It’s often said that writing is a lonely pursuit, a solitary one. I always thought that meant you just did it alone, physically. You don’t have a boss or co-workers (well unless you have an agent and editor,) and you can sit in your pajamas all day and pound away on the keyboard with no one talking to you but the imaginary voices in your head.
But that’s not why it’s lonely. Today there are a bazillion ways to connect with other writers, talk about the craft, and help you on your way. It’s not lonely because there’s no one to talk to about it or no one to be your friend in the business. It’s lonely because no one can tell you how to do it. You can read blogs, go to conferences, take classes, read books, and take advice by the best authors and editors in the world. Some of it might help. Some of it might hurt. But in the end, it’s just you and the paper. It’s your name on the byline.
No one can show you what comes next or how to weave all the threads together. It has to come from you, and that’s why writing is lonely. And just a little bit scary. But isn’t that also why we love it?
I never did like to be told what to do.