Thursday, July 23, 2015

Separating real life from the writing life

Last night Writer Abroad told Husband Abroad that she was doing pretty well separating herself from her work.

He replied, “But you ARE your work.”
The Vox Article
Writer Abroad disagreed. “No, I am not my work. I emotionally detach myself from anything I write after I write it,” she said.

He didn’t get it.

Is Husband Abroad his IT? Does being Manager of Lots of People define his soul? No. So being a writer shouldn’t define Writer Abroad’s—even when she’s writing about real life. Her life. 

So Writer Abroad added, “I can’t worr
Which lead to the tabloid article
y about what half a million people reading my latest piece think. I have to ignore their comments. Ignore, in a way, that my work is even out there—while at the same time promoting it."

Finally he said, “I guess I can’t relate. I get 5 likes on my Instagram photos.”

Here's the thing: I don’t think anyone who is not a writer—especially one who is writing personal essays or memoir—can relate to how one must go about living with having part of their soul out there. The key word, though, is part.

The world knows a small part of Writer Abroad’s story today. Her photos and an exaggerated version of the story are once again in one of Switzerland’s tabloids this evening. Her latest story was tweeted 1600 times and counting since yesterday. 53,000 Facebook shares. And counting. Which in turn sold over 50 books that tell yet another story about her life. The cycle of a writer goes on and on.

It’s overwhelming. It’s scary. But luckily, Writer Abroad has learned how to deal with readers knowing more about her life than she knows about theirs (even if some of them tell her quite a lot about their own story in their emails) by separating her life as it is shaped on a page and her life as it is in reality. It’s a subtle difference. But it’s an important one.

Do you separate yourself and your work? If so, how?


  1. I didn't pick up my copy of Blick am Abend that day or maybe husband put it on the recycling stack. So when are you coming back to Switzerland? :)

    1. It is not very difficult to separate the real life from the writing one. Start the writing at an exciting point which has importance to the main point of the story. Since I am also dissertation writer and providing top dissertation writing services at Dissertation Help UK and I believe that when we writing with enjoying our work, relationships with the people we work then we are frequently separate the professional landscape from the personal one fades.

  2. Soon...for a visit at least :-)

  3. Actually, I think fiction writers face something similar in that some of the situations they imagine in their fiction can very easily give people misleading ideas about them. And not just because readers like to assume that the fictional situation really happened (almost always, it didn't). They tend to read personality quirks into the writer that just doesn't have. But as the writer you just have to keep it between you and the page, what the story needs. And you have to block out everything else, or you may kill a very good idea.

  4. As a singer-songwriter, I can relate to "a part" of one's soul going into one's work. Singing on stage or sharing songs with people is a projection of who I am but not a complete definition. I think when I started realizing that while most people would think I was an extrovert, I am actually an introvert who can be extroverted as needed. The music in silence is what comforts me when I am alone and I've learned that in order to function publicly, I must first and foremost function privately:)

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  9. Being a writer is a creative status. I always have to be focused on the content that I edit. My colleagues at Writers Per Hour admit that even writing a simple post requires a deep concentration on selection of qualitative content.

  10. For my opinion, fiction writers face something similar in that some of the situations they imagine in their fiction can very easily give people misleading ideas about them. But as writer you just have to keep it between you and the page, that what the story needs.

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