Point blank – writers can’t be sheltered individuals cloistered in their troll holes and expect to write anything of substance. Writers must live life!
We’ve all heard the maxim, “write what you know” – it’s good advice (and certainly something to expand on in a future post). However, if your world of experiences is rather limited, your writing will (most likely) be as well.
While it IS important for writers to attempt to write every day, it’s also important for us to live life. Take some chances. Take the road less traveled. If you’ve truly lived, all the other details will take care of themselves. If your world of experience is narrow, your work will suffer. It’s likely that you’ll be beaten over the head with writer’s block, and the ideas you do have will be severely limited by the difficulty faced in trying to generate many scenes and landscapes outside of the breadth of your experiences.
Yes, please do write everyday, but make sure, first and foremost, to live life. Don’t make any excuses. You may have children. You may have a job. You may have many other responsibilities. Just as none of those excuse you from making time in your schedule to write on a regular basis, neither do they or anything else excuse you from living life, having fun, exploring the world, and learning new things. It’s the only way your writing will capture people’s attention.
The stereotypical writer may be an introvert, used to long periods of solitude in front of their keyboard, but stereotypes are just that. If you want to have fresh ideas and sharp prose and rejuvenate yourself for the discipline it takes to write on a regular basis, you better start living.
Here’s the takeaway: Take heed to the immortal words of Matthew McConaughey in Dazed and Confused. They apply to writers and hippies (and hippie writers) alike: “You just gotta keep livin‘ man, L-I-V-I-N.”