The loneliness of the any-length writer

I’m not moaning; no-one makes me do this – write things, but it is a strange, solitary occupation. When the process is going well I’m friends with my words, and the world is a buoyant place; or on those darker days when someone says something that throws doubt on one’s efforts, the words become futile things – hopefully temporarily.

But we (writers, and anyone involved in a creative process) need people to say things, and not just ‘hey, that work’s really well’ but comments that cause us to stop and think; re-work, break down something that might have been considered finished and look again.

Then there are the days when someone unexpectedly says something that makes the whole ridiculous activity worthwhile . . . “That book – the last one you gave me – it’s fantastic. When will it be out?”┬áThe piles of manuscripts, trial copies of books, notes on short stories, completed stories and ones still circulating in the brain – it all suddenly seems a useful exercise, something heading in a real direction.


But if no one ever said anything about the work, would I still do it? Yes. I can’t imagine a day without writing whether it be a blog, a re-write, or a new tentative step into a new idea.