The Loneliness That Comes From Being a Writer

solitude-image

I love to write. I absolutely love it so much. I cannot talk enough about my love affair with writing. I’ve written seriously in some form since the age of 12, which was about 24 years ago. I like to write poetry, books and screenplays. Screenwriting is what I’m currently working on.

Writing is so relaxing to me. That may sound strange, because I know a lot of people aren’t into writing, so how it can relax someone probably doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Writing gets my brain working. You may think that’s the exact opposite of being relaxed, but that’s how it works for me.

However, writing can be a very lonely place sometimes.

Again, when it’s very clear that writers are well in the minority, that means that writing is not a very popular subject. It’s not something a ton of people talk about. As a writer, I don’t talk often to others about it because many just aren’t into it themselves. Some do make an attempt to care for my sake, but deep down, it really doesn’t interest a lot of people.

I think about writing constantly. Whether it is my latest screenwriting project, poetry, when I’m going to write another book, or even blogging, writing is on my mind pretty much the entire day.

And that’s “day,” meaning all 24 hours, not just for the hours I’m awake.

I go off into my own little world when I’m writing; it doesn’t matter where I am physically. While I love that very much, it can sometimes be tough to be there all alone. Yes, for us writers, we know that the characters in our stories can keep us company so-to-speak, but other than that, many of us are one-man or one-woman existences.

The “loneliness” of writing really doesn’t stop there. I do love talking to other writers or going onto my Twitter page and seeing tweets from my fellow writers. It sort of feels like an exclusive club. However, during the times I’m not on there, I often feel that no one around me enjoys writing or hell, even understands it much, at least the way I do. Even when speaking to people about it and their eyes just glaze over, that adds to it as well.

As for me, I sometimes feel like I’m almost insane about it. This may sound cliche, but I really do pour all my heart and soul into every project I do. I try my best to immerse myself completely into my work because I know that’s what I have to do, along with it being absolutely necessary to produce great work. I’m also a perfectionist, so that adds to it as well.

It’s not uncommon for a writer to talk about being up at random hours of the night and that is very much what I often do. Sleeping often just doesn’t happen for me. Getting up in the middle of the night to use the restroom pretty much means that that’s it for sleep for that evening. Even when I’m not writing, my mind is always too busy to sleep much, but when I’m deep into a project, I’m really not sleeping a whole lot. To be honest, I’ve never really heard of writers saying that this is something we “have” to do, but it really is something that happens with many of us.

At those times, the loneliness hits pretty hard also. On one hand, it’s great, because I’m not disturbing anyone. My wife and children are asleep. I won’t ever say that they’re “bothering” me when they’re awake, because I know they need my attention, even though I get a good amount of writing done during the day as well. But at night, it’s a place where a lot of people just are not.

Even though I’ve never co-written with anyone before, I don’t believe I’d have an issue with it. I’d like to do that some day. The good thing about that is not only that I’m able to bounce my ideas off someone else, but to also allow them to give me their ideas as well. Obviously, when that other person isn’t there, that means I really have no one to talk to as far as my writing is concerned; at least as I’m in the middle of a project. I do have a manager now and I’m able to get feedback for finished projects, but other than that, I’m not able to talk to anyone about my work as I write. On one hand, it’s great that I’m getting my ideas out and letting my creativity flow. On the other, without being able to really speak to others about it, it sometimes feels as though it still is being kept “inside” to an extent, if that makes sense.

Then again, some days I enjoy this sort of solitude. Some say I’m anti-social and I’m really not. I’m just a shy person. I’ve been told often that I’m very friendly when people do speak to me, but the love I have for writing and the serenity that comes with it, I believe, not only contributes to my shyness, but leads to the belief by some that I’m anti-social and don’t care to be around people. I really do. I’d like to think many of us writers are that way.

My positive attitude leads me to truly believe me that many of us writers love people. As I can only speak for myself, I absolutely love people. I just love writing even more.

However, many times, that very thing that I love is also what leads me to that very lonely place. And sometimes, there is no place in the world I would rather be.

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