Solitude can be a blessing or a curse. If you desire it, then it’s a wonderful thing. Getting away from people for a while and having some quiet time with your own thoughts is healing. When it’s not something you desire, it can be painful. My solution is to turn the former into the latter, and leverage solitude even when it’s unwelcome. Put another way, I write because I’m lonely.
This is adjacent to my thoughts on boredom; there is always something to do. They may not be the things that you want to do, but they still need doing. When you try to view things are resources, rather than limitations, then you can figure out how to work with them. If Katie’s away, or I’m cooped up in the house because of weather or health, I may rather be with people and being social. My emotional needs might not get met. But I need to recognize the gift of time that I’ve been given, and use it.
Writing might not meet my emotional needs of the moment, but it meets some emotional need. It’s like being hungry for a hamburger but all you have in the house is soup. The bottom line is that you’re still hungry, and you have soup, you can eat. It might not be satisfying, and not as good as the burger you crave, but it’s better than nothing. It will get you through.
I haven’t even talked about the content of what I write, only the activity. Loneliness, like any other emotion, can inform the writing. I can express my feelings through characters. The people that I want to hang out with, the things we’d do and talk about, can be fictionalized. Or I can write about anything at all, non-fiction, game design, technical writing, if only to fill the time and occupy my mind. Writing is a useful distraction, whether you’re using it to explore your emotions or avoid them.
You can read more about Why I Write here.