Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Discussion on Being a Hermit

Writers are a famously solitary bunch. Ever since Lord Byron, there has sort of been the stereotype of the brooding reclusive genius. And most writers I know (including myself) have at least some of those anti-social tendencies. Not all of us are up on the level of Emily Dickinson or J. D. Salinger, but writing simply isn't a social thing. It's very private, and oftentimes working on a project feels a little bit like Dr. Frankenstein in his laboratory - it's super secret, sometimes quite sensitive (especially in the case of bad first-draft style spazzes) and always MINE MINE MINE. The casual peek over the shoulder, no matter how well-intentioned, never goes well. "Whatcha doin'?" becomes a despised question. And so writers (and, I am willing to bet, artists, as my illustration major best friend is ten times the hermit I am and I am probably the only person capable of pulling her out of her house for any length of time... so we can spend time holed up in my room instead) hide in corners of dorm rooms and sit huddled protectively over laptop keyboards, diligently typing away.

But, like I said, we are not all J. D. Salinger. The writers I know are not of the type to run away to a cabin in the woods and never speak to anyone ever again. The internet seems to have basically put a stop to that, and when it comes to talking about writing (especially with other writers) we are quite the chatty bunch. (One only needs to check out the Teens Writing for Teens thread at AW to know that!)

And I'm in college. It would be basically impossible for me to completely shut myself away, not if I want to a) not fail and b) not starve. And roommates make total solitude a bit difficult too. But that's a good thing. It gives me some semblance of social activity without forcing me to poke my nose into more typical college pursuits (ie crazy weird parties) than laundry-and-movie nights.

So I think what I am (and what most writers in this day and age probably are) is a hermit with friends. Like this guy.

(Anyone with knowledge of how to imbed YouTube videos into a blogpost, please enlighten me.)

Anyway, yeah. So, we're a little odd. You would be too, if you had characters jabbering at you all day to stop doing sensible things like talking to people and start writing, for goodness' sake.

Which reminds me, I should go deal with the real reason for today's self-imposed hermitude: homework.


  1. Lovely post Kyrie.

    I have semi-hermit tendencies, and although living in a cabin by myself in the woods seems pretty dang cool,I don't think I'd be quite capable of it.

    And. This sort of reminds me of the whole too many great artists are either crazy/suicidal, but that's a very disturbing subject, haha.

    And homework...what pain! What horrors! *buries self in homework*

  2. That's the lovely thing about internet. It lets you be social without having to leave the comforting confines of your hermit-hole. :D

    And booooo, homework.

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