Thursday, 8 January 2009


There's no getting around it, being a full time writer can be a lonely old existence. Don't get me wrong - I wouldn't want to do anything else or be anywhere else but there are times that I really do feel isolated. I think it is pronounced after a holiday, especially Christmas, when everything is so busy, there's lots of visiting taking place and the house has seen many days full of people, of fun and of laughter. Now there is just me and the tip tap of my laptop keys. Tip. Tap. Tip. Tap.

I think most people who love to write do have a certain amount of 'loner' or 'hermit' built in. You have to have probably to be able to sit alone and pour the words onto the page, however, I also find that I struggle to find people who I really connect with around me. I don't mean my family, but, the more I write, the more I find it difficult to really strike up a connection with acquaintances and that can be a very sobering experience.

Maybe it is because I am a fairly introverted person, I don't think I used to be so much but now I find that I stand back from a crowd where I once would have walked up and joined in. In talking, it is hard to explain what I do. For some reason, 'writing' doesn't endear you to someone. Maybe it's just unusual and they don't know what to say next. Maybe they have some idea I'm going to use them in a book....I don't know...but it doesn't fit the mould and so I forever feel on the sidelines, looking in on the others and their friendly chit chat. And the more that happens, the harder it is to break the cycle.

Spending so much time online as a writer you do make friends on the internet. This blog is one very good example! Over the years I have made some very good friends online, many of them from parts of the world I have never visited and maybe never will. I have some great people to chat too and yet, as happened only last week, it only takes one discovery to break down a friendship like this, to find out that one of these people just isn't who you thought they were. The facade is broken, the mirror smashed as the persona you had created for this person is blown out of the water and the person is seen for who they really are. Nothing has really changed, it's just a fact that it's very hard to really get to know anyone over the internet. And when the reality is shown to be different from what you had created and believed in your mind, that can hurt. And this then leads to questionning your ideas about other people.....I could drive myself mad. I should stop.

Loneliness comes in many guises and it can creep up on without you really noticing it is there. That's what's happened this week. It's not helped by the fact it would have been my mum's birthday next week. I'll figure it out, maybe I'll have to walk on up to a group instead of standing back. Who knows? I don't.


Sunshine said...

This is a great post. I've noticed that lonliness, sadness, drama bring out some of the best writing (for me). There is so much truth in everything you've said. I think as writer's, we are the Great Observers. We do tend to sit on the sidelines and take it in (and yes, use it in our writing). And yes, some of my best friends live in my computer as well. I usually attribute this to motherhood and being the stay-at-home mom. But now you've got me thinking. I think I might need to get IN the crowd myself more, or at least stick around a little longer.

I'm sorry to hear about your relationship with one of your friends. I hope it works itself out and doesn't deter your faith in people, as these things tend to do. There are many more good ones out there to make up for the few not so good.


Debs said...

I would love a bit more solitude, but that is because I sit in an open plan office with at least 80 people around me all day (horrible).

I'm definately more of a hermit as I get older. I used to be the life and soul of the party, where now I love nothing better than being in my shed with a laptop, mug of tea and the dog for company.

Big hugs. It's always difficult missing someone, especially around their birthday, or Christmas or times like that.

Carol Anne Strange said...

I can relate to so much in your post and I'm sure this resonates with so many other writers too.

I think every town (not just city) should have a creative cafe where we can just drop in and mingle with like-minded people. I'd love to run or be involved with a place like that. Perhaps some inspired entrepreneur will look at setting up a chain!

Mummy said...

Sunshine - that all makes a lot of sense. I also noticed a real change after becoming a full time Mummy. I think that can play a big role too.

Debs - thanks. I think your shed and a cuppa sounds marvellous. I also used to work in an open plan office so I can understand your feelings.

Carol - what a fabulous idea! I would love to be involved with something like that too!