Everyone’s heard the phrase “lone wolf”. It’s come to signify a person who prefers to live a solitary life, going against the norm of society. In truth, being a lone wolf goes against nature. A wild wolf doesn’t survive for very long without the contact and help of its own kind. Even in Loyalties, our characters find out the same thing.
Our Internet Culture has fostered a society of virtual lone wolves. We do our jobs, socialize and, as writers, work our storytelling magic alone. We’re all under the illusion we have hundreds of “friends”. We may chat and participate in discussions daily, sometimes for hours, but we’re not really connecting in that all important physical, face-to-face sense of true socializing.
I admit, I’m not immune to this. I’m reminded of it each time I go out to visit “Spa Dorchak” (my parent’s house), or when I meet an old friend for lunch, or have the opportunity to meet a client when they come to town.
Plenty of times I have to force myself out of the house. Staying at home is all too easy and comfortable. But, once I’ve been out, I end up totally refreshed and bursting with creativity.
Another Myth Busted
Whenever I hear a fellow writer lamenting about writer’s block, the first thing I ask them is “When was the last time you went out and did something?”
I don’t believe in writer’s block. It’s something we use as an excuse because we’re over-tired, stressed or lacking clarity. As writers, we need to constantly challenge ourselves with new experiences. We need to keep our creative well full.
New experiences don’t always have to be expensive trips to exotic locals (although, that doesn’t hurt when you can do it). Revitalization can be as easy as a trip to the park or coffee shop to people watch. You could spend time talking to a neighbor over the fence, or visiting someone you haven’t spoken to in a long while.
Next time you’re feeling stuck, try it. Go out, change your scenery. Go someplace you’ve never gone before, or reconnect with your old stomping grounds. Call a couple of friends and do lunch. See how fast your creative perspective changes.