Tuesday, April 3, 2012

How Writing Effects Everyday Life

You may be able to take a break from writing, but you won't be able to take a break from being a writer. - Stephen Leigh.

Truer words have never been spoken. How many stories do you see on the way to work? Around your house? In your dreams? I'd be willing to bet it's more than you can count. There's just some part of a writer (I'm generalizing here) that just can't not be working on writing, thinking about writing, or telling you that you need to get back to your computer and type. It infects our day-to-day lives.

Clearest example in my own life: I decided to take an oceanography class because I thought it might help me understand tides and sea currents better, so I could then use the information in Griffin's Song and Wind Chaser. Lots of water in those books. Walking around campus I look at people and file away expressions and features to use in characters. I think of how I could use the sights, sounds, and smells in a setting. How that setting would be different. And I try to construct stories out of what I learn - okay partly because sometimes I get bored in class. But the point is that storytelling is always in my mind, even if it's on the periphery.

I'll end on this note: A writer never has a vacation. For a writer life consists of either writing or thinking about writing. - Eugene Ionesco

How does writing effect your everyday life?


  1. I really liked your opening quote! One of the most frustrating things is having all these wonderful stories floating around in our brains and not having the time to get them all out on paper.

  2. True that. There are no breaks. It such a thing of the mind, and it requires such immersion, that you really are never away from it.

    Writing affects my everyday in interesting ways - sometimes it's just guilt over not writing when I could be writing. But a lot of the time it's similar to what you've talked about, which is why I read so many information books, in the hope of gathering in that New Idea that will change my next novel for the brilliant.

  3. At this point my writing has become so entwined with my everyday life that it's hard to tease the two apart. I'm not sure there's anything that I do deliberately as a result of being a writer, but at the same time a lot of stuff that I'd be doing anyway gets adopted by my writing mind. Like the time to think while walking the dogs or driving places, these days I spend most of the time plotstorming. I couldn't tell you what it was I thought about before. And my life sneaks into my stories without meaning to - Ryanne and her horses, or my newest character is a birder. It wasn't deliberate, it was just the way the story wrote itself.

    I think it's your closing quote that sums it up best for me. Life is writing, thinking about writing, and those tasks that allow you to do neither and which irritate the heck out of you as a result.