1. laciemn
    Offline

    laciemn Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    4

    Obsessed, ruining my social life

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by laciemn, Jan 15, 2011.

    I think I have a problem.

    Right now I'm not writing and I haven't for about 5 days. The problem is I'm obsessed with it, and I'm always thinking that I SHOULD be writing. Except the problem is when I start writing daily, I become really obsessed...I forget about my hobbies and friends and get really snappy towards people who "interrupt" me. I don't know if this is healthy for me or not.

    But I don't know what else to do! It eats at me if I don't. There have been a few times in my life when I was able to not write and feel okay about it, like I was really passionate about cooking and stopped writing. And this other time I was making websites and testing out lots of software and I didn't think much about writing then.

    The hardest thing is my friends. I mean, I don't mind losing other hobbies so much, but I don't want to ignore my social life, but I can't help it when I'm "working." Does anyone have these kinds of problems?
     
  2. Mallory
    Offline

    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Messages:
    4,274
    Likes Received:
    191
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    Pick a time to write where you can turn off your phone, etc and just focus on writing. Maybe on weekday evenings after work, or on Saturdays early in the day before you go out with friends. Set aside a 4-hour block of time or something to focus on writing and treat it like it's an appointment you've made. Then, go have fun with the girls after without feeling guilty.

    Make some friends who also like to write. Then your hanging out nights can also consist of writing and bouncing ideas around.
     
  3. KrisG
    Offline

    KrisG Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    1
    Not so much, if anything, I have to coax myself to write! As much as I might have ideas, there is always something else on my mind.

    If I were you, I would try and make a schedule, because it does sound like your writing is affecting your social life, which believe me, is not good!
    Try and make time for both, as it will benefit both!

    Edit: Mallory beat me too it, but pointed out some great things, you should take her advice!
     
  4. Manav
    Offline

    Manav Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2010
    Messages:
    839
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Imphal, India
    Socializing and doing other things is one way of improving your writing, after all what we experienced in life is reflected in our writings (including fantasy stories) in some way or the other, and your writing will be all the more richer because of it. So, treat socializing and other things as part of the writing process.
     
  5. JohnathanRS
    Offline

    JohnathanRS Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not trying to be rude, but there are a few contradictions in your story. I don't believe the word, “obsessed” is valid in this case, because you obviously have gotten away from it if you haven't written in five days. Just because you are thinking about it, doesn't make you obsessed. It's natural to dwell on something that you put so much time into.

    I don't know your schedule, but writing and hanging out with your friends is still pretty much achievable. The problem most have is called procrastination. Some like to think it's writers block, but to me, theirs a clear difference between the two.

    An example: 3000 words a day for 5 days a week/2 days of rest.

    3000 x 5 = 15,000 (1 week)
    15000 x 4 = 60,000 (1 month) (Btw, Nano requirements for a month of writing is only 50,000. They factor in vacation days on top of weekends.)

    80-120k is the basic length of a novel. That means it takes 2 months to complete a novel. Of course, most have to re-read and edit and re-write which takes longer, but this is simply to finish the basic layout.

    To write 3k words in a day is quite easy, especially if you are a fan of simply “writing.” You could still hold a full time job, hang out with your friends for the afternoon, and then at night, finish this requirement in three hours.

    When it comes to your problem regarding, “it eats at me if I don't write” then it's simple, tell your friends you got work to do and go do it. There is no golden rule that says you have to hang out with your friends everyday. If they are real friends, they will understand. If not, then are they really your real friends? Sounds more like acquaintances to me. Most want a social aspect in their life when they hit thirty+ besides family/loved ones. They go out and meet people and assume that they are their friends. In reality, their usually all doing similar things and are acquaintances. Not saying that this is your case. Most lose sight of friends when they get married and have kids. Keep in mind, this is simply my opinion. But I hope this helped, I am no expert on the subject.
     
  6. laciemn
    Offline

    laciemn Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    4
    Thanks, guys...I don't know if it is that simple though. I have had limits I've imposed on myself, like write 2 hours a day, but I notice my anxiety increases as I get closer and closer the the 2 hours. And then when it's over...I think to myself that I should just keep doing it because I don't have anything else to do. I don't have a lot of responsibilities in my life and I tend to blow them off for some reason. I don't know if it's the actual writing that is the problem, or the fact that I seem to completely change personalities. For example when not writing, I'm always goofing off, getting high, doing stupid ****, drinking, going out, getting into a lot of trouble...
    Of course after a while I start feeling guilty. That's when everything becomes a problem.

