Writing is lonely…

Writing is lonely. You are surrounded by characters, in another world, another time, another place, and yet you can go for hours without talking to anyone. And then, when you do find someone to talk to, you can’t quite bring yourself to articulate well what you are feeling. All the words which tumbled into your head whilst you were writing desert you. You enviously remember how well your character turned their phrases under your watchful fingers and fail to do the same yourself.

Writing is a peculiar occupation. I have often thought so, as have most others. It requires not just time, inclination and motivation. I believe it requires emotion, desires, fears, a questioning of humanity and an examination of ourselves in the written word. And at other times it’s just light-hearted fun that trips off the end of our fingers joyfully. It can be exhausting. It can be exhilarating.

Writing is Lonely | Philippa Jane Keyworth Author

Often one feels as though they go through these emotions alone. How can one explain that feeling unable to write due to a lack of inspiration cuts us. Or that looking sideways at other writers excites us to start and deflates us in the end when we realise just how far we fall short of where we endeavour to be. Writing is a little selfish. Perhaps it is the loneliness of the occupation which makes it so. But we selfishly develop our worlds to escape into, our characters to love and know for ourselves, our irritations and frustrations to be a martyr too. And then, perhaps it’s all self-indulgent.

But tomorrow, we’ll sit at our computers again, or with our notepads before us, and conjure up that escape, feed that need, frustrate ourselves all over again. Because we’re writers. That’s what we do, it’s what we breath, and dream and be. We try to shake it off now and then, but it won’t go, it’s probably the same with most creatives.

We have been marked and whether we will be a known, or an unknown or a barely known, we’ll write anyway, because, it’s mostly for us when it comes to the end of it all. Everyone else is a happy coincidence, a positive addition to the stream of consciousness we can’t help but draw out in letters and words and sentences. We write primarily for ourselves and then like a child excited to show another of one’s ‘find’ we hand it over giddily for others to view and hope they derive the same satisfaction, enjoyment and love from the thing we created.

Then the questions come flooding back. Am I selfish? Am I lonely? Am I really a writer? And because it’s easier, we sweep with the brush of to-do’s, the questions under the rug of busyness, and we get on with the job at hand, we climb back into the world we created and keep painting the scenery, we meet our characters and we follow their story. Because that’s what we do.

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3 thoughts on “Writing is lonely…

  1. Sarah Waldock

    And it’s a helluva escape for those of us who are terminally shy in social situation but fine with a pen in the hand [or keyboard under the fingers] because although the characters never do react the way you wanted them to do, they are easier to handle than the real people who make you stutter. It’s also massively cathartic to the depressive. The only downside is that you really do have to talk to real people from time to time as research. Mind, having a really good spouse to talk things over with helps.

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Reconfiguring: Why attending the HNS conference is essential | Philippa Jane Keyworth

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