It’s the dream of so many people.
Sitting at home in your pajamas, drinking coffee/tea while you sit on the couch with your laptop and get paid to write.
Many consider this lifestyle without considering how lonely it can be.
And not just because, often times, you’re sitting alone absorbed in your own ideas. Also because you’re putting ideas out into the world many people never bother to read. And when they do, sometimes they criticize you. Or they just ignore you.
It’s hard to stay motivated and passionate when it feels like no one’s on your side, or there to support your hard work.
Writing is an extremely isolating profession. While there are many writers who work in team-structured environments, even in offices filled with other employees, there are just as many working from home — something so many desire without realizing how isolating it can be.
Struggling to make ends meet as a freelancer or aspiring blogger, trying to balance a social life while also handling a day job and trying to write a novel, isn’t easy. It’s much harder when you don’t have friends in the same profession, your family doesn’t support your hobby, or you get too excited about what you’re writing before remembering you can’t tell anyone about it.
Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to make it at least a little easier to bear.
If there are writing groups or workshops in your area, give a few different ones a few tries. They’re not for everyone, but you never know. Connecting with other writers online is great, but
You don’t have to have friends who are writers. In fact, sometimes it’s good to get away from writing for awhile and talk/think about other things.
It’s also OK to explain to your family or peers that writing is your job, and sometimes you just don’t feel the need to talk about work outside of work.
It also helps to have other interests and/or hobbies besides writing, both for your own enjoyment and as a way to connect with other people.
As pointless as it might sound to you, keeping a journal of your thoughts helps release that urge you have to talk about things you can’t talk about … or those things no one else around you seems to care about. Let’s be honest, people aren’t as interested in hearing about your unfinished book as they pretend to be. But your journal doesn’t care how many pages you ramble on about it.
Regardless of where you put your thoughts or how you put those thoughts into words, it’s important to remove yourself from your writing on a regular basis. Step away. Get some fresh air. Spend time in the real world. I know it can seem like you’re not making real progress if you’re not shutting yourself in your office all waking hours of the day. But that’s not a healthy way to do it. And it could hurt your productivity instead of helping it.
And always remember that even if you’re writing thousands of words a day and it feels like no one’s listening, someone is. They just aren’t telling you how much your words matter. So I will.
Your words matter, and so do you. Keep writing. You’ll find your corner of the creative space and you won’t feel alone forever.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a 10-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.