It’s such a cliché. The lonely writer, locked up in his or her study, typing away at the great novel.
Writers tend to be more solitary than the rest, and with good reason. It takes a lot of time and concentration to shut yourself away and string together words, paragraphs, scenes, chapters, novels. A writer can often spend more time living inside their own head than in the real world.
So where does this leave a writer’s friends?
Too many times, it leaves them wondering where their writer friend has disappeared to.
Writers tend to have more failed marriages, more problems in relationships, etc. because they simply aren’t there. I have struggled with this as well, but I think claiming that you need your writing time is a lazy excuse. Even writers need friends. In fact, I think they may need them more than the average Joe. If you don’t have contact with friends, family, people in general, how can you possibly write about human relationships?
Then too there is the depression that can afflict writers as well. All that sitting and staring at a computer screen. Staying up late, or hiding away in a dark room.
Friends can help writers with issues like this as well.
Like many writers I find myself falling into a habit of not calling, not keeping in touch, and losing track of time. Add having a kid and a full time job on top of that, and months can go by without me seeing or talking with my friends.
Then suddenly one day I’ll find myself feeling alone and sad.
So this past weekend, I reached out to someone I hadn’t seen in over a year. Yes, we occasionally text or email each other. But that’s no replacement for actual physical meeting and hanging out. I had a great time, I feel connected once more, and I’m happier.
So remember, fellow writers, not to neglect your friends. Reach out to them occasionally. Do stuff with them. Talk.
You may find it actually helps you be a better writer. Not to mention a happier one.