Breaking Through Writing Solitude

lonely writer - solitude

Writing solitude – A nice picture from my time in Cinque Terra, Italy. ๐Ÿ™‚

Do you get lonely when you write?

Is there ever a moment when you wish you could be doing something else?

Maybe you fall into the pressure of an alternative activity, even if it means finding company through the characters in a book or movie.

Writing takes a toll on the mental and physical camaraderie that is often reported as a healthy way of living. However, in order to become a quality writer, you are forced to push human interaction aside more frequently than others.

I personally enjoy the quiet, isolated atmosphere I experience when clacking away at my keyboard, but sooner or later that cabin-fever strikes.

Connecting with people is fuel for creatives – it is the most raw form of experiencing true human emotion. Emotion that must be apparent in your writing.

So how can you break through the solitude that comes with shaping words into meaning?

Online human interaction

You don’t always have to see or even hear the people you are talking to. Every week I handle a handful of phone calls with freelance clients and I would not have the career I have today without that personal interaction. Not only that, but these short calls help me refine my networking skills. I always feel nervous before a business phone call, but afterwards I feel a great sense of accomplishment. It’s never as difficult as it originally seemed!

Communicating with others can also come in the form of email or commenting online. I have had the pleasure of speaking with several wonderful writers – both receiving and giving advice. Not to mention, engaging in these forms of communication will always help your blogging/writing platform.

Even not speaking with anyone can bring a sense of satisfaction. I know whenever I create or tweak my websites or spend time building my brand I am indirectly communicating my image to others and relieving some stress.

Laugh with friends and family (and learn from those who contradict your own tendencies)

There is no substitute for direct human interaction and finding time to spend with family and friends is the ultimate relief for sitting in a room by yourself. A night out laughing with friends or family will promote your own happiness and get your creative juices flowing.

I know for a fact, that even some of my closest friends and family members can get on my nerves, but the ability to accept those around you and realize that they are there for a reason will humble you and bring balance to your own perspectives.

Share your loneliness

You don’t always have to get away from your writing to build relationships with other people. In fact, sharing your writing opens up the floodgates for the exchange of more personal information. People love talking about themselves, and if you ask someone to review your writing and explain to them what you are working on now, they will most likely reciprocate with the current status of their own career and overall life.

Building relationships is a two-way street and it will never hurt your writing.

Explore and connect with the world

Traveling to unknown lands, helping others in need and getting out into the world are all parts of experiencing the life we are granted. If you are young, take some risks! If not, take some anyway. You’ll always find more perspective and an overall increase in happiness when doing so.

What about the risks?

If you fail, you’ll die after experiencing something incredible. If you succeed, you’ll die after experiencing something incredible. If you refuse to try, you refuse life.

Get out there and join the world.

Let me know in the comments how you fight the cabin-fever that comes along with writing.

Set up a self-hosted WordPress blog in 10 minutes or less by watching my step-by-step video tutorial. Get your words out to the world and take full control of your blog. I recommend using BlueHost web hosting. It is the only hosting service I personally recommend, and I use it for this site! Learn moreโ€ฆ.

About Joe Warnimont

I am a writer, marketing expert and adventure seeker. I help people write, market their writing, live truthfully and embrace their lives through creativity. You can find me riding my bike around the streets of Chicago. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.

Comments

  1. Lindsey Gendke says:

    I fight the solitude by going to coffee shops and a little breakfast place in my town to write. Even if I hardly talk to anyone while there, it seems to help my morale just to be around other human beings. Great post, as always!

  2. Great question that pulls me right in: Do you get lonely when you write? Answer: NEVER. Sometimes, I get lonely for writing, yearning for that experience of creating characters and learning about them. And from them. But this is because I am very involved with family and friends and I have to chisel out time every day to write. Sometimes, it’s just commercial (SEO) writing, but I try to count that as honing my skills, getting better at the technical side of communicating. It’s the poetry and story writing that I sometimes miss, and have to find a way back to. Can a woman be both an extrovert (coming alive when interacting with others) and an introvert (feeling complete only when taking time to be alone and thinking and recording those thoughts to be shared later)? Yes, but it has to alternate, like a good conversation — sometimes you listen, and sometimes you speak.

