Am I becoming a recluse?

From Kill Zone Blog: #WritersLife: Am I Becoming a Recluse?

The other day a friend asked me to lunch. At first, I was excited about it, but as I was getting ready, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I’d rather work on the WIP.

This happens all the time. A friend will say, “Let’s get together.”

“Sure. Just let me finish the first draft.”

After I’m done, they say, “Now can we get together?”

“But I’m getting ready to do the first read-through.”

“Now that you’re letting the book cool, can we grab lunch?”

“Oooh, ahh, I started the next book.”

This made me laugh. The person who wrote this post — Sue Coletta — is considering this phenomenon, not necessarily considering it a problem. That’s good to see because I don’t consider it a problem. I should add, I’m even more of a hermit than Coletta, who indicates here that she says yes more often than no to suggestions about getting together with friends. Personally, I don’t really welcome (most) suggestions about going out to do anything with anyone. Sure, there are exceptions. There just aren’t very many exceptions.

I realized a long time ago — wow, about 25 years ago, I guess — that fundamentally, as a rule, when someone says to me, “Hey, would you like to [go somewhere] and [do something]?” the answer is almost always, “No, not really, but thanks for asking.” Once I specifically realized that, I kind of leaned into the hermit thing and quit worrying about it and that has worked for me ever since.

Coletta, musing upon this, finishes: An increase in serotonin induces feelings of happiness. Runners chase the same euphoria. Am I addicted to having fun? I’d say “alone” but we’re not really alone, are we? We’re with our characters, who are as real to us as anyone.

Our characters, our dogs, our cats, and music playing. Unless I forget to turn on the music, which often happens when I’m writing “in flow.”

I’m sure not all writers are hermits … well, not that sure. Probably somewhere, someone is a writer and also a social butterfly. Hard to imagine, but the world is wide.

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3 thoughts on “Am I becoming a recluse?”

  1. Hah! I came to the realization in 2020 that I am at least twice as productive when I don’t socialize. I knew it before, but I didn’t really realize *how much* I can get done when I’m not trying to go to activities with people.
    So now that everything is back to normal, I have to actually carve out days in my week where I just say, “I am not going to plan anything except projects.”
    I still think that I need to be around people sometimes, but actually I am about 97% hermit by inclination. People keep asking me if I am lonely this summer, as all my family that live close by are gone at least half the time. No, no I am not lonely. I am getting things done that I always wanted to do, not least a bunch of writing and reading that I’ve been meaning to catch up on.
    That said, I do enjoy going out to concerts and plays – in the summer, our area has a thriving music and theater scene. I enjoy spending time with people, but I actually get into a state after too much socializing where I have to be alone for several days just to think straight again. So when I say I’m an introvert, I really, really mean it.

  2. EC, 97% sounds about right to me too!

    For me, I may like doing something with people — that’s not unusual, in fact — but I’m almost always the first person to want to leave any group, no matter what’s going on or whether I’ve been enjoying being with the group. I haven’t noticed whether it takes several days to recharge, but I wouldn’t be surprised. And no, I don’t get lonely basically ever.

  3. The writer Uncle River has found he gets squirrelly if he doesn’t speak to another human being once a month. He aims for once a week to be safe.

    Me, I need to do it once a day. However, saying hi when I encounter a neighbor on a walk or listening to the cashier say the total suffices.

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