Wallow in the joy of being alone

September 25, 2013

But it still makes you a better writer, in my opinion!

Not everyone understand the joys of solitude, either for themselves or others.

Years ago I had a friend who would get hugely pissed off when I’d withdraw and disappear for a month or so. I was just taking time for myself, to regenerate, but he took it as a personal affront.

As a writer, I like being in the world, observing and interacting, collecting data.  But after a point, it’s necessary to go into the office, close the door and start writing, and that’s a very solitary activity. Sometimes, too, I just need to take a break from being out in the world with other people.


thinker cu

By nature, I’m an extroverted introvert. I don’t enjoy huge groups of people or parties during which I’m forced to interact with people I don’t know en masse and superficially. Getting to know people one-on-one? I love it. I don’t want to talk about the weather, or even art, music or fashion.  I’m more interested in things like What makes you tick? Who are you, really? What’s important to you?

Those are the things I want to know.

Truth is, if I had a choice, I’d rather be by myself most of the time and make forays periodically out into the world.

Men don’t seem to like as much solitude as women. Maybe there are more demands on women’s time and the rarity of solitude makes it more valuable. And that when we can finally take a breather, we protect our alone time with a vengeance.

As much self-examination as I’ve done, until recently, I’d never really thought about the fact that since 1996, my relationships had been largely long-distance.  I lived in two states, but the men I was with lived in only one. Lots of built in alone time that I took for granted.

Now that M and I are both (semi-) retired and at home, that solitude is a rarity.  It’s not that I don’t like being with my husband–he’s great company. But I NEED that regeneration time. So when I can eke some out, I treasure it.

How about you? What’s your relationship with soltude?

5 comments on “Wallow in the joy of being alone
  1. Alice says:

    I agree. I love being around people but I also like being alone. It gives me time to think and relax and do whatever to do. And it’s great for writing!


  2. I really got a kick out of the poster – and your writing was spot-on. I’m an only child – albeit a 39-year-old one – and I always attributed it to that, but having a husband and two children definitely makes it difficult to find solitude some days. 😉

    Thanks for the blog – I’ll definitely be back. Take care!

  3. L. George Alexander says:

    I have always needed time to be alone. I have worked continuously for 50 plus years and in each job site I would look for places I could be alone on breaks and lunches. I am an avid reader and love to write so did not think the need to be alone was odd behavior. Unfortunately, people around me were uncomfortable that I needed to be without their company ever so often. There are times like today, I really need to face the world alone and without family or friends.

    Many people are afraid of being alone. Some feel that being alone meant that there was something lacking in them. I have come to accept that and to accept the fact that their need for companionship has nothing to do with me. I love solitude. I like being with people but not all of the time. I rarely go to parties although I occasionally go on trips with people with similar interests.

    Some people feel lonely. I rarely feel this as my life seems to be full of the books that I read, stories that I write. I know now there is nothing wrong with me because I need to set myself away from people at times. As for other people’s needs, it is none of my business why they feel they need constant company. I am lucky now that I can stay home alone as I don’t need to work forty plus hours a week as I used to do. It seems to be the most delicious time of my life.

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