Saturday, October 23, 2010

Stepping Out of the Writer Cave

(Another mobile blog post-- ack!! I fool myself into thinking I'm multi-tasking if I'm not sitting down at the computer *grin*)

The Writer Cave.

Writer friends probably know what I'm talking about... it's a time warp. Five hours melt away in the space of re-reading the same scene/query letter/synopsis... or when things are flowing, chapters fly beneath our fingers. There's little concern for things like sleep or hunger-- those are annoying distractions, burdensome necessities of our human existence. We emerge, squinting and ravenous, probably in desperate need of a bathroom.

But that's only the deepest level of the writer cave. I make my way up through the cave, still immersed in the writing world. Blogs, twitter, agent research... critique partner emails, phone calls, meeting up for lunch to talk out our plot issues... all of that, while not a direct part of my current story, still keeps me connected. I'm in the writer world. On some level, I'm still in that writer cave.

For me, it's important to step completely away sometimes. Maybe that's why I don't tell my non-writer friends that I write books and am pursuing publication. Not that it's a tightly guarded secret or anything!! Anyone can Google my name and find their way to my writing-- and yes, a friend or two has-- but I don't let it become a big deal. I've learned that letting too many people into the writer cave makes it a bit too crowded.

With that in mind, I'm stepping out for the day and meeting three non-writer friends for a girls' day ~happy dance~ I do LOVE talking about writing and hashing out plot issues and meeting up with writer friends too, but sometimes it's good to get in touch with other parts of who I am. Maybe with a day at the beach or a trip to some touristy part of town, or just going to my mom's and watching Steel Magnolias while we eat too many cookies-- whatever it is, I think the writer part of my brain absorbs it all and is better for it.

What about you? Do you ever feel sealed up too tight in the writer cave? Stepping out can be hard... writing is such a big part of who we are. What do you do when you come out?

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile


  1. I know what you mean! Although sometimes I struggle more in the other direction - I have a lot of interests, so it's sometimes hard to sit down and get into the right mental space.

  2. I don't often feel too sealed up in the writer-cave, but I have felt too overexposed to critique and opinions and had to retreat deeper and just work things out on my own, because I felt kind of like I had lost my own gut instincts and needed to take a break to find my center again. That usually means unplugging and working on something totally different for a while.

    I'm glad you got out for a girl's day! I am totally jealous :) One of my friends owes me one, but we just haven't been able to make it happen with our schedules. Sigh. SOMEDAY!

  3. Rachel- Having a lot of interests is a very good thing! The more you do in your real life, the richer your writing is, I think :)

    Amalia- I know what you mean about over-exposure to critiques :( Normally I try to be very careful with the number of people who look at my writing. As for the girl's day... this was a long time coming! Our schedules ALWAYS conflicted, but somehow the stars aligned this time! :)

  4. Yes, sometimes I feel like that. I tend to watch a movie or go to dinner with a friend who doesn't write. That always helps. Plus, I also go to school, so I see lots of people there who don't write =)

  5. *angry eyes* I commented on this post. Where's my comment?