    • Well put Susan. I too believe a person can be both an extrovert and introvert, but a balance is required. It’s good to hear you are always yearning to write more!

    • Yes! I totally know that feeling. Everybody I meet thinks I’m an extrovert, because I can be friendly and happy and talk or listen as the conversation requires. But I am actually an Introvert, who gets so burned out with a constant charge of strangers that I just want to crawl into a hole and pull the door shut behind me.
      It’s good to know there are others like me! ๐Ÿ™‚
      And yes, writing is can be like a heady wine, when I’m on a roll; or like dragging the bottom of a lake, when I’m running out of steam.
      Balance is definitely the key! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. After years of working from home as a freelance copywriter, I finally took a client’s advice and adopted a shelter dog. Having a sweet little mutt in my life forces me to take regular breaks and get away from my desk. Going for daily walks with Murray clears my mind and re-kindles my creativity. What’s more, I’ve gotten to know many of my neighbors and now look forward to opportunities to stop and chat along the way.

    • That’s great Mysia. It’s always great to hear when people adopt dogs, and it sounds like it is really bringing a lot of joy and interaction in your life. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. dover whitecliff says:

    Great installment, Sir! How do I fight cabin fever? Any number of ways. I agree with Susan an Lindsey in that I like writing in coffee shops (it gives me just enough chaos to block out and focus) and that my worlds and characters keep me from getting lonely. But I also write to stave off lonliness. Getting into the zone of writing gets me energized much like turning the iPod on shuffle and going for a walk on the hamster trail. Really enjoying your blog!

    • Hi Dover.

      I completely agree that writing can also fight loneliness. Creating characters and building worlds can be just as effective as going out in the real world!

  5. I’ve always found that I’m somewhat of an enclosed creature. I thrive in environments of calm and peacefulness. I live in a town that is never quite packed so occasionally I find myself wandering to the nearby book store or shopping mall with my netbook in hand and placing myself somewhere to watch others interact. I find inspiration in personal experiences but when i’ve got that itch for something more, watching others sparks my imagination.

    That probably sounds creepy, but I’m too reserved so I don’t tend to have a lot of friends. I don’t mind it too much. I prefer hiding behind a screen with my fingers flying across the keyboard as new thoughts and ideas come to me.

  6. A brilliant article. I second the opinion on taking risks and particularly travelling. I just happened to be lucky, with an opportunity to visit various countries from the Netherlands to Indonesia early in my life, and no-one should take my word for calling it “a life-changing experience”, at least because that’s not the truth. In fact, travelling and meeting people from all over the world can change pretty much everything you think you know, and more importantly, it gives an understanding of how close to each other we all are.

  7. Loved your post! It definitely resonates with me. As one poster has said, I never get lonely while writing, but I do crave nature so after being holed up in my house for days on end, I start getting cabin-fever. I go to the local park or even just walk out to my mailbox to soak up the sun. Every once in a while, I go to my local coffee shop and write, absorbing the energy around me or people watch. Another poster mentioned doing that, and asked if it was creepy, but I don’t think so. As a whole, I think most of us are introverted, introspective and such deep thinkers that we would rather watch, learn, and absorb the feelings, sensations, and emotions around us rather than jump right into the melee. And when the moment comes that I truly need a clean break from writing, I go to a friend’s art studio and sit and paint with her and several of her artist friends. It’s a different creative outlet, and I’m so refreshed afterwards while also socializing.

    • It sounds like you have a nice system going on Dawn-Renee! I agree, sometimes sitting back and simply observing those around me and the interactions that they have with other people fuels my creativity. Thanks for stopping by!

  8. check it or exit says:

    this is a great site—i’m glad that i’m not the only one who thinks these things (about writing)!

  9. Thank you for visiting my wordpress site. I enjoyed reading your blog. It’s especially nice to hear from other writers.

