As a Writer, Is Talking to Yourself a Bad Thing?

May 3, 2020 by in category Partners in Crime by Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger, Writing tagged as , , with 1 and 0
Home > Columns > Partners in Crime by Janet Elizabeth Lynn & Will Zeilinger > As a Writer, Is Talking to Yourself a Bad Thing?

Is Talking to Yourself a Bad Thing?

I’ve seen jokes and memes all over social media that describe how being self-isolated or “quarantined” during this COVID-19 pandemic has had one of two effects.

The first has been an overwhelming feeling of being trapped or imprisoned, with no opportunity for social interaction. If you have kids, and they are home, they have to be fed and watered, educated, entertained, and of course, experience some quality time with you. Even if you don’t have kids or parents in your home, there’s always laundry and dishes, all those things on your to-do list you’ve been putting off until you had “time.” Things like home repairs, organizing, binge watching all those programs and movies, you’ve recorded, and naps . . . yes, naps. The thing is, you aren’t trapped.

How are you using your self-isolation?

The second feeling has been one of great relief, as being shut up in one’s domicile provides the writer with the opportunity to get that story or book onto paper (or at least into the computer’s memory.) This second opportunity can also be seen as the chance to see ourselves in the mirror of truth.

Let me put it this way: Let’s assume you are a serious writer, whether it be a journalist, essayist, short-story author, non-fiction, or fiction novelist. What exactly has been keeping you from writing that thing you write? Is it your job? There’s that daily commute that can eat up a couple to several hours each day. Does the boss hover over your shoulder so you have no chance to put down a few paragraphs each day? Is it your chores, like taking the kids to school or daycare, picking them up, and taking them to their extra-curricular activities (soccer, dance, scouts, etc.?) Do you have a second job?

During the time we are all confined (at least, we should be) have we learned anything about ourselves and our writing process?

In that vein, there is another advantage to this situation—that is being able to read your WIP out loud to yourself or to those at home with you. Reading your work aloud helps you catch the rhythm of your writing, especially in early drafts. Though you may not be commuting, those hours can be spent refining dialog, grammar and even some holes in story or essay.
If you happen to live alone, you may have access to a recorder or use your computer to record and playback what you’ve read aloud. Even if you aren’t ready to read it to the world, your family and yourself are all great critique partners.

Go ahead and read—aloud. You’ll never go back to just reading over the page.

~Will

P.S. To those of you who are essential workers—thank you and stay well. We all want to read the stories that will come from all this.


Books by Janet Elizabeth Lynn and Will Zeilinger

DESERT ICE

Buy now!
DESERT ICE

GAME TOWN

Buy now!
GAME TOWN

STRANGE MARKINGS

Buy now!
STRANGE MARKINGS

SLICK DEAL

Buy now!
SLICK DEAL

SLIVERS OF GLASS

Buy now!
SLIVERS OF GLASS

Author Details
Author Details
Will Zeilinger and Janet Lynn had been writing individually until they got together and wrote the Skylar Drake Mystery Series. These hard-boiled tales are based in old Hollywood of 1955. Janet has published seven mystery novels, and Will has three plus a couple of short stories. Their world travels have sparked several ideas for murder and crime stories. This creative couple is married and lives in Southern California.
  • History of Mail Order Christmas Catalogs by Will Zeilinger

    Montgomery Ward was the first department store in the United States to offer a mail-order catalog in 1872.

    @Will_Zeilinger
    @JanetLynn4

  • Casting Your Story by Will Zeilinger

    You are the casting director for your story, and casting the right characters is crucial to keeping the reader interested.

    @Will_Zeilinger
    @JanetLynn4

  • Starting a Novel Series with a Partner: The Planning by E. J. Williams

    Planning the series, then planning the individual novel in the series takes a great deal of time. It is so easy to get stuck on one idea and not move ahead. The two of us had MANY ideas we threw around.

  • Vintage 1960 TV Theme Music

    The 1960’s began a new era of television programs. Broadcasting transitioned from black/white to color. Lighthearted sitcoms/comedies were the most-watched shows.

    @Will_Zeilinger
    @JanetLynn4

  • Starting a Novel Series with a Partner: The Plotting

    My husband, Will Zeilinger, and I co-write thrillers, the INTERNATIONAL MYSTERY SERIES, as E. J. Williams. Our tales transport the reader from 1962 Southern California to various international locales. In the first new book of the series, STONE PUB, we find ourselves in County Cork, Ireland.

    @Will_Zeilinger
    @JanetLynn4

DESERT ICE

Buy now!
DESERT ICE

GAME TOWN

Buy now!
GAME TOWN

STRANGE MARKINGS

Buy now!
STRANGE MARKINGS

SLICK DEAL

Buy now!
SLICK DEAL

SLIVERS OF GLASS

Buy now!
SLIVERS OF GLASS
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Will Zeilinger and Janet Lynn had been writing individually until they got together and wrote the Skylar Drake Mystery Series. These hard-boiled tales are based in old Hollywood of 1955. Janet has published seven mystery novels, and Will has three plus a couple of short stories. Their world travels have sparked several ideas for murder and crime stories. This creative couple is married and lives in Southern California.
  • Mwah-hah-hah! Nothing like reading your text aloud.

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