The Lonely Job

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They say writing is a lonely job.

Each time I hear someone say that, I feel thrilled. Being a loner by default and a wannabe writer/novelist, it was like having my wildest passions prophesied.

That’s what I like about the writing world; being a writer would mean that you could shun human companionship, and still sound sane to most people. Of course, for some people, writers are lunatics — alone or not. But that’s irrelevant.

My point being, I was excited to constantly hear assurances that the best profession for me would be writing — something I enjoy doing anyway.

And since more and more people understand — or at least try to — the relationship between a writer and solitude, I shifted my daily schedule to include a lot of solitary bliss.

Only it wasn’t all bliss.

I loved being alone. I had a lot of time with my own head, talking to myself, reflecting, wondering, hatching ideas, cooking for myself, and even trying my hand at photography.

But the writing wasn’t coming out as much as I would have hoped. Oh, I was writing all right. I was writing every day — but it was a struggle, I had to wrack my brains for inspiration each day — which became tougher by the day.

Then one day, we planned a movie night. I got to our rendezvous point and suddenly realized that it had been months since I had been outdoors at that time, and among so many people. It wasn’t late; the sun had just set and the winter sky had darkened earlier than usual.

That’s where I saw — people. Oh, and lots of them too. It was the local bus stop and with people thronging around — it was so surprising. Sure, I see people when I walk home after work, but that’s a limited view of mostly quiet residential areas. I would actually see as many street dogs as people.

Seriously.

But that night, I could see what I had been missing all along. Just by observing people’s faces, I could see thousands of stories, waiting to be penned. They all had lives and incidents happening — how inspiring would it be to observe people’s behaviour in a public place, and weave a fictitious tale out of it?

It was an eye-opener. Though I’m not a fan of crowded spaces and heaving faces, I’ve realised that people are my highest motivators. I glean my creativity from the varying expressions of everyday life.

And I need more of that.

Where do you guys draw inspiration?

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4 thoughts on “The Lonely Job

  1. I agree with everything–love the solitude, revel in aloneness, and discover I need input from living people. Strategists have known this for eons–‘a plan doesn’t survive the first roll out’ (or something like that). Neither does a scene. It requires the human touch.

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  2. Memory. I hold everything inside until I reach a breaking point. Everything I’ve been through I could never forget. Take the strongest memories even the bad ones and work from them if it’s an event you can tweak it or just build from it for your story. Memories of saddness, pain, and fear are usually the strongest for me…

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