In my previous post, I mentioned how there remains a certain amount of isolation and single-minded work in writing. It isn't until the writing is complete that we begin to digest the social and interactive tools. It reminds of creating an assignment for college students. You have to come up with the idea and map it out (and insert goals), and then present it out into the classroom to see if it will work.
Today, the term "selective solitude" came about in a brilliant flurry of ideas (@). While I hope there will be better dialogue about what that means, I thought I would attempt to write a bit about it and why it can be productive for a writer.
Turns out "selective solitude" is kind of a thing already. Most of the articles are facing the fact that you can be alone and you don't need to feel guilty about it. However, I think we need to consider when selective solitude means something different. Writers know the value of being alone, thinking, reading, and getting into the writing elements of our lives. We don't need an intervention that speaks to the idea that it is "okay to be alone." But I think in terms of selective solitude we are talking about making space for thinking and writing - our place and time to think and create without other influences. Sometimes, we need to just sit down and write things and see where they take us.
However, there is more to my vision of selective solitude. These topics might expand, but it gives a sense of start. We all have lives, families, work, and connections to the world that occupy our time. But how and why we carve out this selective solitude is based on what we want as a result. (What do we want?)
In terms of solitude, reading to me is a refuge. I like to read and fall into the depths of a story. It calms me down, and it engages my mind in a variety of ways. I've actually found really inspiring reading -- can spark ideas and thoughts about writing. I've actually stopped reading a book in mid-sentence to go write something that I couldn't get out of my head.
Music can bring me into a type of solitude. Even when I am doing other things, it takes me into a place where I can think, listen to the music and disappear. Sometimes I shut my eyes and just think while the music is playing. Sometimes, I listen to music while I am working or writing. It helps inspire and draw out new ideas.
The walk or a change of scenery is always important. If I am not able to focus, sometimes a walk will clear my head or even inspire something. Sometimes, when I run I actually write poetry lines as a move. For some reason the cadence of running is in-tune with my creation of poetry.
For me, "selective solitude" is not a weekend in a cabin writing. It is a twenty-minute walk, reading for an hour while the kids nap, or even listening to music while I mow the lawn. My alone time isn't always ideal, but it can be focused and useful in recharging my batteries. Sometimes, my best ideas come from moments when I am merely waiting for something else. Perhaps we enter into selective solitude like a daydream or absence seizures - and when we return, we have something new to say or something to create. The writing life is a balance between wanting to be accepted and constantly thinking of new ways to stay away from people.