Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Is Writing A Lonely Life?

There was a time in my life, when I was very young, that I had a problem being alone. I'm a very social being and have always thrived on having people around me. Maybe it comes from growing up in a family of six in a small 2 bedroom apartment in a very large apartment building. I was never alone. Consequently, I never learned to appreciate time by myself. 

When I became a mom, there were moments when I craved nothing more than being alone. Loved my kids with every fiber of my being, but they were always with me. When my youngest child went to first grade, we had a problem early in the year. She cried every morning, didn't want to go to school. I worried that some terrible kid was giving her trouble, the teacher was too strict or something along those lines. One morning, as she cried and resisted leaving, I sat down and pulled her onto my lap. I held her and rubbed her back and talked with her. I finally asked her to please tell me why she didn't want to go to school. Her answer floored me. Because I don't want you to be alone. I couldn't very well tell her that I looked forward to those few hours alone each day. Not sure what I did tell her but the problem was solved and never came up again. 

When I started writing, a good friend of mine said she didn't know how I could be a writer because it was a lonely life. You're such a social person, Nancy, she said. But that has never been a problem. I now crave time alone to write. When I'm writing, I never feel lonely in any way. 

If you are a writer, enjoy the time by yourself that writing affords you. You need to be alone while you write. I'm sure there are mom writers who write with kids pulling on their arm or leg asking for attention, but for most writers, they can manage time alone to pursue those thousands of words that make up a story. Maybe it's one reason that the advice is given about getting up an hour earlier than anyone else in your family so that you'll have time alone to write. Or stay up an hour longer than anyone else. 

Savor those moments when you and your pencil or computer keyboard are the only ones that count. Make it a time to just be you--a time when you create. You have no need for anyone else in those periods. I'm grateful that I've learned to enjoy my time alone. I'm still a very social person but I can do both with ease at this stage of my life. 

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