Writers are often introverts. It is not so much that they don't like to be around people, though that can be true, it is more that writers find it easier to be inside their own heads where their stories lie. Writers like to hole up in their workspace and type out characters, and stories, and places of their imaginations. Or if they are a non-fiction writer, they like to hole up in their workspace and type out stories that already exist but have yet to be put into words.
Writers often struggle with the explanation part of the business of writing. They find it hard to explain what their book is about or how they wrote it. Writers just want to write and then send their story out into the universe. As we have discussed in previous posts that is not how the world works any more, and may never have worked. As a writer you have to talk about, and sell, your book in addition to writing it.
Then there is writing the book. How do you even begin? If you are a first time author, or even a veteran author, the process of writing is often difficult. People think that writers find it easy to sit down and do it; after all it is their profession. But, just like any other skill, it takes time to master, and it is still work. And, when you are holed up in your workspace typing out stories alone, it can feel daunting.
No wonder many writers of the past became drunks and recluses. So, what’s a writer to do? How does a person who often finds the stories in their head more interesting than actual human interaction, but is met with paralysis when they attempt to write those stories down, supposed to live a full and interactive life? The first step is to not take yourself and your work too seriously. You should write because you have stories to tell, and the act of releasing those stories into the world is freeing, albeit simultaneously terrifying.
The second step is to be involved in a writing community. It is beneficial not only to your psyche, but to your writing as well. Spending time with other writers will help you to see that you are not alone in writer’s block, in crippling fear of handing over a manuscript, in preference to your mind’s stories over real life. This is how almost every other writer feels. In addition, you will get to share your work with others who understand you. Not just because they will become your friends, but also because they are in the same line of work. Your writing ability will grow and you will have the opportunity to read other writers’ work.
Join a writer’s group, or start one yourself. Gather with a group of writers who reflect and compliment your own writing style. Struggle, and grow, and live life with this group. Trust me; you will see a difference in your writing and your own personal well-being.
Are you in a writing group? Share your experience with us in the comments section below.