Most of the time, it’s after ten o’clock at night. My parents have gone to bed. I’ve turned the lights down. And I sit in my lounge wear with a computer on my lap, emphatically trying not to get on Facebook or check my blog list. Usually I take a break somewhere in the middle and watch a TV show DVD. Then I go to bed.
The only one who hangs around at that time is my cat, who comes and goes and occasionally tries to oust my computer from my lap, but most of the time ends up being my companion on another chair or at my feet. And I do appreciate his companionship, but he doesn’t understand why I do what I do. He’s not encouraging me – he just wants me for my body heat. In fact, he’s purring contently on my commandeered lap right now and not letting me do schoolwork, the little ginger nugget.
One thing that NaNoWriMo has given me is a community of writers. We’re part of an offshoot from the Dallas-Fort Worth community, so we’re not nearly so big or impersonal. As someone who tends to have her guard up around a lot of people, the smaller numbers of our writing group makes me feel more a part of something rather than someone alone in a crowd.
We don’t even have to talk much when we get together every Saturday and/or Sunday to write together, although that doesn’t stop us from socializing or asking for advice or musing aloud. Sometimes it just helps to know that when you’re on your personal quest inside of your head, you’re not by yourself. You’ve got a tether to the real world with people who understand why you’re doing what you’re doing.
Writing is still a solitary activity. I wouldn’t want to write with people all the time, and there’s a good reason why I get a lot done after ten o’clock at night when the lights are down low and I have only my cat and my music for company. I’m most creative at night, and I accept this. But making the effort to get out of the house to write with other people, that makes a huge difference to my peace of mind. I get a coffee or a hot chocolate and a muffin, I get some good interaction and commiseration, and I get some writing done.
Even for the solitary kinds of people, it helps if that’s not all the time. After all, in spite of all the people living in your head and on the page, it’s still awfully lonely sometimes.