D is for Diner


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?


7 thoughts on “D is for Diner

  1. awesomesub says:

    Hi Ana, currently isolation is something that I cannot have, but I know it from the times before Tilda was born, when hubby was on business trips and I focused on my work. Usually this was pretty cool, because it was a sort of creative peacefulness and I could see the results of what I did in a picture. And sooner or later this pleasant kind of silence would turn ugly for me, more like screaming silence (not my term, read it elsewhere). When hubby was not available, this was when I went to friends, preferably to my best friend because she is so understanding and we can talk. I would talk to anybody to get rid of what feels like too much isolation, but that’s not a real connection if someone is not close enough.

    Now this is different, because I rarely paint or draw and am too busy doing everything around Tilda. That’s incredibly fulfilling for me and I have not had this sort of (creative) isolation due to time issues, instead living life has taken over more than ever.

    Wishing you a very Happy Easter!




    • renee200 says:

      Nina, enjoy this time with your little one. The time for artistic endevours will come around again. This time with your little one goes by so quick. My youngest is 15 and I keep wondering where the years went. Blessings, Renee


  2. Strange Flesh Press says:

    Oh hell yes. It’s torture, the isolation. Social media has made things better in the last decade. Still not the same a sitting at a table talking with a friend face-to-face. Or other things. I began life as an artist. Whole weekends lost to drawing in my room while neighborhood friends played. I denied them for “my art” ;-). Moving as much as I did through my 20s and 30s really made it easier to produce since I wasn’t as connected. Now, with family, friends, my own businesses, and blogging, I’m seldom alone. Hence, my art has slowed tremendously. It’s a trade off, isn’t it? As much as I miss my alone time and self expression, right now, life is about people more than art. I follow the pleasure. You have a lot of self discipline but there’s pleasure in that too.


  3. Joelle Casteel says:

    I come at writing differently than you do, I think, Anastasia. I don’t isolate to write or to do anything. Even as an introvert, I find I have way too much solitude in my life. For me, it is about making connections constantly, even if it’s just asking The Queen to come sit with me because I’m frustrated with someone mainstream not understanding something.


  4. renee200 says:

    Ana, as you know I don’t write only read. but when I need to vision cast or plan for the future or do the things I’m supposed to do as a grown up, I go to the beach. It is my place to recharge, think without interruptions, and consider how small my problems really are. LOL. Blessings. R


  5. catrouble says:

    Happy Easter Ana! I work from home so am very isolated…except when I have to attend all the blasted meetings…even then, it’s all by phone. I find that talking to my friends helps as well as taking a long lunch once in a while so I can run into town and have lunch at our local Chinese or Mexican restaurants…always have enough leftovers to bring home for supper. LOL Sometimes I just run up to the station on the corner to get a candy bar and visit with the clerks for a few minutes…just something to connect FTF.

    Hugs and blessings…


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