Writing Stuff

A Lonely Profession

I just received a comment on Write Anything concerning an entry I posted over there March 31, 2006.

Wow, I forgot I even wrote this. I have to admit, I like it and it still applies to me today.

In fact, probably more so.


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 profession.

And yet, I like it that way. I’ve never been a people person, per se, and given the choice of attending a party or holing up in a corner with a pad and pencil, I’ll choose the isolation every time. This doesn’t mean I don’t like people, far from it, I just prefer to remain on the outskirts of humanity and simply … watch.

And write about my observations.

I like my space. I like being by myself, I like having room to stretch out and do yoga exercises with my imagination. I like submersing myself in fantasy worlds and building entire scenes out of an overheard conversation or absent-minded gestures and unconscious expressions. I require absolute silence when I write, otherwise I’m too easily distracted and my story fades like a television station with poor reception.

I like my own company and I never have any problems being by myself or finding something to do to entertain myself and I purposefully factor myself out of human equations – give me a book instead.

And yet, there are times I get incredibly lonely. Those are the times I pin my husband to the wall as soon as he gets home from work and talk his ear off, generally about nothing; it’s just a relief to hear my voice as opposed to hearing my thoughts. I know he must feel like a bug caught in a jar during these times, he can see me and he can hear syllables come out of my mouth, but I’m usually talking so fast that the words are garbled and vague. I can tell he’s humoring me. He’s a creative person as well (he plays music) so he can relate to my enthusiasm for new ideas and the adrenaline rush one gets when ideas flow, but he doesn’t fully understand that there are times I simply need to … talk shop.

That’s why I love participating in online groups like this blog. It gives me a chance to communicate with like-minded people, like myself, on my terms. I can sign on and comment on my schedule. I answer to no one.

But after comparing notes, cracking jokes, bouncing ideas, and offering suggestions, after all of this is said and done, writers must once more step back into their isolation and pick up where they left off – they must accept the fact that writing is a lonely profession.

How do you alleviate your writing loneliness?


Reality Check – Last Excerpt


Here’s the last installment from my 2006 NaNoWriMo project.

I have comments turned off, not because I don’t want your feedback, but because I can’t afford to think about revising at this point – I hope you understand. 🙂

Please remember, this is straight from my rough draft – I’ve done virtually no editing. 🙂

Thanks for reading and KEEP WRITING!


“Should I wait here, miss?” the cab driver asked her.

That was probably a good idea. She didn’t even know if she would be allowed into the house, let alone allowed to talk to Marcus. Perhaps coming hadn’t been the best thing to do.

“Actually, yes, if you don’t mind. I’m not sure if he’ll even see me so … if you don’t mind, could you stick around for about five minutes? I’ll come back out and pay you if it looks like I’ll be staying longer.”

“Right.” The cab driver put his car into park, turned off the engine and settled back into his seat. “Five minutes, miss.”

She opened the door and made to get out when suddenly a body shoved her back in, a male body.

“Hey!” She was shoved across the seat, her body pushed up against the opposite door.

Dalton shouted to the driver. “Drive!

“What?” The driver sat bolt upright and twisted around in his seat to give Dalton a wide, startled look.

“Drive!” Dalton glanced out of his window, a look of trepidation on his face.

“Wait, please,” Brenna placed a hand on the driver’s shoulder then turned to Dalton. “What the hell are you doing here?”

“I came to talk to Jackie.”

Brenna continued to glare at him.

“My sister?” he supplied, his brows lifted. “Marcus’ wife?”

“I know who Jackie is, Dalton! Now get out of my way! I need to talk to Marcus and you’re not stopping me this time.”

“I won’t have to,” he said, his eyes trained on a figure bursting out of the house. It was a woman, and she was carrying a shotgun.

“Get off my property, you little whore!” Jackie started across the front lawn, the gun dangling from her skinny arms.

“She wouldn’t seriously shoot me, would she?”

Dalton ignored her and spoke directly to the driver. “If you don’t want your head blown off, I suggest you MOVE!”

The cab driver took one look at the woman with the gun coming toward them and roared the engine to life. They were moving two seconds later.

Brenna turned around and watched the woman reach the curb. She steadied herself and took aim.

“She’s going to shoot us!” Brenna continued to stare at the woman through the back windshield. She couldn’t believe what she was seeing. A man was running toward Jackie. It looked like Marcus. It WAS Marcus. “There’s Marcus!”

Dalton slapped a hand on the back of her head and pushed her down to the seat. “You have a death wish, do you know that?”

The driver, panicked and not wanting to get shot, rounded the corner on two wheels, they were out of sight within seconds.

“If she had fired that gun, could I have had her arrested?”

Dalton sat back up and regarded her with narrowed eyes. “Just what the HELL were you thinking?”

“I … I … needed to talk to Marcus,” she answered quietly, shrinking from Dalton’s anger.

“At his house? With his WIFE home? What did you expect to happen? That you could just waltz up to their house, ring the doorbell and say in that perky little voice of yours, ‘Hello. I’m Marcus’ mistress. I was wondering, is he here? I need to talk to him. I hope you don’t mind.’” He snorted. “Are you mental?”

“I don’t think I’m the one you should be asking that question to, Dalton.”

“I’m not playing games, Brenna. Jackie is my sister, and I love her, but she’s nuts. Always has been. She’s unstable under the best of conditions, she’s certainly not going to allow you to walk into her home and shut yourself off in a room with her husband just so you can get a few answers.”

“Uh … where to, lady?” the cab driver addressed the question to Brenna, but his eyes remained on Dalton through the rearview mirror.

“Back to the lady’s house,” Dalton growled

The cabbie’s question served to ground them both. Long moments passed with neither of them speaking.

“WHY don’t you want me to talk to Marcus?” She crossed her arms and turned in her seat to stare at him. “What exactly do you not want me to know? What is the big secret?”

“Believe me, I’d tell you if I could.”

“Why can’t you? I’m going crazy trying to piece this thing together on my own. It would be nice if you would meet me halfway here.”

“It’s more complicated than that.”

“How so?”

Dalton waved a hand. “Your whole losing your memory thing.”

“I’m not made of glass, Dalton.”

He sighed. “Look. I realize this must be incredibly frustrating for you,” she snorted in response. He ignored her. “But you’re going to have to trust me on this. Dr. Connelly said you lost your memory because of something traumatic that happened to you. This is your body’s way of protecting itself. You’ll remember when you’re ready to remember. Talking to Marcus is not going to help you.”

“It would fill in some gaps.”

“It would hurt you,” he said softly.

“Why do you care? Wouldn’t it be better to make me remember? Then you would have the answers you need concerning the fire, you could get back to work, I could get on with my life, everyone’s happy.”

“It’s not that easy, Brenna.”

She felt like screaming. “It could be! Why do you feel like you have to protect me?”

He was silent for a long time. When she was sure he wasn’t going to answer her, she huffed out an irritated breath, moved closer to her side of the car and stared out of the window.