7“One is the loneliest number,” the song goes. True, I guess (though you could argue that zero is the loneliest number but that’s another topic). How about “writer is the loneliest profession.” Which is what makes the upcoming launch of my book something that fills me with excitement, dread, trepidation. Even a little awe. Being a first book, I feel like a deb before the ball. Suddenly, you’re not so alone. Suddenly, you’re up on stage sharing your work with people. Reviews are written. Emails come from long lost friends. At this point, writing doesn’t become so lonely again. And then…you’re back at your desk, with a blank piece of paper staring you in the face, and you’re alone. Again.
I suppose some people like the serenity of the process. Having spent most of my working life in an office, in places where collaboration is necessary (I used to work at a children’s press and then I started working at enRoute magazine, where I was editor in chief from 2001 to 2007), where all the output is a group effort, the aloneness of writing is strange. It makes a hard job even harder. It’s necessary of course. Before I sit down to tackle more fiction, maybe I should get a dog. Or at least think about it. Though a dog is probably an excuse to ignore your work.
I’m easily distracted.