Isn’t it interesting and, oh so slightly ironic, that the worse communicators in the world tend to be writers. I don’t mean bad communication as in bad writing…I mean bad communication as in one on one, person to person type communicating. Note to writers – If your head is tilted slightly to the left and the noise coming from your mouth is “eh?” this one’s for you.
Technically we communicate all the freaking time. I write Johni’s lines, I write Sam’s lines and for gracious sake I have definitely put the words into the mouths of more than a few murderers…but somehow, face to face, I can get tongue tied. It’s the weirdest thing. So why do writers have such a hard time communicating verbally with “real” people? Well, the answer actually lies within the question… (how deep was THAT?), we aren’t really used to “real” people.
The life of a writer can be lonely. We have to do it alone because the people we work with are inside out heads. There are demands on our time that have to be fed. We have to listen to the voices who are telling the story. We have to separate ourselves from everyone living so we can take the time to create something that didn’t previously exist. We have to do the work on our own; no one can do it for us. It’s a solitary existence so if we happen to forget how to communicate with actual people…well…folks just have to be patient.
So what can we do to ensure that we don’t lose touch with actual humans? Here are a few suggestions:
Set your writing time – Make time to do other things don’t just write. If you set aside a time to write, then you can schedule in other things.
Take Sunday’s Off – As many of you know, I am a big believer in Reset Sundays. Use Sunday to rest your battery and do something totally unrelated to writing. Go play with the dog. Wash the car…just do something that gives you a chance to reset the writer.
Family time – You have to take time for your family otherwise the kids will come in from a date one night and call the cops on “that strange guy at the keyboard”. If your family has stopped recognizing you, spend more time with them.
Join a writer’s group – Find other writers. Okay, that might not qualify as “real” people since was are all in the same boat but at least you’d be having conversations with people who answer back OUT LOUD, not just inside your head.
These are just a few things you can do to ensure that you at least have some time with other humans. There are a few places that may seem to offer human contact that don’t, like the gym – people at a gym aren’t there to communicate, they are there to see other people who are more overweight than they are so they can feel better. Communication at the gym will be superficial at best. That’s why I avoid it at all costs…..where are those damn M & M’s?
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