My Novels

Monday, August 23, 2010

How to be Alone

Many, many years ago I learned that solitude can be a gift, not a burden. While creative writing is a solitary activity, I don't think that was why I came to value my solitary time. In fact, I would venture to say that my solitary nature came first, the writing was secondary. This would explain why I never quite liked working at a newspaper, the hustle-bustle hectic pace of never-ending social demands in the workplace, as well as constant interviewing and aggressive attitude to get the news.

Some people will panic if left alone, grab a cell phone, start calling random family or friends. Or run out to get a movie, or simply head to a friend's house. It must be extremely painful not to be able to just accept being alone -- and actually enjoy those moments of time for reflection, doing nothing, simply sitting quietly. In today's society, such moments are becoming endangered; either one is engaged with people in the workplace, with family, friends, tethered by a cellphone, ipad, ipod, unable to soar above the noise to hear their inner voice.

That is why I've once again resumed letter-writing via postal mail. I finally realized that it is a soothing, reflective activity -- being alone with pen & paper and quiet thoughtfulness in sharing. Lately I've even started writing some of my creative work by hand, then typing/editing it later. The internet, at times, is a distracting, disorienting, disjointed venue which deprives one of the ability to be totally alone with their own thoughts.

At any rate, I wanted to post a couple of videos for those who have never quite mastered how to be alone. Here is a video regarding North Carolina Modern-Day hermits:

The following is a wonderful video about learning how to be alone in an urban environment, and though slanted for young people, it can apply to anyone who can't accept that being alone doesn't mean being lonely: