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Thread: What to do...

  1. #1
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    What to do...

    Okay, this is a bit of an odd thing to talk about, as it's pretty personal, but here goes...

    My fiancee, she's a creative writer (or aspiring to be one), and it seems she's slipped into a sleough of apathy. We are both pretty antisocial unfortunately and it seems like the walls are slowly starting to close in on her. She hasn't had any real friends to speak of for quite some time and she doesn't really work a job either, just focus' on schooling. This schooling is slowly draining her to the point of being so apathetic she's almost on the brink of depression... Now I really care for her, but I have no idea how to help with this sort of problem that she's in... She has lost all her friends after high school and has a hard time trusting people with her feelings because of the past burning she's had with female relationships.

    It also doesn't help that we aren't exactly wealthy enough to travel or go to social events. :0

    I guess the other thing is the fact that I am so content at the moment with art growth...

    So my question is: How does a woman make friends after schooling... when she doesn't feel like she melds well with anyone?

    Is this just an aftershock of disassociatism? I mean... I really want to help her, but I have no idea how to do so. I mean, I'd feel odd going around being like, "Hey <random person>, would you like to be friends with my fiancee?" or going out of my way to make female friends that I could possibly introduce her to. I've kind of suggested that she find a job revolving around creative writing, but that's kind of hard in a non-artistic town such as Memphis. Even working at a local book store might help somewhat, but those jobs are extremely selective for some reason. I don't know... I'm at a loss. Anyone maybe have some insight? I suppose this would be best to answer for a woman going through something similiar, but really anyone that might know something that I can do to help...?
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  3. #2
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    Perhaps your fiancee would be interested in joining an organized group that would give her a venue to meet people who share her interests; a book club, a community theater troupe, a sports league, or so on.

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    I've been searching my butt off for a community as dedicated as this is -- but geared toward writing. :0

    I would like to start getting involved in things like those you listed, but I have no way of even knowing where to begin looking lol!
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    Try google. Or, if your city has an arts council, try their website and see if they have any interesting links. Or the city's website. Pop into a recreation centre and pick up a program guide.

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    I can sympathize with your fiance because I too lost a lot of my friends when I left school and I still don't have friends in my immediate location. Colorado Springs doesn't offer much in the way of active art groups, it's mostly all classes and courses which are expensive as hell and the people who attend them, while a nice bunch, I just don't click with.

    Even though I spend 3/4 of the time being a hermit crab and prefer my quiet time, when I want to interact with people I hop online at the various communities I've joined over the years. I've met quite a few people locally that way that I'll hang out with (on deviantART I met some good friends and now they live in Denver).

    I definitely echo bitjocky on the advice of google. There are groups that are listed online, but they are really hard to find sometimes so you just have to keep looking.

    You might also want to ask book stores if they have a bulletin board where clubs will advertise. Coffee shops too. I've seen quite a few book clubs meeting in my area at tea or coffee shops.

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    I too can sympathize with your fiancee, and from experience these suggestions that bitjockey and Meli provided are really helpful!

    Sometimes it just feels really good to be able to TALK to someone, so if you find something for your fiancee to join, maybe see if the group allows members to speak their minds. But then, if there's another group where your fiancee can just do things without needing to talk so much as interact in other different ways, see if that might also be good!

    Maybe some examples: I know when I was suffering with low self-esteem, I went to a group for that, talked about how I was feeling, but also listened to and helped encourage others in the group with their struggles. We all supported each other and felt good in the end, even though in the beginning hardly anyone wanted to socialize. o_o

    As for something with less discussion and more action, oddly enough it was an adult acting class! Every student in the class had to interact with one another, and I ended up making a friend there! We worked well together with the acting, and I even got to be an extra in a film he was producing.

    Okay, so the examples are long-winded, but I'm just showing that a lot of good can come from any of these groups. Find your fiancee's interests, then help her locate groups nearby and she might feel great after some different experiences!

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    Instead of pushing her out of the house and force her to join a group of people she doesn't know, you could also built up a group of friends and take her with you. Or just go out with her together to some places and events that are interesting for both of you.
    Don't make her feel that her feelings of loneliness are only her problem and that she has to work on them alone.
    Last edited by Kiera; March 3rd, 2009 at 02:43 PM.
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    Thanks guys, I definitely agree completely with doing things together... I guess I'll try to get out of the house and start doing some stuff with her that we are both interested in. I suppose just getting out of the house in general will help. We're going to probably start finding something to get out and do that is cheap or free... it might be hard to find, but eh never know I suppose.
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    Several things:

    As said earlier - go spend time outside with her and bond in a space that isn't the usual house or apartment or wherever. As you do this, invite more creative folks, and form a get together of your own sort with creative people that you all can learn to trust. Turn it into a situation where she is now given the opportunity to in fact meld with people. She can make of it what she will at that point.

    Health - make sure you get plenty of proteins and look into working out a bit. Sitting around a lot doesn't promote happy chemicals in the brain, so you have to supplement this with what you eat and do. Combine this with the bonding outside thing above and you are doing both of yourselves a great favor. This is something I had to learn the hard way, and it truly does make a huge difference to how our brain works and reacts to the situations around us.

    I've been there - that's the stuff that's helped me over the last year.

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    I think more than anything what's getting her down isn't just the fact that she doesn't have a lot of friends anymore as much as it's the fact that her friends didn't bother to keep in touch after school. It's kinda depressing when people you were good friends with in school seem to lose interest in you once you leave, they get new friends and go on with their life's and suddenly you feel like you've been replaced. It's almost like when people make friends in prison, sure while they're in jail they're best friends but once they get out they're like "eh..I don't really need to know you anymore, I've kinda got my old friends back" kinda thing

    But like others have said, just get out and be more social and have some fun. Surely you guys must have some mutual friends or something. Go out and do whatever it is you do to cut loose. There have been plenty of times where I felt completely down and I just wanted to stay in all night but would go hang out with friends or go to a concert or a party instead and sure enough it's always cheered me up
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    I make most of my real-life friends either through work or on the internet, so I really can't give a lot of advice in terms of that...but there are a lot of things to do that are practically free.

    - Spend some time in your local library. Personally I love wandering through the stacks, feasting on the vast array of information available. Sometimes the bulletin boards of libraries have great community events posted.

    - Have fun in a local park. Play on the swings, meditate on a bench, watch bullfrogs in the pond, or just have a picnic in a quiet spot.

    - Explore that urban environment on foot! Have you ever looked out over downtown from the top of a parking deck? How about at night? Sometimes the most interesting places are off the beaten trail. I don't know how safe Memphis is at night, but night time walks in cities is one of my favorite activities...when the rush of day is gone, I feel like I own the world.

    - Volunteer for causes you both care about. Help your local SPCA, feed the homeless at a soup kitchen, pick up trash or plant trees for local beautification projects, etc... not only are you doing good, but you both may meet people who you share common interests with.

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    One.

    What genre does she write in? If you can tell me, I can find an association that might be local. I was a writer, pursuing it for 8 years and made contacts and have gathered info on various organizations for different genre writers.

    A writer out in the cold is a bitch to be, considering I was one.
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    Matte Art:

    nanowrimo.org. It's a writing community that does a 'write a novel in a month' thing every november.

    over half the friends i made after highschool i met there, and it would be right up her alley with the creative writing thing. :]

    They have local events as well as an online community and it's pretty awesome. Right now it's kind of off-season, but.

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    Have you considered the idea that she might just be a bit of a loner.?

    It's not exactly unheard of for creative types..

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    Also, you could take her with you for some "interesting" or "surprising" evenings doing hobbies or try out things that you hadn't even thought about or discussed. Maybe she'll suddenly find that one of those things were something she would like to do again.

    Not necessarily something that's over social or over athletic or whatever, but things like... Shooting with bows? If there's a bow range somewhere around you, they often offer to lend you a bow so you can try it out, or you can rent one cheaply for the night from them. Sometimes the bow ranges are just grassy fields where people meets once a week though, so check it up locally online or at a sports/community centre or library.

