On being lonely.
From the Coin Phrases archive. First here: 7/July/2013.
I want to write but I don’t want to be lonely. I get lonely.
When I have poured myself out onto the page or work in isolation, I look up in a haze for interaction to fill up.
Some writers like that. And I feel worse about it then. Like, I’m meant to like it.
Writers write to connect with people but the actual process of writing involves aloneness.
It might be my situation that is lonely and writing doesn’t help (although it does, once I do it – but afterwards, not so much).
Yes, real art and real writing is about real life and real pain and it’s brave and embarrassing and that is how I resonate and connect with you. And sometimes it’s braver to point out what’s good in a cynical world.
But on the other hand…
A book written badly can be enjoyed by millions of readers. That’s connection, with the book, and with the other readers between themselves. Nice words don’t matter if you don’t have a story, a journey for the reader to experience, and you need to think about that before you write. You have to reveal it slowly if at all and seduce the reader to think and feel. Good writing is not even words. It’s thinking. Alone.
Losing a very social and great job at the same time as moving house are the two most stressful things in the world by objective standards. They were the most overwhelming and isolating things when I experienced them. And at that time, my partner preferred alone time while alone time for me was painful.
I looked up loneliness and I learned something. With self-awareness, it is a closeness to yourself and a distance from others.
I wonder if that’s true for work.
I love it at times and hate it at others. I’m a bipolar writer?
At the end of the day, when I haven’t made ends meet, I conclude I have nothing to show for my work and achievements pale in comparison to others. I forget why people read and why people write and then I don’t understand what I do.
That’s probably a sign. Often, people feel lonely when they put others first and they come second. Maybe that goes for my work too. When it feels bad, I need to put myself first and my work second.
I’m going for a walk.
And that… is why I have a resistance to writing freely these days. I know there’s a lot to work on in my life, and writing… just doesn’t help with that, any more.