Ernest Hemingway is one of my favorite writes. He wrote some of the best romantic books I have ever read. “For Whom the Bells Tolls”, for example, I must have read it a dozen times, and each time I’m excited by the tender feelings he was able to express in very few words. Truly, he was a genius.
He once said, “Writing, at its best, is a lonely life.” And as much as I adore him I would like to challenge this quote. “Lonely” suggests that one is sad, feels unwanted, and is longing for companionship. One can feel lonely even when sitting in a crowded room.
Some writers say they write their best prose while sitting in crowded noisy places, café’s for example. Others prefer crowded quiet places like libraries. What is your preference?
I can’t write in busy places. There is so much to observe, to take in. I like to watch and listen. Then I go to my private place where I ponder, reflect, introspect and analyze what I’ve just witnesses.
I need a lot of private time. I need to be just by myself. It’s a physical need much like breathing. When I’m around too many people for too much time I feel suffocated, even when those people are my beloved family.
So, I need my alone time, but I hardly ever feel lonely.
As a teenager I didn’t have many friends. I remember Friday nights. Sometimes I longed to socialize but didn’t have anyone to hang out with. It was tough.
But those hard feelings were not loneliness. I never felt loneliness, because I have such a rich internal world. This is the world where my characters live. And they have always been my friends. Even when I don’t like them they are still my friends.
They have to. Without me they have no one. They will be both lonely and alone. They will be nonexistent.