    Or maybe fencing? Those places also rent out or lend you equipment for trying it out. If you guys have bikes that can be used on other than blacktop, participate in a mountain bike group once to test it out or prepare a picnic secretly and take her out to it. Or paintball, they can be done both indoors and outdoors, and sometimes they have signing up for groups. Or lasershooting, same thing, usually organized by the same people.

    Or maybe something simple as a toured guide locally that you haven't thought about doing before. Be it history tour, ghost tour, or architecture walk. Local reenactment groups maybe? You can just watch those and not participate as well. Horseriding trips? They often offer it to both people that's been riding before and total newbies, and it can range from just a couple of hours to a whole day.

    Remember you can find the oddest things notified in the oddest places. You can find things online or in a community centre, sports centre, mall, library, local stores, the theatre (both cinema and acting ones), bus stops, game stores, book stores or even museums.

    Keep in mind that things doesn't necessarily need to be social. If you guys do a little different things, it might be enough. Or that might be the one thing that makes start a conversation with someone another place. Maybe she just needs to get a "brain vacation" from her writing - doing different things will help getting some feeling of "change" and "doing things" even if it's just a picnic Maybe she can even use it in her writing. And if you think she might be a litle reluctant to get out and do whatever, play the card that you'd really like to, but you don't want to go alone
    Last edited by Sorknes; March 3rd, 2009 at 09:50 PM.
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  18. #16
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    If she wants to talk to other writers online - www.absolutewrite.com

    I would imagine that there are writing groups in the area that she could find through that site and others, if she were so inclined.

    Writers are kind of a solitary lot, and often don't realize how useful a network can be. (I found that one out the long, hard way.)

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    And if she is interested in writing fanfiction, there's always fanfiction.net

    It's quite a large community.

    But really, what's wrong with not being friends with your high school classmates? They were all lame anyways.

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    See, this is what I mean, you guys are all so helpful!

    I'm going to pass on the websites for her to browse and see if there is anything that interests her and we're going to start having to explore the cityscape more often as it starts to get warmer.

    Flake: Yeah, I have thought that we were both loners... but even loners have a select few friends that they hang out with every once in awhile.

    OmenSpirits: I believe she writes in whatever suits her for the moment; I'd prolly have to say fantasy and sci-fi seem pretty prevalent in most of her writing as she says 'It's an escape from common reality.'

    Anyway... like I said, you guys are all really kind for helping in this endeavor, I think we're going to start experimenting with some of the suggestions and see what happens...
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    Why not take some classes together? She met people well in school, so go do something like that and meet people with a common interest - cooking classes, a bike riding clinic, something fun and easy and usually, fairly inexpensive. Most community colleges will offer things like that, so it is easy to find. Check local community papers for upcoming fairs, festivals and gatherings that sound fun. I met some of my best friends by inviting them to the silliest celtic festival that was being hosted near where we lived. We had a GREAT time doing something off the wall and outside our realm of normal experience.

    And don't worry so much about finding something writing-centric for her to do. I know that when I am in a rut, especially creatively, it is because I feel like the mundane is closing in on me. Give her something new, way outside the norm that will maybe fire her up creatively. And it is always good if it is something she can do with you, too.

    This site had some neat things listed
    http://www.memphis.com/festivals/

    The more you get out and meet people, the better chance you have of making new friends. You will feel closer to her and she to you because you are building common experience. And be open to all kinds of strange opportunities - you will learn something along the way, too.

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  24. #20
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    Getting out and doing anything should help I'd think. If it doesn't (or if she refuses to go out), then there might be a problem that is better suited to medication.

    There are a ton of things that can be done for free or cheap, depending on your area. A hike or picnic can be very nice. If either of you likes photography, that combines well with both of those activities. Many musuems have admission based on donation, so you pay what you can. Invite a few people over for a couple drinks and some games. Head out to a bar or club that has live music. Usually (at least around here) there may be a small cover, but once in you can nurse a drink and enjoy some music.

