Living as a Writer

Happy Monday! I hope you all had an excellent weekend.

Today I want to talk about what it's like to live as a writer. But not exactly about the part of it that you're probably thinking of. When us writers talk about living as writers, we usually talk about:

1. the number of caffeinated drinks we consume per day
2. the number of minutes hours we spend on twitter
3. the number of meals we miss
4. the number of words we did or didn't write
5. the number of times we wanted to rip our hair out or haul our laptops at a window

And so on.

And that's an important part of being a writer. Whether we're stuck in the drafting cave or the revision cave, we're bound to have days where those five things make us either unwilling or relieved to get some sleep at night.

But there's another part to living as a writer. And it's something I don't see people mention a whole lot, which makes me worried. Because it's super important.

What part? you ask.

The part where you "x" out of twitter, close your laptop, go outside, and actually live and see the world.

I think as writers, we tend to think that words are the most important thing. That any day where we don't bust out 2k or tweet at least fifty things or outline two new novel ideas is a catastrophe for our human condition.

But I disagree. I think we're missing out. Not just on parties, dates, and other social events, but on stories. The very fodder we could use to write more books. And every story doesn't have to be a book--sometimes a story can simply be a story, one that we tell our kids about or document in photos, or cling to when the going gets rough.

There's a whole world outside, after all. There are adventures to be had, in the starlight and on the streets drenched in rays of sun. And, I promise you, many of these adventures are just as good if not better than the ones we write about and read about in books.

I know writing can be a great escape. I know it's a beautiful form of expression and it can make for the best kind of day, but I think we'll become better writers if we set aside other days for more worldly endeavors.

Go for a drive, hike a trail in the wilderness, hang out at a park, watch some meteors fall, laugh with your friends at a restaurant in the evening, have a movie night.

Step away from your computer and your words for a little while. Just live.

The words won't disappear.

Some of my favorite places I've visited out in the world:


  1. Living as a writer is also a lot more than just writing. It's putting on your marketing hat, getting out there and helping your publisher promote your books, it's approaching your writing as your business. So a writer doesn't just write, they are also entrepreneurs, selling the written word.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Absolutely! I see it as recharging the mental batteries, as essential to writing as keeping the laptop charged up. :) And lovely photos by the way.

  4. I have a tag on my blog called distractions about all the things I do that has nothing to do with writing but everything to do with it because all those distractions, such as traveling or simply taking a walk, leads to inspiration.

  5. So true. And hey, where are your two last pictures taken?

  6. Yup :) It is because of various "adventures" I became a writer :)

  7. I LOVE this post. This is something I've been thinking about a lot lately. Because, really, we won't be able to write anything worthwhile unless we fill ourselves with worthwhile things, right? You can't draw water out of a dry well and [insert all the other metaphors here].

  8. I really appreciate you saying this actually because for the past few months, I made a life change. While I am still taking writing seriously and trying to write every single day if possible, I have also been trying to maintain a social life. I go out 3-4 times a week and have been making friends. Not just with my fiance, but with other people as well.

    Yesterday, I did zero writing because I was talking on the phone and going out to dinner with people and went to a book club. It felt good and made me happier, but a part of me felt bad because I got no writing done.

    I appreciate this post because I need to keep all aspects of my life balanced. I really want to live life to the fullest.