We’re drawn to what we feel scared of. I think what I fear most is being lonely. So I’ve chosen a job where I spend several hours each day by myself. I sit alone in front of the computer, and I write.
Writing is a lonely profession. If you can’t deal with that, you’ll never make it as an author. You must force yourself to work when no-one is watching. You must suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous comments, and afterwards must you sit down and write some more. I work alone but I bare my heart through my blog posts. When I press ‘Publish’, that private confessional becomes totally exposed. Sometimes I feel like Lady Godiva as I walk along the street.
Loneliness is a good thing for writers. That ache makes you work to reconnect with the world. Art is a form of communication. Feel the need to reach out and touch someone. Put your thoughts and emotions into words. This is how I feel, as I run down the road on this wintry day, with the wind in my hair, wearing my old blue coat.
Ironically, blogging can make you feel more isolated. I’ve actually got lots of nice friends who supportively subscribe to my blog. That way, they feel they are keeping up with what I’m doing. Consequently they don’t need to call and meet for coffee. But I have no idea what’s going on in their lives. Luckily I trained as an anthropologist, so I’m a good listener. When we do get together, I’m thirsty as a sponge for new ideas.
Writers are by nature liminal beings. That’s an anthropological term: it means borderline, subversive, potentially threatening. We are outsiders, doomed to stand slightly apart from the rest of the world. Writers stand on the edge of society and hold a mirror up to reality. We’re in and out, up and down, hot and cold, black and white. No wonder people sometimes react strongly to our judgments.
But that’s a part I choose to play. I teach mythology, so I’m aware of archetypal roles in our lives. When I write, I’m a wise woman: my personal paranoias become grist to the mill of my composition.
We are all constantly creating our own life scripts. Writing is one way of expressing your thoughts and dreams. It lets you convey an image that you identify with. In real life, there are other ways of being the person you want to become.
Do you ever feel exposed after baring your soul on your blog? Do you sometimes feel like an outsider? Is your blog representing your true persona or the persona of someone you want to be?