Must. Have. Solitude.

Here’s the thing about writers: They need their space.

I need vast quantities of solitude and when I don’t get it, my perspective gets all out of whack. Like now. I’ve been overly social, with more social obligations to come. I love it. I love my friends and my schoolmates and delight in their company, but then there comes a time when a dark shroud settles over me and I am NOT all right with myself.

I’ve had a lot of years to experience this, and I believe that it all comes down to the fact that I haven’t had enough time to process all the social stuff — the information, the conversations, the opinions. The things that people tell me, the things that I hear myself saying. And when I don’t have time to sit and ponder it, as well as the work I’m doing, then everything suffers. Especially me.

So I’ve had to write “solitude” on my calendar for a few days in a row to get myself right. I have to make sure I don’t make a date for coffee or lunch or some other intriguing and delightful gathering. My first obligation is to myself, and after all these years, I know my requirements. I need a healthy dose of solitude just to watch the birds, to watch the trees leaf out, to watch the paint dry and let my inner self take all the newly-arrived information, process it and shelve it in an orderly fashion.

Solitude. It’s what writers are made of.

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