That title sounds redundant to me. All writers are introverts, aren’t they? AREN’T THEY?!
Okay, maybe our writerish tendencies towards obsessive people-watching make us more wallflowers than introverts. Or maybe you are the biggest social butterfly ever and you are a writer, too (please comment if you are and please tell me how the land of the extrovert looks).
Still, there is one key ingredient to the writer life that I hear from my writer friends of all ages: solitude.
Is it because other realities and characters occupy our every waking (and many sleeping) moment? Is it because the solid reality of people in our space can trap up between the nightmare of good manners vs. inspiration hitting all of a sudden?
I don’t know for sure.
As a writer with children, I am in that strange Mommyland of solitude being a rarity. Also, I probably owe my mom and huge bouquet for every time I interrupted her while she was going to the bathroom. Karma is killing me on this one. It used to be that I would awaken at least one hour before the household and have a solid hour of quiet time, with only the sleeping dog as my company. Then, Moses woke up during that hour one day. He was APPALLED to find me all by myself in the family room. Since then, he has made an effort to set his alarm every morning so that I never get lonely. This has to be the sweetest thing ever. It is also the opposite of solitude. 😉
So, quick cheats for the introvert who might need to get creative to have some down time for recharging:
1.) Yardwork. Even if you are just watering some flowers outside, call it yardwork. Most of your family will become very scarce. Very.
2.) Choose the hiking trail everyone hates. Do it twice in a row. Yes, you will see people, but the interaction factor is pretty minor.
3.) Stay up late. Or get up early. One of these is bound to have you sitting in a quiet house. Maybe. Depending.
4.) Find a Catholic Church. I know this sounds odd, but during the weekdays, after the daily Mass, the Churches are mostly empty. You will find it’s a quiet space in which to reflect, pray, collect yourself. It’s also comforting.
5.) Swimming. Once your head is in the water and you are swimming, the world disappears and is replaced by a soothing blue in which all human voices are so muted it’s as if people have vanished.
6.) Mini-breaks: Sometimes you might only need 10 minutes. In this case, go into your laundry room and close the door. You can do actual laundry while in there, or not, but laundry is similar to “yardwork” in its effect on loved ones. I have yet to be interrupted in the laundry room. Also, organizing the garage or a walk-in closet can be handy for mini-breaks. Again, feel free to NOT organize while there.
7.) Re-read Virginia Woolf. Wonder about what she meant by “a room of one’s own.” How did she achieve that, exactly? 🙂
Of course, the best plan is to have consistent time in which to retreat each day. The above recommendations are good in a pinch. As an introvert, sometimes I need a moment for quiet and to center myself again. I tend to need that less when I have one solitary activity each day.
Happy writing, happy clearing your head, and happy Monday.
Blessings to you all…