1. marcusl
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    marcusl Member

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    A writer feeling sad

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by marcusl, Jan 2, 2010.

    Does being a writer make you feel sad sometimes? I love writing so much, but in order to pursue this career, sacrifices need to be made. You know, something like:

    "Hey, do you want to come hang out with us and get drunk tonight?"
    "Urm, nah, I think I'll pass this time. (because I have to write) Thanks for inviting me, though."

    Writing involves a lot of sitting in front of a computer. There are people who accuse writers of being anti-social, and that affects me. Sometimes when I think about it, I start feeling a bit down. I spend so much time in my life fantasizing about characters who don't really exist. Is that really okay to do?

    I used to have no troubles with this at all. It came up after I started working full-time. Maybe reality is kicking in? To those who are experienced with this, please feel free to share your opinions.

    Many thanks. Happy New Year!
     
  2. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    It's important to strike a correct balance. If you're sat in front of the computer all the time, what can you possibly have to write about? You need life, to inspire your writing. In my opinion.
     
  3. Tessadragon
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    Tessadragon Member

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    I had that precise choice but it's easy for me, since I hate alcohol and hate the idea of getting drunk (Never got past seeing beer and wine as 'rotted fruit').
    But sadness at the feeling of writing...no. I admit to frustration on the verge of insanity when I sit down to the computer, crack my knuckles, laid my fingertips to the keyboard and then up the stairs drifts Mum's voice: "Can you help me/Grandma/the cat?" and then my writing hour/day's shot and strung up.

    I suppose I'm lucky with my friends though...they know ish, that I need to write. They work a lot anyway, so the rare times we have free time that coincide, they know I'll bring along my new little writing book and will join them for an hour or so.
     
  4. Sayso
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    Sayso Contributing Member

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    Some people give themselves set hours in which to work. Great if you have no other jobs but not so great if you do have to pay the bills too. Also setting time constraints can limit your creativity. You give yourself a maximum of two hours per evening in which to write and you're only then starting to get going and have to suddenly stop! Personally, I can't just switch off and have to carry on.

    As Banzai says, it's about finding a good balance. Lose yourself in your writing and you could lose friends. We all need our friends.

    How about finding a natural lull when you're writing and stopping there sometimes so that you can go out? I used to stop when I was desperate to write more but then found out I was so distracted that I couldn't wait to get back to it. When you do go back, re-read a couple of pages and you'll soon be flying again.

    Take care. xx
     
  5. Gone Wishing
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    Gone Wishing Contributing Member

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    I usually get most inspired at extremely anti-social hours, so it's not a huge issue for me; but I agree with Banzai - both with striking a balance and allowing yourself the opportunity to experience life and what it can offer, if for no other reason than to enrich your 'inspirational pallette', so to speak. o.o

    The other thing to remember is that it's about choice, you don't have to sit at the computer at every given opportunity to qualify as a writer, or to produce good work, but if you do and it's not making you happy then I'd venture to say it's not worth it... The most important thing is to honour all the things in your life that you value in appropriate measure, which includes friends and social activities, I think.
     
  6. bluebell80
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    bluebell80 Contributing Member

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    I used to be a social person. I totally understand the feeling of needing to write and the small desire to hang out with other people....that is until I remember I'm not to fond of most people I know. Being around people means constantly feeling and thinking about the social effects of things said, stuff shared, and how other people think and feel. It's exhausting sometimes being around people. But when you're writing, you're lost in a fantasy world of people and events that you can control, you can shape, and you have full power over. The exact opposit of being around other people in a social setting.

    Another thing that has struck me is the psychological aspect of writing fiction. We, as writers, have to take a personality apart, deconstruct it, to understand it and write it effectively. This means we, if we are basing any type of character on someone we know, we start to psychoanalyze them and start seeing all their blarring faults. This can make it difficult to hang out with this person after we see just how fully annoying they are. When you are out in the real world you spend a vast majority of time interacting with people and at the same time psychoanalyzing them, breaking down their character, and seeing how it is constructed. We start to see real people like we do fictional people and the lack of control over real people becomes obvious. Dealing with fictional characters starts to get easier and easier, while interactions with real people becomes harder, due to our lack of control in these situations.

    In the end, we become rather anti-social, not for wanting, but because dealing with real life people turns into a chore, an excerise of patience. I know there are plenty of times during the day, especially at work, when I would much rather be home writing about something, anything, than dealing with people.
     
  7. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    Writing doesn't necessarily have to involve a lot of sitting in front of a computer. I do most of my writing by hand initially, which means that if my family is getting together at my parents' house or if there's something going on at a friend's house, I can take it with me. Do my friends/family tease me because I carry a notebook with me everywhere I go? Sure. But it's meant with love, and I get to be surrounded by great people while I write, rather than sitting alone in my basement. :)
     
  8. Sabreur
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    Sabreur Contributing Member Contributor

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    Easy choice, really. Getting drunk is stupid. Writing=good, drunkenness=slovenly and moronic.

