Writing is a lonely life
"I wish that I could write fulltime!" People often say to me.
"Why?" I always ask.
They usually look at me and blink. Sometimes, they want to be famous. Sometimes, they want people to listen to them. Sometimes, they want to be caught up in the story (as if writing is like reading).
I've never heard anyone answer the question, "Why do you want to be a writer?" with:
I want to spend hours at a time by myself in a small room obsessing over the order, placement, and quality of words.
Most days, writing is just you and the empty page. It doesn't matter if you use a computer, typewriter, or handwrite your work. At some point, you must face the blank, empty page in a room, by yourself.
Lonely? Bored? Frustrated that you can't get more done?
That's the daily life of an author.
Writers are workaholics
"It turns out I’m a really boring workaholic with no hobbies or special interests." Janet Evanovich
If Janet Evanovich is a boring workaholic, what is James Patterson?
"I pretty much write seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. I’ll get up around 5:30, put my house in order, write a little bit, maybe an outline for that day. Then I’ll go out around 7, frequently walk a golf course for an hour by myself. Then I’ll come back and write until, oh, 11 or 12. It’s a combination of any business I have to do, whatever novel I’m working on, outlines … I was just compiling the number of outlines I do and found that I write about 900 pages of outlines a year. Most outlines are three or four drafts, so it’s a lot! Then one full novel a year, and whatever polishing..." James Patterson sounds like a workaholic to me.
The reason writers don't have a lot of friends
People are distracting. They take up a lot of time and their problems distract you from the worlds you need to create on the paper. The more people you know, the more drama you invite into your life. The more drama you have in your life, the more likely it is to seep into your writing.
And writers are workaholics.
Anything that distracts from the writing has got to go.
“Alone. Yes, that's the key word, the most awful word in the English tongue. Murder doesn't hold a candle to it and hell is only a poor synonym.” Stephen King
That's the job.
This month, I will attempt to share thirty thoughts about writing - one a day for thirty days.