Hello dear readers,
Do you ever feel isolated? One of the hardest things about writing is the isolation it requires. Unfortunately, I'm not one of those writers who can create a masterpiece in the middle of a busy coffeehouse. I can't even play music (too distracting). When it comes time to write, I have no choice but to retreat to my home office, shut the door, and completely isolate myself from the world. No phone calls, no cats, no disruptions, no Facebook. (Facebook is the ultimate distraction.)
Once I'm in the zone, I don't feel lonely. The characters that inhabit my books fill my world with color. I'm so immersed in their story that time flies. But getting there is hell.
As much as I need my alone time, I'm a people person. Being around other people makes me happy. I thought I loved living alone, but when my friend Niki came to stay with me a couple of years ago, we had so much fun that I considered getting a roommate afterwards. The house was empty without her.
And this is why I've been a little down since the writing retreat. To spend a week living with people who get you--who respect what you do, and who are doing the same thing--creating art through the magic of words--is priceless. I had plenty of alone time in my own room, but if I wanted to talk about something or just say hello, there was always someone around. And there was a lot of enforced social time--lunches, dinners, and most evenings were spent together as a group. There's a camaraderie that occurs between a group of writers that is so wonderful and uplifting. The downside is that I miss it a lot once it's over.
As I write this, I'm looking forward to my writer's meeting tonight. While it won't be the same as living in an artistic retreat, I'm hoping to recapture that feeling of community...if only for a few hours.
How about you? Have you ever encountered that feeling of community with people who really "get" you? Was it difficult to leave? How do you keep that community spirit strong in your life?
In the meantime, I leave you with Iggy Pop's Isolation.