Monday, October 29, 2007

The Lonely Life

Posted by Lisa

It chose me - this writing thing. It came about because I have that same mix of talent and longing and perseverance that you do. I thank God I’ve had this challenge placed before me. Its cost can’t be measured in sweat or tears, hours at the library or time sitting in front of a keyboard. Its payback truly doesn’t depend on the dollar amount of my first advance. I am so willing to make my way along this route, no matter the weather, the terrain. I am thankful for this privilege.

At times, though, I know I carry a secret hidden in a front pocket of my jeans; I tuck a hand in to hold it tightly and make sure it doesn’t escape. I never deny that I’m a writer. I write. I have an agent in NYC. But I don’t advertise that I am a writer.

At events with other families, I rarely know many people. I’ve never, ever been good at parties; I wrestle knots in my stomach when others swirl ice in their glasses. My outgoing husband is usually at my side. Often, with women my age, I feel out of place. How many people want to discuss the perfect sentence and what makes it work just right.

Do writers succeed or do they survive this calling in life? It's not easy: at times I book to the bookstore cafe for a one hour writing session instead of getting to know other parents at my daughter's school. I choose time at the computer over a phone call with an old friend. Sometimes, I am hoping to get through the parts of life that aren’t writing and work and family.

I need to write. Could I suddenly decide to not breathe air?


Lou Ann Homan said...

So truthfulness and honesty is something I am also finding on your blog site.
I am a writer in Indiana...not published in a big way...a weekly column, CD's (I am a storyteller)...but a writer foremost in my brain and imagination. You said it so well...sometimes I feel my job is to watch life and record it from the sidelines. Othertimes I am right in the middle of it. When I am just on the outskirts watching folks live life I am deeply moved and saddened at the same time, and I can't help myself. Part of it is that I live alone and my thoughts need to be expressed because when I come home to chat...there is no one there. Lou Ann

Melissa Amateis said...

Writing can be such a lonely occupation, and more of than not, that's why I crave it. I love solitude. But then, I can wrap myself in my cocoon for too long and destroy my creativity. That's when I need to be around other people, especially other writers. It's like I need my "fix." :-)

Larramie said...

Writers live in two different worlds -- the real and their creation. Your lovely post, Lisa, conveys the fact that you hang your hat in one place and your heart in the other...the best of both.

Shauna Roberts said...

I identified with your post and have felt the same way, on the outside looking in. I suspect it's true for many writers. If we weren't loners, we would find the solitude unbearable instead of pleasurable. If we had social graces, we'd be part of the party instead of learning how people behavior by watching from the sidelines. If our tastes jibed with those of our peers, we might not have the imagination we need for writing.

I believe a good writer sees things as they really are instead of through the socially sanctioned filter other people look through. And then they write this reality in a way that opens people's eyes and lets them see from a different perspective.

Michelle Zink said...

This photo alone is amazing. As are the observations of the post.

You guys are the best!