Author Jennifer Hallmark

Solitary or Sociable? One Writer’s Perspective from Jennifer Hallmark

Jennifer Hallmark explores the relationship between writing and solitude in today’s guest author journal. For my part, I don’t write well in a crowd. Solitude seems to be mother’s milk for my creativity. Thanks for reading, and if you’d like to weigh in on Jennifer’s topic, please do so in the comments below her post.


About Jennifer Hallmark

Author Jennifer HallmarkJennifer is a writer by nature, an artist at heart, and a daughter of God by His grace. She loves to read detective fiction from the Golden Age, watch movies like Lord of the Rings, and play with her two precious granddaughters. At times, she writes.

Jennifer and her husband, Danny, have spent their married life in Alabama, are blessed with grown children, granddaughters and a basset hound, Max.

Her website is Alabama-Inspired Fiction and she shares a writer’s reference blog, Writing Prompts & Thoughts & Ideas…Oh My! with friends, Christina, John, Ginger, Tammy, Don, and Betty. She and Christina Rich share an encouraging blog for readers called The Most Important Thing. Her first book, a compilation project called A Dozen Apologies released in February.

About A Dozen Apologies

A Dozen ApologiesIn college, Mara and her sorority sisters played an ugly game. They’d date men considered geeks, win their confidence, and then dump them publicly.

The tables turn after college when Mara loses her job and boyfriend. Mara’s heart is pierced by her actions toward the twelve men she’d wronged in college, and she sets out to apologize to each of them.

Mara stumbles, bumbles, and humbles her way toward possible reconciliation with the twelve men to find that God truly does look upon the heart and that He has chosen the heart of one of the men for her to have and to hold.

Solitary or Sociable? One Writer’s Perspective

by Jennifer Hallmark

If a man does not keep pace with his companions,

perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.

Let him step to the music he hears,

however measured or far away.”

Henry David Thoreau

We writers hear a different drummer. There is no “right” way to be a writer. You can put a hundred different writers in the same room with the same writing assignment and you would have a hundred different results when the papers were handed in.

The writing journey can be a solitary one. For me to successfully write, I have to concentrate. That means alone time. Me and the computer and a notepad. A few writing books and research materials, scattered all around me.

Some writers can move in at the local coffee or sandwich shop and create wonderful words of prose. Not me. I’m too easily distracted with people surrounding me. I do scribble notes for articles and blogs while at the doctor’s office or other waiting rooms. This article was jotted on my little notepad while waiting to see the chiropractor in the exam room itself.

To get into a work of fiction, I need no disturbances. I work best when my husband is at work, along with everyone else I know. J Yes, this doesn’t happen too often, but on those days, I move mountains. Eight or ten hours of uninterrupted time can whittle my to-do list down to size, and I usually even manage a load or two of laundry while stretching.

Light music humming in the background and all my folders concerning my WIP [work in progress] pulled up on the computer and I’m good to go. As a rule, I do little plotting, preferring to let the characters take the lead. I do scribble notes and thoughts and maybe a sentence or two with each chapter so I at least know which road I’m on. From there, I travel without the GPS, something I’d never do in real life.

Many times, in the morning when I first awake, I daydream about my work-in-progress. I think about where my lead character is on that day and play the scene through in my head. I might rehearse previously written scenes, noting if there are any plot glitches. What’s that? Imagine I have lead character Mary driving down a dirt road in rural Tennessee. Suddenly, she meets a deer and swerves, crashing into a tree. She jumps out and trips, scraping her knees on the pavement. Pavement? Where did pavement come from on a dirt road? You wouldn’t believe how easy it is to do this, however, while in the fury of capturing a scene on paper. I jot a note about my mistake and correct it when I reach the computer.

Which is better? Working alone or with others around? It’s a personal choice. Although you may not be a writer, this can apply. Do you work better when alone or do you like to have the buzz and flurry of others in the room? 
©2014 by Janalyn Voigt

©2014 by Janalyn Voigt

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©2014 by Janalyn Voigt

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Written by Janalyn Voigt

Janalyn Voigt

As an author I love to escape with readers into creative worlds of fiction in three genres: medieval epic fantasy, historical fiction, and romantic mystery. My aim is to make this website an immersive experience for readers. Care to join us?

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7 thoughts on “Solitary or Sociable? One Writer’s Perspective from Jennifer Hallmark”

  1. I can be alone in a roomful of people. I’ve always been able to zone out like that and sometimes, I do my best writing with hubby sitting next to me, watching his favorite show!

  2. Thanks for sharing! I love to hear about the styles of other writers. I’m flexible I suppose. I can be equally productive and creative in the cafe at Barnes and Noble without the distractions of household work, as well as at home in solitude tucked away in my writing corner. What is distressing are interruptions to my train of thought. I can get annoyed easily when the kids and cat repeatedly interrupt my writing.

    1. When it comes to interruptions to my train of thought, I can become frustrated fast. I’ve learned to schedule my writing, where possible, for when that’s not as likely to happen.

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