The experience of writing a book is different for each person during each manuscript. I am currently working on my fourth novel-length manuscript. The common thread I have found in each experience for me is a tendency to become so submersed that I don’t lose touch with reality, but I try to detach from it. My brain functions in the novel world at the same time as the real world, how much in each one depends on the circumstances of each world. I have to decide who needs me the most.
If I get stuck in my writing, I become depressed. If I become depressed, I get stuck in my writing. When I’m stuck I imagine my characters exactly where I left them (standing in a kitchen, asleep in a stranger’s bed, lying in a pool of blood, etc.) until I get back.
A lot of people obsess over their work, though. I’m sure we writers aren’t as special as we like to think we are.
Writers are easily distracted, self-centered, impulsive messes. We can’t help it. Please be patient. Some writer you know might have some serious shit going down in their other world.