There are many benefits to becoming a reclusive writer in modern society. You accomplish more writing, further your career and have far more chances of getting paying clients than if you were a social bee. Although books such as Kelly James-Enger’s “Six-Figure Freelancing” (Random House Reference; 2005) encourage the modern freelance writer to get out of the home and network as often as possible in order to get more clients, these days are long gone.
What Is A Reclusive Writer?
Times have changed and so has the definition of a reclusive writer. The typical reclusive writer was J.D. Salinger (1919 – 2010), who wrote a few books, sent the manuscripts through the mail, eschewed publicity, never did interviews after 1980 and lived in virtual isolation. The only remaining living reclusive writer that has written more than one book is Anne Tyler, best known for “The Accidental Tourist” (Knopf; 1985.) Tyler holes up in her home, writes, and does short interviews through e-mail.
But the modern reclusive writer can get even more secluded than Tyler or Salinger. They do not even need to contact an editor. Thanks to the internet and the insatiable demand for web content, writers can make a five-figure living with never having to meet anyone face to face. If you know how to fix computers and printers, then you would even have less need to meet anyone.
The BIC Method
Modern reclusive writers only leave the home when they absolutely have to. They do not go to conferences, movies, night clubs, bars, or writer’s conferences – unless they are being paid by a client to review the event. Every time a writer leaves the house, the writer gets caught up in distractions. This keeps the writer from writing.
The best way to make money as a writer is the BIC method. BIC stands for “Butt In Chair” (or “Bum In Chair.”) This name is first thought to have been coined by fantasy and children’s book author Jane Yolen. The late and incredibly prolific Isaac Asimov would go even further by stating writers should work in rooms without windows or with the shades drawn in order to limit distractions.
Practice Makes Nearly Perfect
Another advantage of being a modern reclusive writer is getting much better at your craft in a shorter amount of time than if you did a lot of socializing and networking. The more one writes, the better the writer gets. It’s that simple – and that hard.
Some writers are only part-time writers. They still need to keep a schedule of when to become reclusive so they can use the BIC method and get to work. Their families and roommates need to realize that writing is a serious occupation and the writer needs to be left alone in order to accomplish material that can help pay the household’s bills.
“Asimov’s Galaxy: Reflections on Science Fiction.” Doubleday; 1988.
“The WD Interview: Anne Tyler, The Accidental Tourist.” Jessica Stawser. “Writer’s Digest.” July/Aug 2009.
Jane Yolen. “Writer’s FAQ.” http://janeyolen.com/writers-faq/
Author has been a freelance writer sine 2006