The 1 thing that writers/bloggers need to know before they begin.

While I have loved my journey of blogging and writing so far, the one aspect of it that I wasn’t prepared for was how socially isolating it is!  It can be weighty for your average social butterfly like me.

mug, social butterfly, writing

I love social media and corresponding and working with fellow artists through my blog.  I email with so many people, Skype chat, we comment on each others blogs, Tweet and facebook and I have developed a great fondness for many of my readers and people that I collaborate with but it can still feel ‘impersonal’.  

I wish I could see you.

I wish I could talk to you.

I wish I could have you over for a coffee or a tea or ‘it’s 4:00 somewhere’ early afternoon drink.

it's 4 o clock somewhere, drinks, alcohol, parrot, margarieta

I still feel like something is missing at the end of it all.  I miss the fondness and warmth that can be expressed through oral words, to hear the laugh or the passion behind a voice.  I miss the depth that comes from eye contact and the warm gestures of touch.

I listen to my Mr. come home at the end of the day with his not so interesting ‘shop talk’ and I find mine lacking in comparison.   We already know and learn quite quickly as writers that not everybody wants to hear about our blogs, books or poetry on a daily basis.

blah, blah, blog, writing, socializing

When it comes to actually writing, not blogging, it’s even worse.  When you are inspired time just flies by as the words hit the page so it is not as noticeable. And yes, we have the comfort of our characters to keep us company but it is a lonely business, they don’t talk back.

writers block, humor, jokes, writing

I miss the social interactions of running a social club and organizations, I miss going for lunch and the sights and smells of the day.  I miss the random bits of information attained, the smiling eyes of passerby’s (heck even the mumbling grumbles would do right about now).   I’d even settle for the annoying, hovering boss right about now.

Thankfully, I have a large family and many friends and activities to keep me busy during the ‘off hours’.  On some days too busy, those days you can hear me ranting about not having enough time to write!  Longing for the solitude of writing.

Just consider yourself forewarned.  If you are socially isolating yourself as it is and you are thinking of becoming a writer or blogger, I strongly encourage you to set up a system that will help you stay or to become invested in, community, a tangible, ‘real life’ community.  Writing can be isolating and you run the risk of letting life pass on by.  Be sure you continue to live while you write.

After all they didn’t say ‘it takes a village to raise children’ for no reason.

Be a writer.

Be a blogger.

But remember to be a villager.

villager, outside world, socialization, community

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90 comments

  1. Johnny Ojanpera

    So true. I am reclusive by nature and tend to ignore my social life completely. Luckily, my best friend, whom I married a long time ago, is a social butterfly. She yanks me out of the house before I even know it might be necessary. Great point.

  2. Carpenter's Quill

    I recently re-entered the world as a ‘villager’. I agree with you – It is SO important to invest in the real world around you, while also making time for yourself to create. I need to put my phone down and really ‘play’ with my kiddo. Carve out time to call an old friend. Be active in the community. It’s a tough balance for sure, but tangible relationhips around me need some love too! Thank you for this!

    • Jennifer Writings of a Mrs

      You’re welcome Jessica. I think it’s a day to day thing to always remember. While sometimes I love to be engrossed in my writing other days I miss being connected with community on a daily basis (aside from the family of course, no escaping them 😉 ) lol
      The first step to action is realization.

      • The Irish Wench

        Yes it is a huge adjustment, I used to work non stop in a law firm until last fall and there is a big difference between your social life being over desks, clients and cubical walls to just a computer screen! 🙂

  3. rod

    This is a excellent. If you grow up mostly on your own, then you don’t miss the social aspect so much (well I don’t),
    but living a virtual life would not be such a great idea. If, at some level or another, we write from experience – how real is our virtual life?

  4. KBT

    I soooooooooooooo agree Jennifer! This is one of the reasons I have made a practice of leaving my house on purpose each day… to see something new, to say hi to someone new, to be inspired by something new. Having worked at home for over 2 years now, I know exactly what you are saying. Stay connected… for real :).

  5. kcharbneau

    Good post. That’s what I like about wordpress… you can still blog/write and socialize with others who blog/write to help keep yourself sain 🙂

  6. ScribnersNook2013

    Lovely advice. Unfortunately, my “village” is not so much into the community type thing, everyone pretty much stays to themselves however, I do have a wonderful support/social network set up online that consists of my family members & a few very close friends~we swap stories about our lives and what is going on in the world (sometimes with beautiful pictures) I find that while it cannot fill my need for a social life completely, but it does take the edge off the isolation.

