The Writer’s Life: Solitude

by Randy Murray on April 2, 2012

While I can write pretty much anywhere, I do my best work, produce my best writing, when I’m alone. Spending hours alone, every day, has become a part of my life.

In some ways it’s a great luxury, having time and no one about to distract me, alter my mood, or to ask things of me. But in the same way it can become drudgery, with no one around to distract me, to alter my mood, or to ask me the questions that send my mind down new and rewarding paths.

I rarely get lonely, but after several days of not leaving the house and seeing no one but my wife, I can feel trapped inside my own head.

It’s the writing that sets me free. Writing for a hour or two or five and I’m amped up more than drinking a pot of coffee. I am rarely bored when I’m writing. I am rarely conscious that I’m alone.

Yes, it is a great luxury, especially on days like today when I can open my office window and enjoy the warm spring air. There’s only the burbling of my aquarium, the soft tweeting of birds, and a low hum of distant vehicles. The light is good with more blue than normal for Ohio and the fluffy whiteness of the clouds is complimented by the early blooming of the trees. This is the good solitude. But it’s also good when it’s raining and the gray clouds scud across the sky. The words flow on those gray days, too.

I’ve made a choice to be a writer. Solitude, time alone, is part of that choice. If you want to be a writer you’ll need to chose it as well. Can you tolerate hours alone every day? If that’s so, chose again.

At the end of the day when I greet my wife and her return from the world my lonely day is over. We share most evenings together. But tomorrow morning I’ll be ready, again, for that quiet time and empty house that reminds me of this: I have writing to do.

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The The Writer’s Life: Solitude by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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