    The "change" happens when I get serious about writing again. I don't allow myself any room for anything else at all. I can't relax. I feel amazing though for a while and get into all these projects, and then it seems like I become this other person who can't think of anything besides finishing this or reviewing that, or whatever. I think about my "priorities" and put everything below writing. It doesn't make sense. I quit eating before and quit sleeping. It's absolutely insane...I think I must be insane.

    Sometimes I feel like if I stopped completely, I would be able to move out of this cycle that I'm in...other times I just think I'd end up some washed up loser with nothing.
     
  7. Mallory
    Offline

    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Messages:
    4,274
    Likes Received:
    191
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    So write, it's way more fun and productive than getting stoned and feeling crummy the next day. ;) I mean who says you have to stop at the end of 2 hours.
     
  8. laciemn
    Offline

    laciemn Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    4
    This is true. Sometimes I just feel there's something wrong with how I put it ahead of other things...people specifically. I feel guilty for not "being there" and you know how friends get whenever you change. I mean mostly they get over it but I always feel like I'm hurting them.

    It's certainly better than dealing with all the legal problems that come up when I'm with my friends :) Lol.
     
  9. tristan.n
    Offline

    tristan.n Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2010
    Messages:
    286
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Overland Park, KS
    Story of my life. Hardly any responsibilities, I obsess over writing when I'm not doing it, and I get myself into trouble when I'm not writing. I wish I knew more people who loved to write... I feel too nerdy when I ask my friends if I should use a semicolon or a comma and they just stare at me. lol
     
  10. tristan.n
    Offline

    tristan.n Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2010
    Messages:
    286
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Overland Park, KS
    I always wake up feeling spectacular! haha
     
  11. laciemn
    Offline

    laciemn Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    4
    I think there must be a way to have both, somehow. I know it sounds ridiculous to some people. But whenever I'm with my friends it feels like nothing else matters and I end up messing all my plans up. I think that's why I get so anti-social when writing.
     
  12. laciemn
    Offline

    laciemn Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    4
    I think you misunderstood what I'm asking for. I'm not asking for advice to get over writer's block. If I wanted to start writing, I just would, but I'm not sure if I should because I develop some somewhat unhealthy habits whenever I begin writing on a regular basis. Like I mentioned after I get really deep into a project sometimes I don't eat or sleep, and miss appointments, and things like that.

    I've been 5 days without writing OR seeing my friends...and I'm confused about my priorities, because I kind of feel like I have to choose between one or the other. I guess you just don't get that the two, for me, just don't go together very well. If I don't hang out every day they basically get pissed and think I'm not their friend anymore, and then it makes me think that I don't want to even bother talking to them because they'll be angry at me for having something more important than they are...
     
  13. lemurkat
    Offline

    lemurkat Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New Zealand
    I made my time to write by getting up an hour earlier (5am *shudders*) for the entire month of November, to work on my NaNo novel. Some mornings the words would flow out from me and I'd have to remember to stop, have a shower and eat breakfast (oh and go to work) and other days I'd sit and stare at a blank screen for ten minutes then go check my facebook. It evened out in the end and I finished the story with almost a week to spare (didn't make it to the 50k though, ran out of story first, had to add in an appendix).
     
  14. laciemn
    Offline

    laciemn Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    4
    Too bad we aren't RL friends huh? It'd probably help if I did have some friends with something in common other than we all smoke and drink...lol.

    I'm not really blaming the booze or weed. In fact I can smoke up and write after that easily. And I don't even drink at all unless I'm with my friends so there ya go.

    I think it's just my lifestyle. It's out of control no matter what I do. If I hermit myself indoors all day I still have problems and if I don't I have even more problems, although sometimes I'm able to forget about when I'm outside the house with people, drinking and stuff.
     
  15. tristan.n
    Offline

    tristan.n Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2010
    Messages:
    286
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Overland Park, KS
    Well, since this works for me with just about any situation, I would suggest having some emergency chocolate around. Whoever thinks that chocolate is only necessary one out of every four weeks is totally wrong. lol
     
  16. Trilby
    Offline

    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,098
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    NE England
    You need to be out and about to improve your writing skills, meeting new people (is the chance to pick up on character or at least character traits) visiting new places (if it's only a different pub in a different part of town) is the chance to to pick up on settings, atmosphere etc.

    If you are working on a particular piece of writing and need to meet a deadline - comp. or whatever - then of course don't miss the deadline, true friends if you explain to them, will understand that you may need to stay in over the weekend. But if you keep turning down invitations just for writing's sake then they will eventually get fed up and stop calling you.

    You need to devote time to your writing. But you also need to keep time aside for your friends.

