Most people who write do so alone. Yes, it’s possible to write sitting in a coffee shop, and in the midst of bustling venues of all kinds, but often, we don’t. Fundamentally, writing is about our innermost thoughts going down onto paper (or its electronic equivalent).
When we write, we step into our head and out of our body, to a place where the real world fades and imagination runs wild.
For all that, writing is not a lonely occupation; at least, it doesn’t feel like one to me. When we write, we become lost in another dimension that is rich with life and people. We step outside the ordinary and seek the extraordinary.
I often wonder at that perception that writers must be lonely; a view perpetuated by many writers themselves through their quotes and comments and interviews.
For me, there is a great difference between being alone and being lonely.
“Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer’s loneliness but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day.”
― Ernest Hemingway
“Writing is a lonely job. Even if a writer socializes regularly, when he gets down to the real business of his life, it is he and his type writer or word processor. No one else is or can be involved in the matter.”
― Isaac Asimov, I. Asimov
“Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in you makes a lot if difference. They don’t have to makes speeches. Just believing is usually enough.”
― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft