Writing and Loneliness

Nathan Bransford isn’t just a good writer, he’s a writer who’s aware of…the benefits of the writing life.  And the not-such-benefits too:

Toulouse-Lautrec_de_Henri_Vincent_van_Gogh_Sunby Nathan Bransford

I don’t find the act of writing to be a lonely one. There’s something about the concentration, the empathy required to imagine what characters think and do, and being immersed in another place that never makes you feel you’re actually by yourself. It’s comforting to have the control over an imagined world that we can never have in the real one.

But the act of writing is a solitary one, and the writing life forces you to shut off the outside world for long stretches of time. To complete a huge task like a novel you have to say no to outings with friends and time spent in the sunshine, and choose instead to chain yourself to your computer or notepad and stare at it for hours on end. And because you have to spend so much time writing, you might not leave enough time for friendships and fun.

Writing might not inspire loneliness, but the writing lifestyle definitely can.

There was a really moving article in Slate last month about the dangers of loneliness. According to studies, the health dangers of social isolation and loneliness is comparable to smoking, and twice as dangerous as obesity.

It can be difficult to fess up to loneliness, or even to recognize that it’s behind what’s ailing you….

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