Does Writing Have To Be Solitary? (or am I doing it wrong?)

 

I have read many blogs, articles and books which described the writing process as a solitary pursuit.

They describe writers as having a hermit like existence. When I think about the scenario I think of the John Hurt version of “1984” and imagine a dark non windowed room, water dripping from the ceiling, a rickety table and chair, with a downtrodden writer plugging away trying to create a masterpiece. If they dare stop writing an electric shock jolts them , they grab their head in agony, begging for the pain to stop so they can continue the slog. They are in abject misery, dreaming of being outside with someone to talk too.

Is this how it is supposed to be? Because if it is, I must be doing it wrong.

While I am physically on my own when I write, I am far from being alone. I am with my friends, the characters. I travel to foreign locations, take trips out for dinner or just slob in front of the TV and stay with them while they watch the news.

I feel like I am on the transporter deck in Star Trek. I am usually in my front room, or sometimes at the dining room table. I open my laptop, get an idea of what just happened and then start to type, and as I type I dematerialize from my house, and transport to their world. And I stay there until I am tired or hungry and then I transport back to my house. Sometimes when things get exciting, I don’t even notice the hunger (It’s not uncommon when I transport back that I find its freezing and my toes have gone numb!)

For the older readers I imagine it like the TV show “Quantum Leap”

“Theorizing that one could time travel within his own lifetime, Dr. Sam Beckett stepped into the Quantum Leap accelerator and vanished. He awoke to find himself trapped in the past, facing mirror images that were not his own, and driven by an unknown force to change history for the better.”

Rather than being Sam, I am his holographic sidekick Al, who no one can see, but he can speak to Sam and help him along on his journey, telling him where to run, advising him what to say or just simply keeping his spirits up when times are tough.

To put it in a contemporary context, it’s like a reality TV show, except I can’t get bored, because I am controlling the action. My mood dictates where we go, what happens and what is said. If I don’t like what they are doing, I can make them do something different. If I am in a bad mood, I can hurt them. If I am in a playful mood, I can send them out on a fun adventure.

I laugh when I write something funny, I cry when I write something sad, I get excited when a reveal occurs and sometimes I feel the hairs tingle on the back of my neck and I jump up and down when I realize what is going to happen.

If this is a solitary existence then lock me up and throw away the key!

I’m not bored or solitary, but then maybe I am doing it all wrong and perhaps I am not supposed to be having this much fun?

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