  10. Hi Joe! Thanks for this awesome post, and thanks for following my blog today!
    I am new to the blogging community and value your perspective on staying connected through human interaction. Personally, I try to allot specific times to write and separate times to socialize, therefore forcing myself out of my little world when the time comes to be with others. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I also try to surround myself with like minded people and writers who can provide human interaction through sharing our writing with each other or just sparking conversation through feedback.
    Thanks again for stopping by my site and I look forward to reading more from you!
    Take care
    -Marlee

  11. Great article. I just let it go and relax my mind. Idle game, gardening, cup of tea. Usually when I’m focused on something else is when the writing will pop into my mind and I’ll know where to go with it next. BTW, I LOVE Cinque Terre. One of the most gorgeous places on the planet. Lucky you in Italy this month!

  12. Greg Cochran says:

    Thanks for stopping by and the follow!

  13. Thanks for posting such an insightful and helpful article, I used to feel a little nervous myself before every business call. Thanks so much for stopping by and following me!

  14. I always enjoy reading how other writers cope with a situation. I have a trusted writing friend and I ask her to give me feedback on my writing. This way I step back from the solitude of writing and hear what she has to say. It is a social time and yet I am still talking about my work. I do the same for her.

  15. Great, inspiring blog, Joe! Nice to see kindred spirits hanging out here. Congrats on your success!

  16. This post is so good I am exactly like that I love writing and getting everything off my chest, my thoughts and my imagination but I do agree 100% that we need to interact in order to have a successful blog and keeping up the creativity when writing, I wrote in one of my posts I’m too busy living during the day and ready to be writing during the night as I have so many thoughts when I go to sleep that I am a nighttime blogger instead of lying there wide awake I use the time to blog hence how I keep it up!
    Rosa

  17. Great advice, Joe. Since my posts reflect the humorous aspects of growing up in the 50s, I run them by several of my cousins who are around the same age. We end up laughing and they often add remembered details that I forgot.

  18. Hi Joe and fellow Warnimont fans!

    Since you and I originally connected on http://www.poetatete.net, the sequester ate my job with a government contractor. I had been working part-time from home and had experienced the solitude of sitting in front of my computer. Sometimes when I answered voice-mails, I got some human interaction. And of course, I live with my dad and have a couple of good neighbors nearby who are welcome company, even if we only visit by phone. Sometimes, we sit on the porch for a few minutes.

    Sitting for hours on end working is not healthy. Looking at a computer screen for long periods, without taking breaks, can be bad for eye health. Standing up every 45 minutes to an hour gets the blood circulation going again, preventing blood clots. I found this out the hard way a few years ago when I was in my last class before my college graduation. I ended up in the part of the hospital next to the ICU, where they put people they think are at risk of needing intensive care.

    After my lay-off, I started writing a lot more, with the goal of making free-lance writing an avenue of income for my future (I rarely got the opportunity to use my writing gifts in my old job). Now, that I have the opportunity, I find myself working and working without stopping. But, I plan to have lunch or dinner with a friend once or twice per month with a goal for more frequent in-person social time. I would love to do this weekly.

    • Hi Cheryl,

      Thanks for all the input! I agree, sitting for an extended period of time is by no means healthy. It’s good to hear you are getting up and walking around to keep yourself healthy. Lunch or dinner with a friend is a great idea, which I will probably start doing. Thanks!

  19. That’s a great way to use communication. Writing doesn’t mean geting into a shell, it can involve letting people and experiences in. So everything you write will have a different polish and perspective.

  20. Brilliant post! I love writing, with a passion! Those long hours, bashing away at my keyboard can fill me with joyful, bliss, and satisfaction. I am fully aware though that it comes at a pretty high price.
    I find that too long away from social interaction can stifle creativity. I have a vivid imagination, and can concoct all sorts of alternate realities in my strange little mind, but over time these conjured apparitions can become lack lustre and cardboard-like. You need a strong link to community to keep a happy balance in your writing.

  21. This past spring, I co-wrote a one act with a friend. It was so amazing to be able to share the usually solitary thrills of writing with someone who was just as invested in and passionate about the project. I would definitely recommend co-writing as a great way to be both productive and social!

    • That’s a great idea. My two friends co-write scripts together and they love it. I would assume you remain more productive because you have someone to keep you going and talk to. It also creates a sense of urgency since you don’t want to let down the other person. ๐Ÿ™‚