    You made the right choice. When your friend's come up with something that is actually fun and doesn't involve poisoning your body, go for it.
     
  9. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    No. Neveeeeeeeeeeerrrrrr!

    My writing makes me happy because I'm never at a loose end. If I'm depressed it's not due to the writing.

    There are hardly enough hours in the day to cram in all my work and family commitments as well as writing, but it's a great, comforting thing to know that my alternative universe is always there for me. I hadn't realised that it was what was missing in my life during the 15 years that I hardly wrote anything. Now I feel myself again.

    And during my coffee breaks/pauses for research and thought, I can check out WF!
     
  10. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Life carries obligations, often of our own making. I started a family at a young age and had to work in a crap job to keep food on the table. I didn't complain. As the kids grew, I coached soccer, helped with homework and suffered in silence at school plays and "musical" recitals. Again, I didn't complain. Even since the "kids" became adults, I am obligated to spend evenings at family get-togethers, birthday parties and holiday events. No complaints.

    In those early years, writing came during quiet times in motel rooms as I traveled in business or as a professional tournament angler...or late at night when the house got quiet. Yes, I went to work sleepy more than a few times. But, my real life commitments were of my own choice, so writing had to snatch free hours wherever I found them.

    Today, I rigidly define my writing time and close the door to my study. That signal tells the family--Dad is busy. Do not disturb! They HATE when I do that, calling me "anti-social", "Dad's on another writing binge" or "He doesn't love us anymore...LOL". Funny how all the negatives go away when I buy them birthday presents, loan them money or cook the Thanksgiving turkey. But, my writing is a high priority today instead of the low priority it was when I tended to life commitments I made in my younger years. Therein lies the answer to your sadness dilemma...priorities. Life demands we pick and choose. It's great that you have an opportunity to choose between two things you enjoy. If you find yourself lamenting your choice, then perhaps you made the wrong choice. But, if you know you made the right choice, then don't complain about it...enjoy it!
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    nope!... never has...

    what does make me sad now [since i stopped being a 'commercial' writer], is being a writer/philosopher, as that means i can't ignore all the wrongness/evils in this benighted, man-made world of ours... and because no matter how much i write about it, or how many my writings may enlighten, since the race as a whole will not change, nothing will ever get any better, overall... siiiiiigh........................
     
  12. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    The fear of failure makes me sad. I want to be an author so much, and yet I don't know when it's "the right time" to begin a Novel. My previous attempts have left me shaking my head and tossing the first 20k or so out the nearest window, wasting it completely before it's even begun. Just wondering what my first decent Novel will be is scary. Will anyone like my work, or am I doomed to waste what I've been thinking of all these years as my 'talent' ?

    Another problem is figuring out my style - I thought i'd absolutely loathe all 'Paranormal Romance' novels until I decided to read Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris (The saga which TRUEblood is based on), which I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed. I'm now realising just how much I love vampires - both in films and literature. Suddenly, writing a vampire novel seems like a great idea.

    Now, if I can change my opinion so easily, then how do I know it's right for me?

    I just don't know. I'm so excited to get started, but it could be the begining of the end aswell. I guess all writers have gone through this.
     
  13. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ah, the tempest of youth. I remember it well. Everything was exciting...enticing. All that was new promised adventure. And, along with these fresh breaths of opportunity came the first hints of my limitations. What limits, you ask? Those that cause pause when youthful enthusiasm discovers the drudgery of accomplishment. That's right. Success is work. How does that old expression go? "Success is ten percent inspiration and ninety percent perspiration." I don't know who to give credit for that tidbit of wisdom, but even if it was not so clearly stated, it becomes evident to all of us as we journey through life.

    Sweet Ashleigh, so young, so full of passion for life, enjoy the flight of the butterfly. Flit from flower to flower tasting the nectar from each color, size and texture. For it is this very act, the indulgence of impulse, that ultimately grows a young person into a towering success. You'll find the right flower, but only if you taste enough in the field. And when you find that perfect pollen, nothing will stop you from devouring it to its fullest. Trust yourself. When the time is right to complete that first serious novel, you'll know...and it will happen. Until then, have fun.
     
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  14. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thank you :redface: Very, very good advice. And so beautifully put too! +rep
     
  15. writewizard
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    writewizard Contributing Member

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    I'm sad sometimes because I don't get enough time writing. ;). As for your opinon of alchohol - I agree. One of my best friend's parents are alchoholic and I will never touch the bottle because of him.
     

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