Do authors need to be lonely?

Noticed on Twitter recently, courtesy of @parisreview:

“I need the pain of loneliness to make my imagination work.” – Orhan Pamuk

To all the wordsmiths out there – is this true?

In my experience, I don’t need the pain of loneliness. Pain-free works better for me. That said, a stint in solitary confinement can be a good thing. Email, Internet and phone silence can be truly golden.

I do find my imagination fires up more frequently when I have a clear head, empty timetable and clean, quiet workspace. Clutter is the sworn enemy of my creativity.

Holidays help too. Fresh faces and places trigger new ideas and are the catalyst for curiosity. In the past fortnight I’ve had ideas for a picture book, junior fiction book and short story. Finding time to work on and finish them is the tough bit…

4 thoughts on “Do authors need to be lonely?”

  1. I just spent 16 days on the side of mountain in QLD with my father and my kids.
    It was glorious. I had ALOT of time to think while the children ran wild and safe and I think Authors do need to be lonely sometimes. I was alone quite abit and wrote SO much.

    Funny thing was I wasnt ever lonely so to speak. My characters were my company. It just meant I could hear them better.

  2. I was up on Mt Kinchant in Mackay. It was so beautiful! Very inspiring.
    I cant keep it a secret from you! Your response to my email was incredibly helpful!
    The WIP is the novel I sent you the legal queries about, it is coming along nicely however some elements elude me. Including a title!

    Basic outline: 15 year old girl saves her younger sister form a housefire which kills their mother. Dad returns from where he is stationed for the Navy to find that his youngest daughter is refusing to speak and his eldest daughter is under suspicion…did she truly only have time to save her sister? Or did she choose to only save her sister. Every family has its closet full of skeletons. How much has Dad missed???

  3. Hey, sounds really good. I reckon if you have a strong story and enough quiet time to let it grow in your head, the rest of the details will come along. Amazing how much easier it is to write when you start to hear the characters’ voices!

    As for titles, they can be elusive – and then arrive unexpectedly.

    Keep on writing, T.

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