Why Writing Needs “Alone Time”

If you’re a writer, you’re going to spend a good bit of time on your own. It’s a cliche to say writers are introverts – but it’s true to say you’ve got to be comfortable in your own company. Society isn’t exactly understanding of this though. So if you want to be a writer you’ll have to get used to that too.

It’s not weird to be alone

In general, solitude is often viewed as a “bad thing”. I mean it’s used as a punishment in prison for gawds sake. Humans are social creatures (apparently), and certainly recent times have shown that people y’know, need people. Loners are viewed with suspicion. Even with all the technology we have, we still can’t peek inside anyone’s mind. So it’s only when a person is interacting with us, that we feel we have a window into who they are. Someone who’s alone could be thinking anything. Which is kind of why we need it, writer or not.

We all need time by ourselves

When you’re connected to millions of voices twenty-four seven, how can you possibly know the difference between your own thoughts and someone else’s? Without time alone, we can’t process all the information we’re getting and end up just regurgitating other peoples words as our own. Your time alone helps you grow as a person, and a writer.

Listen to your own voice

It’s fundamental for a writer to listen to themselves – but it isn’t always fun. What if you hear the wrong thing, something dark and gruesome that comes from inside you? Or what if you don’t hear anything at all, just watch a barrage of tumbleweeds rolling through your noggin? If you want to write, that’s a risk you’re going to have to take. And really that’s when you find the good stuff.

Alone not lonely

Being alone isn’t the same as being lonely. You can be lonely in a room full of people. The thoughts in your head may make you feel something, but being alone is not a negative or positive emotional state, it’s a neutral one. It is whatever you make of it. So go be alone. Write alone, think alone and don’t apologise for it. Solitude is necessary. Defend it.

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