A is for Alone

I’ve often heard that writing is a lonely profession. I think that is very true for me. On the literal side, probably 99.9% of my writing has been done with me sitting alone before my computer or sitting alone in a coffee shop or bookstore scribbling in my notebook and ignoring the other customers. But on a more figurative side, since I write mostly scifi, I write about people and things and worlds that don’t exist outside my head. Little of what is actually in there makes it to paper, yet I have had people tell me that they “felt like they were there” when they’ve read a story of mine. I don’t want to contradict them, but I feel that even my best writing is just a snapshot of something so much bigger. They say a picture is worth a thousand words (which, oddly enough, is probably the average length of most of my stories) but do you know how many gaps there would be if you tried telling someone’s life story just using photographs?

Before I get too far off track, this reminded me that someday I would like to get business cards made up reading, “Stephen L. Thompson: Professional Dreamer and Destroyer of Worlds.” (Creator and Destroyer of Worlds is too wordy, so I had to pick one, and why not be ominous?) Professional dreamer, I think, is a good poetic description of writers, especially fiction writers since we deal in the ghostly world of imagination. As to the destroyer of worlds, not to brag, but with my bare hands I have driven humanity to extinction – twice. You know, that might explain why I’m alone. 😕


2 Responses to “A is for Alone”

  1. All I can say to you is that if you like to write, do it. Do nothing in excess, meaning don’t spend too much time writing and forget to interact with people. Humans, like all animals, are social creatures, so we all need to interact with each other. Everything that will make you happy will come in time, you just should not shut yourself up doing one thing. Believe me, I also am a writer, just don’t forget that being social is a part of being human.

    Keep positive!


  2. I don’t think you are alone when you have your characters. And, frankly, characters aren’t very good without the input you get from being around people. Being a writer is an interesting kind of being alone. You’re alone when you write, but then you’re there with others when they read your words.

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