The Oneliness of the Long Distance Writer January 22, 2009Posted by Onely in Dating, Food for Thought, Great Onely Activities.
Tags: alan sillitoe, joyce carol oates, single writers, singlewriters.com, slow writer, solitary, writing is hard
I’ve been thinking about how writing is so solitary. And about how writing is such a slow process. Solitary plus slow equals lots of time spent by myself, perhaps–perhaps!–even more than suits my introverted nature.
‘Course maybe my writing goes slowly because I spend so much time staring at the screen thinking about how my writing goes slowly. When I’m working on a particularly grueling, stubborn, stiff-dictioned story, I sometimes wonder if it’s worth the effort. Writing one polished page may take hours (Joyce Carol Oates, bite me) before it’s ready to be submitted to some publication that may or may not want it, more likely the latter.
Would my time be more wisely spent going out with my friends? Sometimes I wonder this, when I’m sitting wedged between my laptop and my massage chair (I know, poor me), typing at an average rate of one click per minute–and that’s if you include all my backspaces.
And so help me, during my most miserable artist moments, sometimes an evil heteronormative cockroach climbs into my ear and whispers, “Forget the (novel, or essay, or whatever). Put all those hours toward finding and keeping a nice man. He’ll be more of a sure thing, and more beneficial to your well-being.”
In response, I scream, stand up, and jump on one foot, shaking my head until the roach drops out like a clump of chlorinated water. ”Says who,” I say, “Says who?”
A relationship is like a writing project. You can work and work and work at it, spending hours of time with it, and still not know if it will be successful in the end. So right now, I choose to play the writing lottery rather than the relationship lottery.
Copious Readers, how much does a lack of time and energy contribute to your Oneliness (if you are in fact single)? Do you have a time-consuming passion or a necessary activity that precludes a romantic interest from your life?
And as a bonus for making it to the end of this post, here’s a link to an interesting beta site: http://singlewriters.com/
PS. Thanks to Alan Sillitoe‘s ‘The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner”, about a young runner who protests social injustice by refusing to win the race he is expected to win.
PPS. Actually, I quite like Joyce Carol Oates.