a lonely animal: inside the writer’s workshop

The writer is a lonely animal, spending the majority of the day in solitude. Occasionally there is musical accompaniment, occasionally there are cafes bustling with people. Mostly, there is only the writer, with a pen and paper.

I have been writing ever since I learned how, but I never called myself a writer until recently. It doesn’t pay the bills (yet), and most people that I interact with can’t comprehend what it looks or feels like to be a writer. It looks and feels, in a word, lonely. However, it is indescribably fulfilling.

To elaborate, this is sort of what it looks like, superficially:

The Writer’s Sanctuary: volumes of filled journals dating back to 2006, a recent issue of Poets & Writers magazine, inks, paints, pens, brushes, glues, tape, stacks of photographs, and a record player and vinyls in the background.

The Writer’s Coursework: books on writing intermingled with two works by French literary critic Roland Barthes, as inspired by Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Marriage Plot and the video B*tches in Bookshops.

The Writer’s Shelf: notes on deadlines; inspirational quotes, reminders, and scribbles (see below); tiny canvases waiting to be finished; an envelope stuffed with plane ticket stubs and foreign currencies; a stone elephant from India; a golden elephant and bell from Thailand; vintage photographs of Mt. Fuji and an unknown girl in a library who looks like a relative; blank notebooks; and a transparent pink folder containing typewritten pages from the past few years, awaiting edits.

Inspirational quotes, reminders, and scribbles:

“All composite things pass away. Strive for your own liberation with diligence.” – Buddha

“You write to please yourself, you write to move yourself, to engage yourself in the asking of questions that are important to you.” – Jonathan Safran Foer

saturday, december 2011. i need to write yet i find myself doing anything but writing. today is a perfect example of life lately—doing anything & everything except what feeds my soul. not writing makes me cranky. my thoughts are clouded; i can’t tell up from down. when i don’t write i lose sight of who i am.

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4 Comments

  1. I couldn’t agree more with you. I am a student of engineering. But writing makes me happy and that’s why even though my schedule gets loaded sometimes, I write (though I describe myself just as a scribbler). And your description is very exact, it really feels like the world of my own filled with books; journals and inspirational quotes. “Lonely” that’s just the word i would use

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