“The solitude of writing is also quite frightening. It’s quite close to madness, one just disappears for a day and loses touch.” ― Nadine Gordimer, Conversations With Nadine Gordimer

I’ve written about the solitude of writing before. Unlike Gordimer, I don’t find it frightening or even falling into the abyss if madness but I won’t disagree that you can easily get lost within your story and lose touch with the outside world. There have been days that I promise myself to spend—at most—two hours to write and by the time I’ve finished the whole day is gone.

Lucky for me that I don’t mind the solitude. I’m usually awake by 4:45 am; at 5:00,  I get up to feed and walk the dogs. Outside, the inky night is beginning to fade, but I can still see a faint, blue-white moon. By the time I’ve clipped the dogs leashes onto their collars and step outside, you have an idea whether the day will be clear or overcast.

Once we’ve returned, the dogs go back to sleep but I’m wide awake. I make coffee, reach for the journal and start with my daily mental meanderings of what’s troubling me, what I need to do related to work, and overall musings. When that page is written, I open my To Do app, jot down the tasks for the day, and get to work on the Writer Unboxed Tweets for my beat. By the time I’m done with the dogs, journal, to dos, and tweets, I see that 90 minutes have passed.

I’ve been doing this for almost a month noe and today is the first day that I finally feel like I’ve started a routine. Right now the sun is over the trees, and I am sitting in front of the thirty-foot span of windows with a sleeping Jack Russell terrier by my side. It’s peaceful and there isn’t this heart-palpitating and gut wrenching feelings of fright. I could spend every single day like this with sleeping dogs, solitude, and the morning’s silence.

My front yard 2

If this is madness, I welcome it.

One Comment

  • I too am not frightened of solitude, but maybe Nadine had no husband or dog. 🙂  Or maybe she did, and solitude meant the absence of husband and dog. Falling into the abyss–shutting out the world while writing–that I have done, and need to do again.