Writing is lonely, but only if the writer craves company. More often, the writer’s friends and acquaintances reside in his mind, living deep in the recesses of an imagination that can be frightful. My imaginary friends and inaccessible villains hide beneath bolders I create in my head. They sleep in shadows behind the garage, hiding themselves from pain and perfection in low-slung hammocks.
Despite the imaginary friends, writing can be lonely. It can be debilitating, ugly, ruthlessly lonely. It can shred the connections the writer has with family and friends and even adversaries. Even the writer who doesn’t crave company gets lonely. That’s probably not quite the way it works. That writer lives in loneliness as if it were a comfortable soft shirt. But she cries in the night and wishes for something; she’s not sure just what. He wants an embrace, but he’s not sure whose. Those are the times the razor and the bottle and the needle morph into family, long-time caretakers who’ll give up anything to save themselves from the harsh realities of introspection and recognition.