We all know what it’s like to feel lonely. You can be in a room full of friends and family, people you love, and feel lonely. They can all be talking, laughing, having a good time, and you feel like you’re outside looking in through glass. Being lonely is not the same as being “alone”.
I’m “alone” right now and enjoying the solitude, regenerating in the quiet. It’s Sunday the 10th and my husband is on a road trip across Canada to Alaska with his cousin. I finished my errands yesterday and I don’t go back to work until tomorrow, so I have the treat of a day just for me. I spent the morning cross-stitching, drinking coffee, and catching up on some DVR’d shows. For lunch I finished my Chinese leftovers from last night out with a girlfriend (dinner and a movie). Now I sit at my computer drafting this blog and then working on my novel revisions. Classical MPR (Minnesota Public Radio) is playing in the background, a cinnamon-scented candle is lit (leftover from the holidays, but who cares), the sun is shining outside the sliding doors, and I’m enjoying every minute of it. Temps are supposed to be in the 50s today so I’ll even try opening those sliding doors to listen to the breeze tickling the still leafless trees, and the birds singing that spring is near. I don’t get many days like this. If I make good progress on my writing this afternoon my reward will be a bubble bath with wine and a good read. Does it get any better? I doubt it.
We all need a day like this now and then, a day to ourselves where we can shut out all the worries and concerns of our everyday life. Some people like a long afternoon nap, others a walk in the woods. Doesn’t matter how you unwind, the point is we all need to unwind…alone.
But I would argue being alone is even more important to writers. This is the time we can most clearly hear our characters speak. This is the time we can let our muse take over our thoughts, the time we can allow our plot to percolate through our brains and out our fast-typing fingertips. Writers are by nature solitary creatures. Oh, we do seek each other out from time to time to compare notes, share tips of the trade, and to reassure ourselves that we aren’t truly alone because all mankind has perished except for us and we somehow missed it while we were being alone. My local chapter of the Wisconsin Romance Writers of America (WisRWA, Chippewa Falls) is sponsoring a one-day workshop in Eau Claire this coming October the 8th and I’m looking forward to meeting others who feel the creative urge the way I do. It’s also why I attend my critique group in Amery one Monday a month, and continue to correspond and share my writing with my old critique group back in western New York. These are the people who help me remember WHY I write, but most of the time I need a quiet day like this one to ACTUALLY write.
Alright, the door has to be closed. The breeze is still a little too cool and those birds are distracting me from writing.