Friday, March 16, 2012

Writing is Lonely

Reader, it has occurred to me that I am lonely. Really really lonely.

I'm tired of feeling like my writing is supposed to be both my super fulfilling job and my fun weekend activity. I've decided that just because I'm not thrilled to spend Friday evening or Saturday afternoon writing—not because I chose to but because I have nothing else to do—doesn't make me any less of a writer.

I think it just makes me human.

I know writers are always talking about how they fantasize about being all alone, in a Rapunzel-like tower far away where they could just write and write and write in blissful solitude.

I don't think anyone really wants this. Being alone is lonely. Trust me. And I don't write just because I love words, I write because I want to share stories with other people. Otherwise I would just spend the rest of my life reading.

Swap out writing for reading in that Rapunzel tower fantasy and it starts to make a lot more sense to me. Then again, whenever I finished a book I would want to talk about it with someone. Isn't that the second best part of reading a book? So even reading in total solitude doesn't appeal to me all that much.

The point is: we need people. At least, I do. Maybe it's partially because I'm a twin. There's never been a moment in my life when I was totally alone. I'm happiest in a room or house full of people. It's best if they mostly leave me alone. I just want them near me. But I don't have that right now.

So, what am I going to do about it?

Well, I'm not just going to mope around. I'm not exactly sure what to do, but I'm going to start giving some things a try. For starters I joined the Maine Writers and Publishers Association and I reached out to a poster on the MWPA forum who is looking to start a SciFi/Fantasy writers collective.

It's not easy to put yourself out there but considering that no one has come knocking on my door in the last eight months since I moved to Maine asking to be my friend, I really don't have any other choice.

Here's to small victories on a rainy Friday afternoon. And here's to remembering that sometimes the problem isn't what we're doing or where we're going, it's something else entirely. Like loneliness. Naming the problem is a powerful thing. The first step towards conquering it.


  1. oh dear. the sff collective sounds amazing, though. i hope that's a Great Thing.

    i also hope your sff collective inspires you to start that author aggregator program you talked about. i bet you could become a Community Lynchpin very easily. you have exactly the right personality.

  2. This hits a note (as does the previous post). There are times when--even though I will always love words, love stories, love writing--I don't feel like writing. Times when I am lonely and want to interact with the world, but also times when I'd rather the world stand a few steps off.

    I am a continent and half an ocean away, so I can't really help to relieve the loneliness, but I'm here, wishing you good writing, good times, and good luck meeting new people.

  3. Whaddaya, I am so excited about this collective. I hope it comes together! The woman trying to put it together is an professor and an artist. This combination makes me trust her, maybe because you have to be grounded but also creative? Also, thanks for the reminder about that other project. I need to get back into that! I'd almost forgotten.

    Thanks, Sabrina. It's not always easy. I feel a lot better being able to identify that the issue isn't whether or not I "should" be a writer but the much more mundane issue of simply being lonely.

    I went for a long walk in the woods on Sunday. Helped immensely, as usual.