Peggy Bechko: Writing, Solitude, and Us (Writers)


by Peggy Bechko


Yes, that’s the subject for today. A writer can’t worry about being alone. A reader must welcome alone time to be able to read.

Solitude is the sunshine that allows creativity to flourish. In the quiet time your thoughts can take shape and you can focus. You can unwind, face inner demons, reach deep and find out who you really are. I focus more on the writer, but the same applies to the reader. There are times when we simply need to do nothing, to just sit and be, in order to feel the creativity rise up from the depths of cool solitude. Even while you do nothing, you’re doing something. In the stillness lies the kernel of creativity.

But don’t listen to only me, listen to Lu Dorfsman who said, “Creativity is essentially a lonely art. An even lonelier struggle. To some a blessing. To others a curse. It is in reality the ability to reach inside yourself and drag forth from your very soul an idea.”  Solitude can breed loneliness but it doesn’t have to. In solitude is the excitement of self-exploration and the birth of ideas.

And it doesn’t go for just folks who write or create paintings or sculpture or music (Mozart said, “When I am, as it were, completely myself, entirely alone, and of good cheer–say, traveling in a carriage or walking after a good meal or during the night when I cannot sleep–it is on such occasions that my ideas flow best and most abundantly.”) it’s a balm for everyone.

And it’s not just those creative. How about physicist Albert Einstein? He was famous for his long walks on the beach and said, “On the other hand, although I have a regular work schedule, I take time to go for long walks on the beach so that I can listen to what is going on inside my head. If my work isn’t going well, I lie down in the middle of a workday and gaze at the ceiling while I listen and visualize what goes on in my imagination.”

And one of my favorites, Nilcola Tesla who told us,  “The mind is sharper and keener in seclusion and uninterrupted solitude. Originality thrives in seclusion free of outside influences beating upon us to cripple the creative mind. Be alone—that is the secret of invention: be alone, that is when ideas are born.”

Get it? We all need alone time. That means turn off your computer, silence your phone, put away your tablet and do some daydreaming. Sometimes focusing on the ceiling really is all it takes.

Peggy Bechko is a Contributing Editor to TVWriter™. You can learn more about her HERE.