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I think writing is taking over my life

(13 Posts)
monkeytree Wed 05-Apr-17 12:37:35


I am writing a novel but it is based on something bad that happened to me - some of it is almost a memoir and the content is quite heavy and emotive. But I find it very therapeutic and I have discovered that I prefer to spend my free time with it rather than being with friends. Given the choice, I'd rather spend time alone in a coffee shop writing my book than spend time talking to a friend but then I see groups of women in the coffee shop and think I have become rather strange. Perhaps you could say my friends aren't all that good then if I don't rush out to see them. I do make a bit of time for them but my writing comes first and I am spending endless hours editing my first draft.

Has anyone else found that they have become quite insular since writing? I know it would be good to get this book out of my system and get on with other things and I have got plans to write about some more light hearted things, I'm just amazed how I've become so into writing. Perhaps I am someone who finds it easier to put things down on paper than express them in words. I have received therapy incidentally so I have spoken about the issues I write about. Just wondered if anyone can relate?

RidingRossPoldark Wed 05-Apr-17 17:46:25

I prefer a day writing in solitude to same old chatter with friends TBH but once I've done the work, I don't mind an evening or two with wine and girlie catch up. I don't like socialising that much though, I think a lot of writers are ok with their own company. However, important to keep a balance. Time away helps the writing, makes you see through fresh eyes. People watching gives you inspiration for writing too. Nothing wrong with becoming engrossed in your book though-it's what will make you finish it! Whatever works for you and makes you happy...

monkeytree Wed 05-Apr-17 21:06:57

Hi there
Thanks for responding to my post, I thought it was just me who preferred writing over chatter. I think the thing is I only have limited time - I have two dc's one is at school and the other is at pre-school and doing half days, so this time is precious in terms of solid writing time. TBH I never have masses to talk about with friends really because I am writing most of the time but I can spend a long time talking at the writing group I belong to and not all of the discussion is about writing. I think I have become more choosy about how I spend my time and I have even attended social events for writing inspiration. I've got a couple of social evenings planned so I'm not totally reclusive!
I'm so glad I've found writing!

Witchend Wed 05-Apr-17 22:47:39

I've found when I have an idea and write it I go very focussed and can't wait to write the next bit. When I'm away from the computer I'm imagining the next bit and thinking about how I can sort out another bit.
I do similar when sewing though-if I'm making something I'm enjoying I do block everything else out.
Dh has been known to walk in and see that nothing's been done and say "ah. What are you making?" blush

GetAHaircutCarl Thu 06-Apr-17 14:24:50

Writing is ludicrously time consuming.

If you're fitting it in around other responsibilities, then something has to give. You have to prioritise it above something. And someone will always be along to tell you that you've chosen to ditch the wrong thing, trust me.

Chavelita Fri 07-Apr-17 21:50:54

Yup, something has to give. I'm currently short-changing my marriage, my five year old, my job and my sleep. grin

monkeytree Sun 09-Apr-17 08:55:24

Chavelita, your post made me smile, writing can get like this can't it. I'm very guilty for nipping off to my study to write when I should be doing other things; like now!

Dontwaketheneighbours Mon 10-Apr-17 17:27:21

I can totally relate monkey, when I'm into my writing it takes over my life. Everything becomes about getting the words down on paper. I'd rather write than do anything when I'm in that frame of mind - my poor husband and child blush. But I find once I get the first draft down I can temper my enthusiasm slightly. It's hard with a family and work though to get quality writing time.

monkeytree Mon 10-Apr-17 20:53:32

My friends don't 'get' the writing bug and humour me I think. My dh recognises that writing is important to me thankfully. He has been helping me to carve out a bit of time now the Easter hols are here but Because of the hols using any time to write doesn't come guilt free! Nevertheless I am enjoying doing activities with my children and try to remain present with them and in the zone rather than letting my mind drift to the writing, I am finding it's addictive! I'm hoping that once my story is told (it is important to me, I don't mind how commercially viable it is) any other future writing is not going to take over in quite the same way. I feel as if my novel /story found me not the other way round.

plutohasfeelingstoo Wed 12-Apr-17 07:16:01

Monkey I'm like this too, I'm half way through an mg novel and there's nothing else I'd rather be doing. I work from 5-7 everyday before dcs get up. I almost feel angry when I'm forced to give up writing time to socialise (weekend) which is why I barely do anymoreconfused

monkeytree Wed 12-Apr-17 20:45:26

Wow Pluto that's dedication, I'm not a morning person so it wouldn't work for me - more of a night owl but I really admire you doing that. I have been out and about with dcs this Easter hols (quite rightly) but I'm starting to feel irritable now and I think it's because I've not had much writing space. The responses to this thread has left me feeling less alone, I thought it was just me who preferred to write!

plutohasfeelingstoo Thu 13-Apr-17 08:55:33

To be honest i think if I had more time I'd do more procrastination and maybe wouldn't even get as much done. I'm able to do on average 1k words a day at this rate which is great but I'm sure it won't last. I love the mornings before chaos descends. I know what you mean about feeling irritable, it happens to me too and it's hard to carve out time. Life gets in the way ! Your novel sounds interesting, how much have you got done? I'm determined to finish a first draft so I can really work on mine. I'm giving myself a deadline of the end of May.... ambitious but we'll see!

monkeytree Thu 13-Apr-17 18:42:06

Hi Pluto
It's a historical novel with an age old theme but actually quite contemporary too (I don't want to reveal too much). I have got the first draft down - it came in at around 78,000 words now wrestling with second edit and so far have completed prologue and first chapter. I've not shown it to anyone yet - I think it may have quite a narrow appeal and tackles quite a sensitive issue so even asking someone to read it who would understand or could relate and say actually that's not quite right or a bit too insensitive etc is going to be a tricky issue. I belong to a small writing group but no-one there writes in a similar genre. Still, I'm plodding on with it, I think the book is more for me than anyone else and my second draft seems much improved on my first though there is still work to do. I'm trying to edit one chapter every fortnight, that too might be quite ambitious but gives me a goal. I think I often feel overwhelmed and that throws me into procrastination mode and I end up here on mumsnet or other websites browsing. I have entered a few short story competitions but never won anything and I think that has dented my confidence too so I've now stopped entering them and concentrating fully on the novel and keep in mind I am doing it for me.

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