Come out of your writer’s cave and keep in touch with reality

We writers have a habit of going all ‘solitary confinement’ every once in a while. We hole ourselves up in our writing caves, laptop at the ready with enough tea or coffee to last us that particular day, week, month or year.
It’s another unhealthy writing stereotype, I’m afraid. Quite often, we don’t need to shut ourselves off from the world. In fact, in almost all cases, the more we can keep in touch, the better off we are. That goes for the quality of our writing too.

In this episode I talk about why I think it’s important that writers make sure they come out of their caves on a regular basis.

As always, it’s as much a note to self as anything else. We all throw ourselves a little too hard at our writing, from time to time, and I’m no different.

It’s also worth mentioning that this was the second take of this episode. The first saw me interrupted, and then later attacked by a cat.

Watch this episode on Vimeo

  1. It all depends in what sort of mood I’m in when I write, if I need to be on my own I will find a quiet spot or go to the library, though most of the time I can write with the radio on, rabbit running around my feet, or sat on the sofa next to Becky (my wife) whilst she is doing something completely different. I’ve even been known to have a documentry on the laptop as I write, by the way I initially write with pen and paper before I go anywhere near the laptop.
    I will also take breaks during the day to pop onto forums, generally ones that are based around my writing subject (history and gaming) sometimes just to get involved with what’s going on and other times to bounce ideas with others, as well social networks and checking news sites. I’ve never been one to shut myself away whilst writing, I’ve never found that productive.

  2. Sometimes I think it’s quite necessary to lock myself in the Batcave (that’s what we call it at my house). Disconnecting from the world for a little bit allows me the distance to see why the copy is falling flat or fix that plot problem between two characters that’s been bugging me. My limit is three days, though. Showering, socializing and stepping outside the confines of my apartment are essential to maintaining long-term sanity and productivity, after all!

    1. Absolutely. Sometimes it’s necessary to shut yourself away and, you know, get stuff done! But I know some people who can end up doing that for days and weeks, which I reckon must be unhealthy for the writer’s mind! And you’re right, doing all the other stuff helps with productivity and keeps the ol’ brainbox ticking along nicely.

  3. There have been times when inspiration has come from outside, even though I spent hours inside trying to think of which direction to go in. It’s like when you’re looking for something and don’t it until you stop looking.

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