Welcome to my weekly ‘Diary of a hopeful author.’ This week it’s all about how writing can be a lonely business. But there is a way to prevent the malaise…
Sometimes, I’ve discovered these past couple of years, being an author can be lonely. It’s weird, really, when you think about it. Before I got published, I assumed an author’s life would be littered with parties and book signings and meetings – a whirlwind of social occasions, and while, yes, some of those awesome things do happen, in the main part the ‘post-published’ period is actually a very solitary time.
You see, writing, being a writer, means, for most of us, you have to work alone, pen to paper, sitting at the laptop. It’s lonely. Do you find that? I did, but now? Well, now I’m beginning to change my mind. It’s taken me a while to realise that, actually, writing is not, as it turns out, a lonely act.
See, not writing every day is the thing as writers that actually makes us lonely. What I’ve discovered recently is that on the days I don’t write, I get angsty. I grit and fly and wonder what’s bothering me. These days, you see, may be filled to the brim with meetings and parties, say, and the odd happy encounter with good friends, and yet still, if I don’t write something down, anything, I feel…lonely. Seroiusly. It was odd when I pinpointed it, when it dawned on me what was going on, but it was a blessed relief to finally understand the score.
Because not writing creates self obsession. You start to get way too serious about the small stuff, and that obsession can prevent you looking outwards, can stop you from relating to others, from seeing the world with their eyes – and that’s no good for being a writer. We badly need those connections. Writing gives us that life line. It’s our sat nav, the thing that allows us to check our bearings and understand how we are feeling, and when that happens, when we know what we are thinking, feeling, we become calmer, more open and less, you’ve guessed it, lonely. Basically, writing enables us to find ourselves so we are open to others.
So, if you’re a writer and feeling a bit lonely, perhaps a bit down in the dumps, then I urge you to write. Get down on the page how you are feeling, what is bothering you. The second you do this, everything will fall into place. Sure, it may be the last thing you feel like doing, but trust me, it will help. Write it all down – anything – and then stop, breathe. Re-read what you have scribed and know that these words are there to help you, help connect you to the world, to people – and even to your own stories and characters.
The great thing, too, is that when you write like this, you can carry on your day, meet up with friends say, go to the cinema, with a clear conscience, knowing that you have got your daily shot of writing under your belt. You can be present, open, happy. And never, ever, truly, alone. Happy writing 🙂
Thanks for reading 🙂 Join in the writing conversation below…