  7. Keys2Change

    I love your blog. It’s comforting to see the flipside of a blogging community. I’m new to all of this, but ready and daring to try. Perhaps my biggest fear at this moment is not lonliness, for that’s my main companion most days, but the person who I might become while blogging. How do I tell the difference between now and later?

    • Jennifer Writings of a Mrs

      Thank you.
      That’s a really great question.
      I’ve only been blogging a little under 3 months now so my ‘span’ is not very wide.
      I went through a phase of spending a lot of time on my blog, it creeped into my evenings and family time and the hubby and little’s complained so I had to tone it down a little.
      Balance is very important.
      I think life is constantly about evolving and changing. I am different now compared to when I started blogging and I would like to think for the better.
      I think it’s important to be aware of your self. If you have concerns going into your journey that could be your inner voice telling you to be aware of the issue.
      Your sense of self awareness, that is obviously there now, will continue to be there through out your journey. My advice: listen to that little voice and trust yourself. And if you ever have any questions don’t hesitate to ask me or any one of the wordpress community. Most are warm, open, helpful and informative.
      Best of luck and continued success on your journey!
      Please continue to share!
      Jennifer

  8. cliff445

    True! If you spend any amount of time penning dialogue or writing about people, it helps to actually witness them first hand, from time to time. 🙂

  9. mykindasexci

    I’m very new to this and already, i feel what you are saying! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  10. Christina

    Boy, this is so true. Writing is a very lonely job. I say this all the time. Especially for those of us who are closed door writers. I refuse to share anything that is still in progress. I get paranoid if I think someone is looking at my screen. I’m not afraid that someone will steal my words. I’m afraid that my words will be prematurely judged. So, I hide out in a cave haha Needless to say, it’s dark and lonely. You’re not alone on that feeling.

  11. stargazerxtina

    This is exactly why I’ve waited so long. It’s hard to write about life when your too busy living it, and even now I’m just getting my feet wet with this blog. This blog was my way of reaching out to other new-agers out there who feel odd talking about such topics to people they know, yet no one even reads my blog anyway so lol I don’t even know what it is anymore.

  12. Amy Watson Smith

    Thanks, Jennifer. This is a very helpful piece. And I am discovering it to be so true. I am new to blogging but have found myself cancelling lunches and coffees with friends because I needed to meet my self-imposed deadline. I guess I just worry that I will completely slack off if I don’t hold myself to a somewhat rigid schedule. I only post three days a week, so I do have time to socialize and live life but I end up using so much of that time behind a camera. I am inspired to write about the things that I am doing and the events in my life so I guess that is also a way to ensure that I do live life. Otherwise I will have nothing to post about! Thanks again for the reminder.

    • Jennifer Writings of a Mrs

      Hi Amy.
      I’m glad that it ‘spoke’ to you.
      It’s normal to want to surround ourselves with the things that we love, like writing or blogging which is healthy. Time spent with relationships and responsibilities also have to remain a priority. It is a balancing act as are most things in life but it’s not always easy to do when you are filled with passion and inspiration!
      Best of luck to you and continued success with all of your endeavors.
      Jennifer

  13. Pradipna Lodh

    its true you have to interact with people without isolating yourself. Blogging or writing is all about the experiences about one’s life and you cannot do that untill and unless you start communicating or interacting with people

  14. 1writeplace

    This is a much-needed warning for a lot of people, Jennifer. For me, at this point in my life, if I didn’t have a computer and my online community I would be completely alone. Because of my grief, I’m just not ready to submerge myself back into my “real” community. My choice, but I think of others who may not have much of a real community. Online life can be a way to bridge the gap.
    I truly believe the online community serves a huge purpose in the lives of people who are socially disconnected in the “real” world—whether self imposed or not. For people with lives, family and community around them, yep, hanging out online can be a problem if you overdo it.
    Thanks for this blog topic.
    Patti

    • Jennifer Writings of a Mrs

      It is something to be aware of. Reality is relative right?
      I think it’s important to find ways to get out there into the world. There are so many resources available in communities to help people find ways to help and work with others.
      I value my online friends and community immensely.
      I’m glad that people can find support and friendship online. Social interaction is very important. 🙂

      • 1writeplace

        I am the resource queen, but this is the right place for me for now. I’m not asking for a way out…just pointing out another view.
        I’m still amazed how much you get done online with all those kiddies and a mate!
        Take care,
        Patti

      • Jennifer Writings of a Mrs

        Hi Patti,
        Well all of the children are in school during the day so I get most done then, until TOMORROW, the last day of school. I’m not sure how I will manage for the summer.
        Take good care,
        Jennifer

  15. Ellespeth

    The lived experience is more important – and not just for writers – than social media. Hugs and sounds and all the joys and sorrows and beauty – physical presence. Oh well, with that said 😛 My poem has been submitted to the New York Times. I’m chuckling. Until next time ~
    Ellespeth

  16. rglw

    Thanks for this post. I agree that no one can know how exciting and isolating writing can be. And I appreciate reading someone else’s take on it.

