A writer’s life can be a solitary one, or it needs to be. I find that the times when I feel happiest, most connected, and most satisfied with life are the times when I write the least.
When life fulfills me in every way, why would I want to stop living and write about life instead? As a child, adolescent, and young adult, I often wondered why I wrote best when I took time out from living. I loved capturing a slice of life to re-read later, but I paid for this act by removing myself from life.
When I write, it’s as if I float in an in-between state. Neither living nor dying, but an odd stasis. A bubble. A separation.
To write, we must isolate ourselves.
Even as an introvert, that isolation hurts. We cannot live life while we write about it. To do so (or attempt to do so) is akin to tying our shoes while running.
When the solitude of writing turns from peaceful stillness into sad silence, I come to my favorite diner. The booth is comfortable, the plug-in close by, and the food (while not fantabulous) is comforting.
Most of all, though, the employees are kind. I’ve come here for the past five years, and that’s longer than some of them. There are lemons, of course, but mostly they are hardworking, earnest people without pretensions or egos.
I like that. My day job involves people with egos and pretensions, and I appreciate people who have their feet on the ground. It’s a mixture of college kids, college graduates who are getting their start after school, and those who have worked in service forever.
When writing is difficult, I always find my happy place at the diner. I have a few other places I like to work, but the diner reminds me I am still part of the human race. Even if I have to write 30K in a week and a half. 🙂
How do you stay connected when you need to do work that is isolating?