.