All By Myself

I’ve been thinking about this quote from John C. Maxwell (I confess I had to look up John C. Maxwell when I first saw this image) as it relates to my life. I’m xxx_maxwell1happily married with two wonderful children who keep me on my toes and fill my life with unspeakable joy. I’m also a writer and as those of you who also pursue this rewarding/frustrating business can concur, it’s often a lonely way to make a living.

Dictionary.com defines lonely as solitary; without company; companionless. Yep, that pretty much sums up my writing life. I have other writing friends and I commiserate with them either online, on the phone, or in person. Those friendships keep me going, but in order for me to get words on the page, I have to spend hours alone. Some days when the words are flowing and I get an email from a reader, the loneliness subsides and gratefulness takes its place. I’m blessed to have the ability to work at home with a supportive family and flexible hours. But sometimes it feels like solitary confinement.

My current situation reminds me of when I quit work when my son was born. My husband and I made the decision to have me stay home and I was overjoyed to be with him all day, every day. It wasn’t long before all day, every day felt like a prison sentence. I went days without speaking to another adult. A grand outing was a trip to the grocery store. I’d phone my husband repeatedly asking,”When are you coming home?”

Just as I sought companionship as a new mother, I can now walk away from the computer and engage with others. I’ve spent the winter in three bible studies (two of which involve homework). I try to volunteer at school (sparingly). And I never miss one of my kids’ activities because I can’t get these years back. Could I pump out more books faster if I ignored my pangs of loneliness and chugged away at the computer? Absolutely. Would I be happy? No. Would the work suffer? Yes.

My point is that no matter your situation, don’t be afraid to join a group or take up a new hobby or step out of your comfort zone. Meet people. Learn something. Be open to new experiences. Life’s about the journey, and the journey always makes for a good story. If you have the time, I’d love to hear about your journey.

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About Christy Hayes

A wife, a mother and a writer of romantic women's fiction. I love dogs, exercise and cable news.

Posted on April 14, 2014, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. This is very true!

  2. One of the hardest things about being a writer is the isolation. It’s not easy to find that balance in life. 🙂

  3. The hard part for me is the on/off. It’s harder for me to write if I don’t have a big block of time, but that’s not realistic so then I wind up not writing.

  4. It definitely is important to have a balanced life and to not sequester ourselves within ourselves because then we don’t gain the experiences we need in order to fill the page with “life”.

  5. Like you, Christy, I went through the loneliness when I quit work to stay at home with my young boys. Then again when, four years ago, I left a full time office job to write full time. It took me the first three years to adjust to being at home alone all day, and there are days I still struggle between the desire to get a job outside of the house just so I can have some interaction with other people. LOL! We’re sociable creatures, I guess. 🙂

  6. I have to be home alone for about three days before I start thinking, “Hmm, maybe I should leave the house.” I value my solitary time, because I’ve got a husband and a 9-to-5 job, as well as my writing groups and volunteer activities. If I wrote fiction full-time, I would probably crave social activities more than I do now. It’s easy for writers to turn into hermits if they don’t force themselves out into the world–and the world is where most of the good material comes from!

  7. As both a homebody and an introvert, the solo time is something I enjoy (and crave, too). But as mentioned above, balance is key, and healthy!

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