“Writers are loners”, someone said to me this last week. It got me thinking. We are and we aren’t. We do spend a lot of time in our own heads, but can you blame us?! That’s where all the magic happens! Speaking for myself and other writers I know, we love being around people. We love interacting and relationships. It’s where we get the real life experience and the inspiration for our content. It’s what feeds our imaginations and helps us to grow. However, quiet time to ourselves is essential! As humans, I believe that we all need time alone to think, to write, to pray and center ourselves. Much more even so for the writer/artist. Could you imagine if Mozart had no time alone to compose his music? The Marriage of Figaro (1786) and Don Giovanni (1787) may never have been born. If Mark Twain wasn’t able to spend years up in his little cabin in the woods giving life to Tom Sawyer, we all would have been cheated out of knowing him. To take it a step further, why is it that when you leave to a job to work for someone else people somehow respect that time and don’t bother you while “you’re working”?
How do we create the space and time that we need to ourselves while balancing the rest of life, taking care of kids, husband, family, friends, household, jobs, etc.? I guess the question is, how do we help our family and friends understand that our writing time is something very important to us, and not just a little hobby to be so easily dismissed? Ultimately the problem lies within myself. It’s engrained in my head that I must make sure everyone else’s needs are met before I can have the peace and give myself the permission to sit down, alone, and spend time doing what I’m so deeply passionate about that does not involve everyone else. I have this sense that I must constantly engage if there is anyone home. I sneak in a little post or a little journaling when everyone is off at work and school. The door closes for the last time of the morning and ahhh…..I can breathe. I sneak off to the backyard with my coffee and my iPad, pen paper and a book, to have an affair with what I love almost as much as I love all of them! The birds chirp, the bunnies come to graze in the grass, but not a one of them needs a thing from me. They come and go wispily in their own fashion. We all belong. They chirp, and graze, my keyboard clicks. The symphony is harmonious.
I battle back and forth between the worlds. In the whirlwind of it all I have security knowing they both exist and that in time I will be allowed to visit each one, cherishing the one because of the other more and more. Relishing in each moment to take what I learn in one place to the other and vice versa. When we acknowledge how much, we as individuals need both alone time and social, I guess we’ll come to realize there lives a “Loner” in us all.