KingMidget's Ramblings

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Writing is a Lonely Life

Via Andrew Sullivan, a quote from Ernest Hemingway:

“Writing, at its best, is a lonely life.”

This is from Hemingway’s speech when he received the Nobel Prize in Literature.  Here’s more:

For a true writer each book should be a new beginning where he tries again for something that is beyond attainment. He should always try for something that has never been done or that others have tried and failed. Then sometimes, with great luck, he will succeed.

To my fellow bloggers and writers, how often do you sit at a gathering and think you’d rather be writing?  How many times do you refuse the opportunity do do because you’d rather be writing?  How often do you find yourself writing and, when confronted with the life around you, want it to go away, to stop interfering with your work?  To my fellow bloggers and writers … is it the writing that renders the loneliness?  Or the other way around?



16 responses to “Writing is a Lonely Life

  1. Trent Lewin April 28, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    Well Midget, that is a tough question. I’m not compulsive. But I’m deeply in. There are digging claws in my back that rake and tear whenever I’m not writing, but hopefully I am smart enough not to listen to a mere matter of pain, because I know that if I listen there is nothing else really left. As sweet as it would be to write all the time, it would absolutely overpower me and suck me in… I’ve had stretches like that in the past, those times when I think as far as I’m concerned that I’ve written the best I could ever write – but the unintended consequences were difficult to manage. Writing is a glorified limb, Midget, a virtual appendage that is always with you and demands attention, but you have to be gentle with it, be careful with it, not pay it too much attention. And loneliness is a wonderfully sweet tonic for me – love it, want it, want the solitude, the quiet, the ability to write in absolute nothingness, even the taste of loneliness and its desperation, just another tool in the writer’s locked cabinet.

    • kingmidget April 28, 2013 at 9:02 pm

      Remarkable response Trent. I’m not even sure how to respond except with this. The much awaited response to your piddly suggestion that the Jedi would prevail over the magic of the hobbitses has finally begun to take form.

  2. Sahm King April 28, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    When you’re locked away from your talent by the world. When the world wants you to bend and forget your talent. When the demands of life and everything else distract you to the point that you forget your will to write…

    It is the other way around. For me. I don’t feel alone when I’m writing. I feel alone when I’m in class. When I’m at work. When I’m at the grocery store or the tag agency. When I’m doing all the things I don’t want to do and not doing the one thing I love to do.

    Mark. Excellent questions. Food for thought enough to satiate the hunger of the mind, and to settle the soul for another night. Thank you for sharing this. 🙂

    • kingmidget April 28, 2013 at 8:52 pm

      Your response is so spot on it’s ridiculous.

      • Sahm King April 28, 2013 at 8:59 pm

        LOL. My father was a very talented artist. So too was my Uncle. They both work what I would call very mundane government jobs. I can’t blame them; they do what they have to do and make pretty nice livings doing it. But to me it feels too much like wearing chains. Anyhow, your questions most definitely struck a chord.

      • kingmidget April 28, 2013 at 9:07 pm

        Mundane government job. Wouldn’t know what that’s like. OK. Maybe I do. I have one of those. Pays the bills. With two boys starting their college days I don’t have much of a choice. I think, however, that isn’t the point. Instead, it’s this. There are far too many times when I am enveloped by my writing work. The story is in my head and I am in the story. It’s very difficult in those circumstances to interact with others, to step out and talk about the mundane aspects of life when I’m back at Sullivan Bay, pondering Henry Thornton’s miserable existence and how to get him to the end

      • kingmidget April 28, 2013 at 9:09 pm

        One more thing. There’s a young lady in my mundane government office who is an incredible artist. I have told her over and over to not let her mundane government job prevent her from continuing to pursue her art. Her soul is worth more than that job.

      • Sahm King April 28, 2013 at 9:55 pm

        I meant no offense with the word mundane. I use the word synonymously with ordinary or common. I work for the government, too, at a VA hospital. Most of my family, many of us veterans of the US Air Force, work for the government, and none of us work jobs that could be called exciting in any way.

        It’s good what you’re doing for that young lady. I once lost sight of what I really wanted, figuring that it was too far out of reach, figuring that the world must be right because so many people opted not to pursuit what it was they really wanted to. There had to be something to that. But…when I’m creating, weaving stories, making worlds, drawing, taking photos, or writing a poem, that is when I feel most alive. I mean, besides when I’m with my lady. Without that, the ability and the choice to create…well, it’s hard to feel anything at all beyond the instinct to merely survive and do what you have to do to that end.

      • kingmidget April 29, 2013 at 6:54 am

        No offense taken. Since I started writing ten years ago, I’ve been in a tug of war between my heart and my responsibilities. The job fulfills my responsibilities.

  3. Sahm King April 28, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    Reblogged this on The Arkside of Thought and commented:
    What do the rest of you think?

  4. Bastet April 28, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    I have to agree with Sahm…I love to write (and read too as far as that goes). I’ve been know to go throughout a day with a story or a poem buzzing in my head, wanting to get out, and not be able to get to my keyboard or pull out my notebook, because of the duties of everyday life. I guess the hardest part is when the demands of the world want you to forget what you would really like to be doing…loneliness is a state of mind…I feel lonely when those I love don’t understand this part of me.

  5. Bastet April 28, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    Reblogged this on Bastet and Sekhmet and commented:
    Ideas to express on this subject?

  6. Pingback: Fiction – Her Secret Lover: Writing | Bastet and Sekhmet

  7. Carrie Rubin April 29, 2013 at 9:05 am

    In answer to your questions, many times. But I don’t feel lonely. I feel blessed with the solitude.

  8. unsolicitedtidbits April 29, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    I don’t feel lonely. I think writing is what connects me to the world even though I must retreat to do so.

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