Friday, April 18, 2014

How to Be a Writer and Keep Your Friends

If you're like me, then you probably stay home most days. Like, everydayyoupossiblycan. I've always been okay with being home by myself and not talking for hours, but over the last few years, I've gotten much worse. When I was single and living in Downtown Sacramento, it was easy to get away with staying in. People never really noticed, and if they did, they never really cared. Friends would bug me every now and again to go out, and I'd make up an excuse that involved not having money and such. Which was partially true. Actually, the no-money-thing is more true today than it was then, but anyway.

But I'm not that single-hermit-girl anymore. I'm married and have a husband who reminds me that I have to be a human being sometimes. I'm a daughter and a friend and a co-worker. I'm all these things to people who expect me to BE who they want me to be. I'm supposed to go out and have a good time and laugh and whatever else normal people do. I'm supposed to listen and react and say something that matters. But these things don't come easy for me. It's hard to explain to the outside world, but I know YOU understand, my friends.

Being a writer means there's always something needing to be done. There's always another chapter, or another deadline, or another shiny book idea. You're always thinking and plotting and itching to tap your fingers against the fading keys of your keyboard. Sometimes you're stuck on Act II and your characters suddenly come to life in your head and everything clicks! Sometimes you want to be able to drop whatever is it your doing and run home to flesh out the words, but you can't. You can't because you're supposed to be available. You're supposed to be human.

I forget that sometimes. I forget that I'm not the only person in my quiet little world. That I'm supposed to interact and show the people I love most that they matter. And just because I'm okay with being locked inside all day, every day, doesn't mean that my family and friends are.

So I force myself to go out. And, yes, I mean force myself. But not in a bad way, though it sounds that way. I have to tell myself that it's okay to let things go. For another day. Maybe two. Because even when that book has come to an end, it's the people on the outside waiting to share their stories with me.

I'm writing this for myself, and for you, as a reminder. It's easy for us to lose sight of the things that are the most important. Because even though that lingering deadline is staring us down like a fire-breathing dragon, we have to be able to battle it 'til the death, while still maintaining our muggle form.

So go out today, maybe even tomorrow (hell, why not both days!), and be a human being. There are so many story ideas out there, waiting to be discovered. We just have to leave our comfy little writing caves in order to find them.

Heather Marie is a YA writer who loves all things creepy. She enjoys writing horror/supernatural stories that make you question that feeling of someone watching over your shoulder. Heather spends most of her days reading and writing and plotting her next idea. When she's not in her writing cave, she enjoys watching creepy TV shows with her husband and picking apart plot holes in movies.

Her YA debut, THE GATEWAY THROUGH WHICH THEY CAME, releases August 25th, 2014 from Curiosity Quills.

You can find her on Twitter @:
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3 secret replies:

  1. This is a very good thing to remember. Also, writers need contacts and supporters beyond their most intimate circles and they exist (disregarding internet) outside.

  2. I was reassured by both Fay Weldon and Beryl Bainbridge reporting such a lifestyle

  3. This is so true! I can't tell you how many times my friends are like LETS GO! Your coming out tonight! And I kind of hunch over and give puppy dog eyes like noooooooooooooo I just have to write a little bit more. This response generally earns me a lot of eye rolls bahahaha