    Remember, life experiences are the fuel to creative endeavors. You both NEED to get out and see and do some things to really spark that creativity. There are a lot of things you can do that will support your creative works without just sitting inside working on your ability.

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    There are some fabulous suggestions here, but I think a lot of you are missing a few key points about the situation...
    If she's into creative writing, she's not that into social things. She needs stimulation for her to then enable/encourage her to write. Think of when you're having an artist's block. If you're not the social butterfly type, getting out, taking classes, yadda yadda, is nice, but it doesn't necessarily do a thing to get you back in front of your Wacom or a canvas...

    When you don't have a lot of money, you can't afford bars, or a lot of social type situations. Even going to museums costs money...Finding activites that interest you can also be pretty hard, because artists tend to pretty much be off doing art stuff, not getting together, unless its art stuff, and then if it's organized, someone is trying to charge you money to take part...

    I would suggest putting some real efforts into nurturing that writer's spirit.
    Check for online Creative Writing competitions, when they are around, they are a great spark for creativity, and if they offer decent prizes, that can be motivating, too.

    Perhaps buying her a small, thin, fancy little journal book? Not too expensive, but something to encourage her to write, if only to document her current period of "aimlessness." Have her try to turn the current block into a story to help others who suffer it (not to mention, just writing about it might be theraputic in getting over it).

    Yes, you DO need to make EXTRA efforts to get her ass out of the house. You will earn your jewels in heaven by doing so. Look in the local paper for free events. Go with her, take your sketch book, have her take her journal, and the two of you make that event into an art collaboration. Look at the people, take some pictures, make some sketches, jot down notes and observations, come home, and then the two of you make a short illustrated story about "Matte and Angie Go To the Flea Market" (or whatever adventure you have ~ A TJMaxx grand openning, picking up trash on the highway, ANY situation can be a story...) 2 pages (1 per participant, for count, she writes it all...), and 3 illustrations (Cover, Mid-story, Conclusion). Who knows? The two of you might turn out something you can even sell to a magazine, but at the very least, you will be CREATING. TOGETHER. It's quality you time, and will make something you can both look back on years from now.

    Best of success to you, and if you do a joint project, we all want to see it!

    ~M
    Last edited by madster; March 4th, 2009 at 03:43 PM.
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  28. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matte_Art View Post
    See, this is what I mean, you guys are all so helpful!

    I'm going to pass on the websites for her to browse and see if there is anything that interests her and we're going to start having to explore the cityscape more often as it starts to get warmer.

    Flake: Yeah, I have thought that we were both loners... but even loners have a select few friends that they hang out with every once in awhile.

    OmenSpirits: I believe she writes in whatever suits her for the moment; I'd prolly have to say fantasy and sci-fi seem pretty prevalent in most of her writing as she says 'It's an escape from common reality.'

    Anyway... like I said, you guys are all really kind for helping in this endeavor, I think we're going to start experimenting with some of the suggestions and see what happens...
    http://www.sfwa.org/

    She can go to book events of group members & hang with other SF/Fantasy writers. She can feel like she's apart of something larger than herself and deal with people who are like-minded in her chosen expression.
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  30. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by OmenSpirits View Post
    http://www.sfwa.org/

    She can go to book events of group members & hang with other SF/Fantasy writers. She can feel like she's apart of something larger than herself and deal with people who are like-minded in her chosen expression.
    I'd also like to suggest Fantasy-Writers.org for friendly forumers, lots of good advice, and good stories.

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  32. #24
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    I'm going to start trying many of the suggestions listed here-in. Starting today actually! Wish me luck :3
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  34. #25
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    Best to you. I'm a member of absolute write, and if you feel like discussing writing/techniques, feel free to PM me.

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    Step outside the box. Exercise is a great anti-depressant. Could you go swimming together? Dance classes? Offer to walk a neighbour's dogs?

    Find something to do that's fun and lets you meet people.

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