By Reba J. Hoffman
One of the greatest challenges you’ll face as a writer is loneliness. You sit for hours on end staring at a computer screen as it fills with word after word as you type away. It’s necessary in order to create that magnificent book you have in your heart. But, it does have its downside, and loneliness is that slippery slope.
Fortunately there are several things you can do that will help you combat writer isolation and loneliness. Here are just a few.
Write in a public place. Sometimes just being around other people—even total strangers—helps you feel as though you’re connected. My favorite spots are Barnes and Noble Café and Panera’s.
Get writing buddies. There is nothing more soothing than to get an email of support from one of your writing buds. Because they know exactly what you’re going through, they have just the right words to chase away the feelings of isolation and keep you connected with other humans.
Join a writer’s group. Being able to gather with other writers on a regular basis not only keeps you connected and feeling less lonely, it builds in personal accountability. Just thinking of meeting with other writers propels you forward in your word count.
Make author friends online. Authors—yes, even those famous best-selling ones—combat loneliness as well. Most love to make online friends with their readers and fans. Send them an email of encouragement. What you may get back could be the beginnings of a great relationship. My relationship with good friend, Susan May Warren, began just that way. Brandilyn Collins and I share a wonderful relationship that began online. Rachel Hauck, Beth K. Vogt, Lisa Jordan, Edie Melson… the list goes on.
Remember the Dream. When writers are combatting loneliness, they somehow feel they’ve been banished to their room and sentenced to type while the rest of the world has fun around them. Most, if not all of those “fun having” people outside your window don’t have a dream. Otherwise they’d be pursuing it, just like you. You’re dream of being a published author is honorable and noble. Not to mention a way to really change people’s lives.
While loneliness is an occupational hazard of being a writer, there are things you can do to keep it at bay. Find your own way around it. You can do it. After all, you are the creative one.
Reba J. Hoffman is the founder and president of Magellan Life Coaching (www.magellanlifecoaching.com). She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Counseling and is a natural encourager. She serves as Member Care Coach for My Book Therapy and is the author of Dare to Dream, A Writer’s Journal. You can connect with Reba through her motivational blog, Finding True North, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow her on Twitter at @RebaJHoffman.