Monday, July 19, 2010

Make room for life so you can write real

I got so busy this summer that I would spend hours and hours over the computer keyboard researching markets, blogging, facebooking, and writing. But at the end of the day, it was like waking up from a fog. What had happened during the day? I felt that, except for brief glimpses, I had missed my kids and everything that was going on in real time.

Then recently I read Rachelle Gardners's July 6th post, and it was a wake-up call. You need to live life and not just write about it. You have to get out there and do things. It's okay. Even if and especially if you're a writer, you have permission to live.

Someone recently told me that all successful writers had to be workaholics to become successful. This freely voiced opinion, spoken by a non-writing accountant, was based on experience that to get ahead in business, you had to be willing to set aside family, friends, and life in order to inject massive amounts of your daily time into whatever occupation you desire to succeed in.

At first I was irritated by this view point, but later I was simply amused. Not being a writer, this person didn't understand some simple truths of the writing lifestyle. You have to live life in some capacity in order to write about it. The human connection is as important to a writer as water is to a fish. If you don't immerse yourself in life on some level and continually connect with people and the world around you, there won't be a realness to your writing.

Perhaps an accountant can sit in front of a computer screen for 13 hours a day, but a writer cannot. Not and be able to produce the kind of writing she has to for her readers. This is why it's a good choice not to quit your day job as a writer. Your job provides interaction with life that allows you to write real.

So don't buy into the workaholic mentality. A writer needs to write daily and consistently, no doubt, but not 24/7. The nature of writing requires an ebb and flow like the tides of the ocean. It must come in; it must go out. Like breathing.

So take a deep breath today. And live. And then write about it. Write real.

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