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Solitary Times

Updated: Aug 11, 2019

This week's writing prompt - the solitary life of the writer.

Holed Up

by Maria Issaris

There is a joke of which I am the butt in my family. It is when I say to them, ‘Oh I have been such a hermit this week. I have holed myself up, I have seen virtually no one and done practically nothing.’ When I say this I get no sympathy at all. I get no looks of wonder and awe at my glorious ability to ponder great things in solitude, no admiration for my brutal self-discipline, not even looks of compassion for my splendid isolation – standing craggy and tall on an equally craggy and tall mountainside, venturing out only occasionally from my cave to observe the sunlight.

No. No one does this. But they do roll their eyes and say, ‘O you mean you only saw ten people on each day instead of fifty, and you only had three social occasions, only held two get-togethers, only saw a couple of movies. You mean, your version of a hermit,’ they say.

But last year, for a month or two, I really did hole up. One of those times when you actually lose track of days and hours, even moments; when leaving your seat seems costly in terms of not being able to pick up the thread you had just left off. I didn’t take phone calls because I was focussing so much on what I was writing that I knew – being the shallow social person that inherently I am – I would become ensconced in a conversation that led me off track for several hours. It was a very enjoyable time in a suffering, dark type of way. And again I have made every attempt to garner some admiration etc for my efforts. But I think everyone knows in my family that I am so capable of being distracted that it was the only way to finish the last chapters of my book without losing focus. I was solitary they say, considering it was me.

Moderation is Key

by Peter Stankovic

A solitary life is a writer’s life. At least at times. It’s not for me though. I spend many hours each day being solitary, writing, but I have breaks to do other things. A walk, watching something, a snack. So, am I really a writer? Probably not. But I don’t care.

Writing, for me is fulfilling but I’m no monk and can’t conceive of a life dedicated to just one thing, be it an idea or activity. No, its not worthwhile contemplating such an existence. Like everything in life, I believe moderation is the key.

I carry out my writing as if it were a job and preserve time for fun. After all, without pleasure, is there a point to living? This may be considered shallow but, again, I don’t care because I don’t draw comparisons to other lives. Most are fucked up anyway.


by Marjorie Banks

I lead a lonely life

Alone and solitary

In worlds of my own mind

And lands imaginary

I tap across the keyboard

And fill each pristine page.

With actual real life people

I rarely do engage

My closest friends reside

Quite happily in my head

There’ll be no one to mourn me

The day I fall down dead

But my works will live on

And people in my mind

And lands that I have conjured

Will be in words enshrined.



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