Solitude and the Writer @ Link Wanderlust


I enjoyed reading Does Great Writing Require Solitude?, an unusual article, a conversation of sorts between three authors -John Kaag, Andre Dubus III and Clancy Martin.

The hardest part about writing is the solitude it requires to observe the train of thought that is necessary to compose sentences and then a book. Maybe a condition like insomnia could help as that is when the house sleeps and the mind breathes words. Writing is sometimes a making do, a snatching of time from the time fairy between errands and work and parenting. There are writers who have tasted solitude and those who have lived the full life, both conditions essential writing aides. Solitude is the staying alone in an apartment part of your life and it is also that part of your life when you are stuck on a hospital bed with tubes trying to give you solace. The emptiness that Romantics have harped on may be too empty to create a fictional universe out of. Solitude is no given; it’s a blessing in the right amount and if it is absent, it is a challenge that a writer must rise to.

Hesse said, “Most men, the herd, have never tasted solitude. They leave father and mother, but only to crawl to a wife and quietly succumb to new warmth and new ties. They are never alone, they never commune with themselves.” Yeah, maybe. But I am inclined to think, that for many men, the “new warmth” is often too hot, and the “new ties” are often too tight.

Do you need solitude to write or can you type away in any din?

sad city lights GIF by Martinez Ruppel


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