I'm not sure where I picked up the phrase "writing life," but it fit so well, I thought it was self-explanitory :( And it just slid into my vocabulary.
I recently released a survey, in order to see what SWS could do better. I have been doing my best to devise the best way to create a writing community in my city...and that has led me to looking at establishing a non-profit. The survey is intended (in part) to assist me in identifying what services will be most helpful to writers.
So I started out by asking what people need for their "Writing Life." And I learned the term was not nearly as obvious as I thought...
So here's my definition and rationale for the term...
We each need different things to continue writing. Life likes to toss obstacles in our way. But through seeking the balance that fuels our writing, improvement, inspiration (as much as I dislike that word) we find a way to continue.
Because we writers NEED to. No choice in the matter.
We might have multiple creative outlets....but in the end, life revolves around story, character, and plot.
I can't write regularly when depressed. But I also can't stay away from books or writing without somehow triggering depression. So in the end, I return to the story, to writing, and on a good day progress can make me forget for a few hours that I have no day job, no income.
But the day job, I've found, is essential to my writing life. Life experience and writing feed each other. It't like....
...in an ideal world both recycling and life and writing will feed themselves back and forth forever. Likewise, we need particular things to keep writing.
Precisely like Virginia Wolf said in "A Room of One's Own." Which, by the way, was a book I seriously loved, appreciated and identified with. The idea that women need space, a modicum of wealth in order to write, that we need to be comfortable and not have other pressers that interfere with our creating...that's me. Maybe some people can write to escape the world, and I can certainly read to escape the world, but as I've gotten older it certainly has felt harder to escape.
A sentiment that makes me feel I need to tend my writing life all the more. I have to make time for writing now, not decide to write on an inspired whim. I need to be more pragmatic in my non-writing-life, but not permit that to taint my imagination, fantasy, or hamper my attitudes toward my work. Writing must still maintain priority, even if it must share with other concerns.
So Writing Life, in a nutshell, is how we incorporate writing into our life. The phrase indicates the place writing holds in our daily existence, but to be separated from our "scholastic/academic life" or "working life" or "family life" or "social life." While these spheres may overlap, and may feed each other, but their requirements are as different as the watering needs of a redwood and a cactus.
What fuels your writing life? What other "lives" or spheres have the greatest impact on your writing?