Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

Is Writing is a Solitary Occupation?

Stephanie

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Image courtesy of Nanakorn Photography © All rights reserved

“Writing is a solitary occupation. Family, friends, and society are the natural enemies of the writer. He must be alone, uninterrupted, and slightly savage if he is to sustain and complete an undertaking.” -Jessamyn West (1902-1984) author of The Friendly Persuasion, a classic tale of the American Midwest.

I feel as though I can write anywhere, but that my best ideas seem to come when I am undisturbed by the outside world. A quiet writing space allows me to tap deep into my creative vein – I fall into a delightful rhythm that ends either when the piece is completed, or when the “beep beep beep” of a new text message breaks my concentration. (Note to self- remember to turn cell phone off when writing…)

Do you need a quiet space to write? Or can you write at the corner coffee shop surrounded by chatter?


16 thoughts on “Is Writing is a Solitary Occupation?

  1. I usually prefer to have a little bit of external noise going on when I write– too much silence makes it hard to get out of my own way when doing that first draft.

  2. I usually prefer to have a little bit of external noise going on when I write– too much silence makes it hard to get out of my own way when doing that first draft.

  3. Hmm. Being alone and being solitary are different ideas to me. Writing is a solitary endeavor for me in that I want the word and voice to be from me…when I’m done, if I desire input, so be it. But coffee shops are some of my favorite places to go– the noise actually helps me create my own space by providing parameters to mentally push against. That said, I love being the only one up in the morning and writing then, too. Again, hmm.

  4. Hmm. Being alone and being solitary are different ideas to me. Writing is a solitary endeavor for me in that I want the word and voice to be from me…when I’m done, if I desire input, so be it. But coffee shops are some of my favorite places to go– the noise actually helps me create my own space by providing parameters to mentally push against. That said, I love being the only one up in the morning and writing then, too. Again, hmm.

  5. Writing is solitary for me — wherever I’m doing it. That can be at my desk at home or in a coffee shop or even in a crowded commuter train (if I’m lucky enough to get a seat), so long as I can completely withdraw from interaction with other people. If I can’t do that, then it’s hard to write. But if I’m deep enough into what I’m writing, even a train car full of rowdy sports fans won’t deter me.

  6. Writing is solitary for me — wherever I’m doing it. That can be at my desk at home or in a coffee shop or even in a crowded commuter train (if I’m lucky enough to get a seat), so long as I can completely withdraw from interaction with other people. If I can’t do that, then it’s hard to write. But if I’m deep enough into what I’m writing, even a train car full of rowdy sports fans won’t deter me.

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