But now, let's get into the Challenge.
My theme for this year is The Things All Writers Should Know About Being Writers. I'm starting with a biggie.
Unless you're doing a co-writing project, this is probably going to be the word that best describes your writing experience.
There are other words (aggravating, satisfying, challenging, ambitious, for example) that also work, but if it comes down to it, writing is a solitary experience. Yes, you're still going to go outside and live life. You've still got your family and friends.
There comes a time, though, that you're going to have to withdraw from it all (even if for only a few hours) so that you can get some words down.
When you're new to this writing gig, you're probably going to find that no one else understands this. They will want to draw you into their activities, to distract you with things like wanting some of your time. And even if they're supportive of your writing, they still won't understand the amount of blood, sweat and tears that actually goes into a story.
They definitely won't understand what compels you to withdraw in the first place.
You're going to try to explain it and will probably fail. My own family has accused me of being anti-social, a hermit, of thinking myself better than them, of losing all outside interests etc etc back when I was starting out with seriously writing to finish a project. Were they right? More often than not, no. Basically, they were worried about me because I, a TV addict, had suddenly stopped watching TV in the evenings and withdrew after work and dinner so that I could write.
Because in the end, no matter how social we try to make writing by connecting to other writers, writing is a solitary activity.
Just don't take it too far, though. Don't begrudge life for taking you away from your writing for a few short hours. It's easy to become so absorbed in our writing that we don't want to do anything else. But the good memories are made by doing things with those you love.
So make sure that you're never so alone that you don't really live.
Veteran writers: How do you keep life balanced with withdrawing to write?
New writers: Have you been struggling with this?
Heads-up! I've changed my comment form to pop-ups because the embedded version seems to be giving some people trouble. Word verification is turned off, though, so you can ignore the block that says "Prove you're not a robot." Sadly, I can't seem to remove it. Stupid Blogger.