Home alone

Being a writer can be solitary job – and you can end up shutting yourself away from the world. Author Howard Jacobson told the Sunday Times Magazine just that this weekend – he liked to shut himself away to write. This sent a shudder down my spine because it was a little too close to home.

I like to think I’m a social animal but I knew I had neglected my friends recently (Recently? Huh! ALL YEAR.) I realised I had sent many emails in the last month starting along the lines of: “Sorry you haven’t seen me all year, but I’ve been writing this play…”

Then, of course, I went on to invite them to come and see it. Fortunately, for me, some of them did come to the Camden Fringe. And some of them even flew into London to do so. Hopefully some of them may come to Barking.

In the past few days I saw another list that said: “Writers lose their friends.” Ohmigod. You see, I thought all my friends had been very understanding. But then I’ve got another two ideas for plays I’d like to knuckle down and write.

But where will I find the time to do that, and see my friends? Perhaps they won’t be so understanding the second time around…And the only friend I’ll end up with is a Mac. At home. Alone.

What about you? How do you juggle writing with seeing friends? Or making time for family?

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August 27, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . Blogging, Comedy, Publishing, Writing.

15 Comments

  1. jotsfromasmallapt replied:

    Well put.
    Very well said.
    Does Craig’s List have a “Find a Friend” column?
    Just asking…..

  2. Claire Cappetta replied:

    Great post and I’m so there with you. This last week was incredibly social and now everyone has left it’s strange knowing it’ll be a while before I venture out properly again! lol

    • Missus Tribble replied:

      Same here! This time last week I was at a Discworld Convention, chatting with friends that I don’t see any other time (many of them aren’t even in my country!) and chatting with Sir Terry Pratchett OBE, Stephen Briggs and other published authors, and today my husband and I are home alone and mising all the shiny people!

    • WomanBitesDog replied:

      Thanks for all your support Claire – and on Twitter too. It’s a horrible feeling when all the socialising is over. I just start looking forward to the next event!

  3. Carrie Rubin replied:

    As an introvert, this is not one of my struggles. 😉 I do, however, try to time my writing right so that I have time with my family in the evening.

    • WomanBitesDog replied:

      Family time is good! Do you ever overrun so you can’t spend time with them? Or you spend less time with them because you have to finish your book/work?

      • Carrie Rubin replied:

        I pretty much wind down by about 5 pm, because I have to make supper. Then we spend time together, and I pop back onto my laptop when they get ready for bed. It’s been more hectic lately with the book coming out. Hopefully, it will smooth out soon.

  4. Pauline Guerin replied:

    ahhh yes, interesting post. I am extroverted introvert, huh? yes I love socialising, but I am very very happy on my own. Truth is I have learnt to be so. In a way it’s why Mr Goat and I get along so well. He does what he does, which invariably excludes me, and so I write. At least I try to, in between making jewellery commissions for my few outlets. My friends understand because they are mmm well friends obviously, but largely people I have known for many many years; they understand me, they know how excentric I can be, the ‘new’ friends… mainly dogs actually, …. but that’s another story. 🙂

    • WomanBitesDog replied:

      LOL. Aaaahhhh – that’s a marriage that will last – separate interests with minimal interaction with each other…

  5. Mark replied:

    Helps if you have some kind of routine; ie specific times of day/week when you will write, and don’t intrude into other times when you socialise. I find it’s possible to do it for the weekends, but becomes harder for weekday evenings.

  6. kateshrewsday replied:

    It’s all-absorbing, writing. I like the idea of sticking to a routine, but my youngish family makes that harder to do. I get Writer’s Guilt a lot 😀

    • WomanBitesDog replied:

      Guilt! Oh yes. I can identify with that. Not seeing family and friends – because of our art! We’re artists. ARTISTS! So don’t interrupt us! I wonder if Shakespeare ever felt guilt?

  7. Missus Tribble replied:

    “Writers lose their friends”? Does the person who said that actually know any writers?

    I’ve been out making new friends and reconnecting with old ones this past weekend, gaining new experiences to write about (including epilepsy-related stuff) and mingling with published authors – none of whom sequester themselves away any more than I do!

    Of course, sometimes my mind catches a thread that I have to hang on to and get in print at all costs, but I still try to leave the house now and then.

    When you think about it people are drawn to good writers – because they are intelligent and articulate and interesting to converse with 🙂

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