The loneliness of the long distance writer

Loneliness is defined as a strong sense of emptiness and solitude. It’s often used to describe being unwanted, and unimportant. As a writer its easy to fall into the trap of feeling unwanted because much of your writing is rejected and occasionally ridiculed. It’s equally easy to feel unimportant because, to be quite honest, most people have never heard of your stuff and although your mum might be a big fan of your last story she’s one of a dedicated few. Most of all it is easy and familiar to encounter emptiness and solitude. While I would reject the rest as fairly negative conditions, emptiness and solitude are the stuff I live on as a writer.

It’s now two in the morning. I’m up to 31000 words on the sequel to ‘School: The Seventh Silence’, my smash hit: The novel that fulfilled all of the above criteria: unwanted, unimportant, largely unread and ignored. But the critical thing is that some few people really liked it and to be honest I don’t care if a lot of people don’t. The sequel is playing out in my mind like the unraveling of a peculiar psychiatric condition. It’s empty and lonely as write. There is no one about, it’s too late, it’s too eerie and it’s too scary for everyone else so I’m alone and I’m writing. I’m writing about scary things that needed to be written in solitude and if you ever get round tor reading it I hope you read it in an eerie, scary place because that’s where it was born.

I used to be a long distance runner and now I’m a long distance writer. I’m not writing for the short term or the instant hit. I’m writing for the long grueling miles and for that perverse enjoyment in pushing something to the limit. Loneliness is defined as a strong sense of emptiness and solitude and you might well define writing as the loneliest of jobs.