    Some writers have been known to live the lonely life of a recluse, do you want that?

    Go out, let your hair down and enjoy yourself, but as a true writer keep your mind alert, eyes and ears open and always be on the lookout for those little gems that will make a difference to your writing.

    Enjoy your weekend;)
     
  17. Melzaar the Almighty
    Offline

    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,792
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    UK
    To be honest, your friends don't really sound that awesome if all you have in common with them is the partying. :p Cool people to go hang out with once a week to chill out, perhaps. Writers need loner friends who understand them - I made all my best friends by scooping up the people who no one else would hang out with, and we're all still best buddies, and 3-4 of them are writers as well, so they understand when I want to spend a week holed up in my room - AND we have stuff to talk about when we do hang out. :p You've drawn a huge division between your friends and writing, which can't be helping. Creating a conflict in your head will never help you get anything done. I figure if you're really just hanging with your friends for a drunken laugh you should set them aside for that purpose when you want to do that, and not feel obliged to always be with them.

    But I'm just a lonely miser who sits in her room writing and only sees friends when invited out, or when I have to go to a lecture, so why would I know? :p
     
  18. Trilby
    Offline

    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,098
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    NE England
    Melz, it is up to the individual, who they hang around with and how they choose to spend their spare time, be it partying or mountain climbing.
     
    1 person likes this.
  19. UberNoodle
    Offline

    UberNoodle Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am also spending far too much time on writing, or at least TRYING to write. For example, today, as what has become typical for me in the last year, I try to write, something, anything, and nothing comes out. Nothing good anyway. Truly, I've been creatively constipated for about 13 years. So I too realise that writing is not only affecting other aspects of my life, but it is no longer bringing me much joy.
     
  20. VM80
    Offline

    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,211
    Likes Received:
    43
    Location:
    UK
    I think you may need to re-evaluate some of your friendships. People who lead you only into trouble are not friends...

    You've had some good advice about setting up a writing schedule from some of the other posters. I was going to suggest something similar.

    Hopefully you'll find some balance that allows for lots of writing time & time spent with friends.

    Do you know some like-minded people who also write?
     
  21. yuriicide
    Offline

    yuriicide Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    1
    This is making me really envious hehe. I wish I had more time to write, life is taking it's toll on me.
     
  22. Melzaar the Almighty
    Offline

    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,792
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    UK
    I know... Just saying, since it's created such a big psychological divide, and in my opinion they're the more unhealthy half of the divide. :p
     
  23. Clumsywordsmith
    Offline

    Clumsywordsmith Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    4
    On the flip side, for some of us the idea of living anything but the lonely life of a recluse is a horrifying one. Some people (the large majority of humans, actually) are quite extraverted, and for them the idea of anyone who gains joy out of solitary confinement will forever remain a mystery. For others, however, there is hardly anything more pleasant than the idea of being sequestered far away from the crush of the crowd. There is a rather noted difference between being lonely and simply being alone.

    It was perhaps one of my least favourite parts about college: I made a great many acquaintances, but not really a single friend (except for a few of my highly introverted roommates.). There came a time where I simply had to set my priorities straight -- and as poorly as many of my acquaintances took it -- those priorities did not tend to include them. As others have said, the real friends will learn to take you for what you are, and won't try to change you or drag you out when you're busy enjoying isolation.

    The acquaintances will just drift away, which is probably where they belonged in the first place.

    I have experienced both the hectic insanity of a rich and varied social life, and the quiet solitude of a "loner". In retrospect, while I do enjoy the occasional mingling with the masses, so to speak, I remain much happier on my own.
     
  24. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    writing is by its very nature a solitary occupation, so if you really want to be a professional writer, it will have to take precedence over your social life...

    that's what serious writers have had to do since humans first made writing an art form...

    if you can be satisfied writing as a hobby, then you can have it all... if not, keep in mind that you don't owe friends your life... if they're truly friends, they'll understand and be satisfied with whatever little bits of time you have to spare them... if some/all are not, then you've found out who's a true friend and losing the 'not's will be no great loss, will it?

    obsessing over it isn't healthy, however...
     
  25. laciemn
    Offline

    laciemn Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    4
    Thanks guys. I've started writing today and I'm not freaking out or changing or anything, like I still took care of the house and pets without even thinking about ignoring them. I think taking a break for 20 minutes or so every hour is helpful.
    I answered the phone and went to bed like a normal person. As far as friends...well yeah sometimes they are a bit stupid but you know...I know I've kept around for some reason. I mean we may grow apart as I get more serious, but maybe one day they'll get serious about something and understand a little better about "what's my problem."
     

Share This Page