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  19. Omaste Witkowski

    I can really relate to this post. I love my computer and my art but it is really gratifying to connect with others in a meaningful way. Need to take the time to do this regularly. Thank you for sharing.

  20. Richa Saran

    Very beautifully expressed! Writing is rather lonesome and very wholesome all at once, especially when you change course and get to it after a long innings at ‘normal work’. But you are right, one needs to make someone or something a window to the world.

  21. Family to the 5 Power!

    Great advice… thank you…it is easy to become isolated between being a mom and a writer. I’m staying tuned to your blog to learn more. The number of readers and hits you have in three months is amazing!

  22. AuAu

    Great Advice 🙂

    Im not even that social and the isolation did hit me when I started bloggin, its something that never really goes away, so you have to learn how to deal with it, before I just ignored it, now Im doing fine.

    Two things that has really helped me with the writing is, one a good attitude, no complaining anymore; two is that I choose to write stuff that is real somehow, for example, once I wrote about a butterfly following the main character of the story, the next day I was walking there and the butterfly flies over my face, again.

  23. imaginaryflightattendant

    Good thoughts, this is my only form of social media bc I’m already on a computer all day at work. This is a great way to hear the world out on the go

  24. doncarroll

    writing can sure be socially isolating. there are a number of factors that certainly come into play on that. obviously there are the hardships that have been placed in ones life. initially it’s the healing process. however that can extend a lifetime in one way or the other. though one eventually branches out, whether it would be readings in the cafes or where ever they may be. I suppose one could look at networking through the internet as socially isolating as well because there is no human interaction, but yet it serves itself well because for one it can generate confidence in yourself – that makes it real. lonely business or not, it’s great inspiration for an introvert like myself. trying to fit into the extrovert realm often is a misguided adventure because you are led to believe that is all that is out there. it can lead you on a path where there is no building blocks that don’t fit you. it’s a growth process in all that we do, whether is just dealing with life or learning the craft of putting words together. there you have it Jennifer – a winded reply.

  25. Jaime Shine

    You raise an interesting point that a lot of people don’t think about. While I’m more introverted, I still don’t want to be someone who never leaves the house. I made a point when I began working from home to make sure to get out, whether for a trail run, to meet a friend or catch a play. Sometimes I like to work for an hour or so at Starbucks just for the background noise and that face-to-face human interaction you mention. And I love your writer’s block explanation! I may use that someday, with full attribution of course. 🙂 Thanks for the good read.

  26. Paula Readman

    I joined a writing group so I could talk with people who understood the needs of a writer. I enjoy my own company while writing but I have a friend who I go out walking with in the morning before I settle down to write. Good luck with your book.

  27. Helen Jane Merritt...Musings from a Random Mind

    Wise advice! I am glad that I also belong to a writing group which means that we meet in person, The sense of community that you feel online can be misleading and it’s important to keep in touch with the rest of the world, not to mention seeing the daylight and coming up for air while trapped in your fictional (or factual) reality.

  28. divapixie

    I often feel the isolation of writing a blog entry and having no one read or comment on it. I had one on blogspot for a long while (it might still be there) but decided to give WordPress a try instead. It is hard to know if anyone in the blogosphere is reading/listening.

    That being said, I make sure I have some outside social time everyday. And my day job as an elementary school music teacher ensures I do.

  29. meiajacobs

    Awesome, couldn’t agree more, since I have put myself in the same position many times, living too much in the inner world. A balance is necessary for happy living. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  30. Diana Nora

    Hi Jennifer,
    I’m learning new words from you today: Social Butterfly. I was reading someone advice on blogging about write a comment on blog I read, just to start a conversation. So I start commenting since a couple days ago..

  31. Bekkie

    Excellent advice but too late! I am already isolated and have been writing a long time now. What advice would you give me as I am hoping to at least publish my work this year?
    I noticed some people remarked about Blogger vs WordPress. It doesn’t matter where you blog the important thing is to create a little of both worlds because they will never be balanced but they can both be enjoyable.

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