Coffee Dates: Writing Alone

Good Morning, Creatives!

Sometimes I feel like I need a support group for introverts. Like, we can sit in a very small circle with only a few people who really understand us and say, “Hi, my name’s Abigail. Today an extrovert tried to sit down in my bubble and make small talk and I chose not to spill my coffee in their lap to make them go away.”

And then people would clap for me and it would be great.

Joking aside, I hate small talk. If you want to talk to me, I would love to talk to you! As long as we talk about your dreams and your fears and what makes you get up in the morning. Not how your great aunt’s hydrangeas are doing or why spring is late this year.

Part of being an introvert is abhorring small talk. Another—very strange—part is that, quite often, I like to be alone. I like eating in restaurants alone and going to the movie theater alone. I like walking alone and getting coffee alone. But—and here’s the weird part—I LOVE writing with people around me.

Thus, today’s question. Do you like writing alone? Or do you prefer having company?

My Process

I live with my sister. She’s an artist. So while I write at the table, she sits at the counter and does her wood-burning, or her ink sketches, or whatever else she happens to have a commission for at the moment.

And we don’t talk.

Okay, most of the time we don’t talk. Occasionally one of us will scream in frustration, break out into song, or make a joke that is funny to no one but the two of us. Then we laugh and go back to work. Because I have to push the buttons and she has to draw the lines and we both know it takes silence to do it right.

And it’s the best thing on this planet.

My Struggles Within That

She was gone for about five months. (I mentioned why here.) And I missed her. Dreadfully.

I don’t like to write alone. I like to have people with me who understand that I love their presence. I love being near them and having their soul so close to mine. Just the fact that they are there brings me so, so much joy.

But I don’t want to talk.

Most people don’t really get that. Introverts do. And other writers. Not many people can do it, though, and that’s why I treasure my sister and my writing group so, so much, because that’s how we all work. We understand that silence doesn’t mean I’m ignoring you, and conversations don’t always mean you’re connecting.

Your Thoughts

Do you need to be alone while you’re writing? Or do you like having select people around you? Or are you a coffee shop and train station writer, who feeds off of the hustle and bustle of the human race? Tell me about it in the comments!

6 thoughts on “Coffee Dates: Writing Alone

  1. I totally get the abhorrence of small talk. Words are precious, as well as my energy and time. Let’s talk about something that matters, what makes your soul feel alive!

    I like to write alone. If possible. I get distracted by anyone’s presence, wondering if they need anything to eat (my husband), if they think I’m being rude, or if they need “me”. I’ve just started (seriously) studying the Enneagram, and I think this uncomfortable feeling with others being in the room with me is because I’m a 2, always insanely in tune with other people’s needs and wanting to help. The only time I feel completely at ease and no pressure is when I’m in total solitude. This is definitely something I’m working on, because I also love people- especially my favorite people. I’m want to be at ease with them and sit in that companionable silence without wondering if they’re hungry or cold or hot or bored or sad.

    Now that you know my soul, I’ll reiterate that I like to write alone. Lol!!!

    Ps what number are you on the Enneagram? I’m kind of glad obsessed right now. ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I relate to how you feel. Personally, I like to write alone in completely silence. This means that I usually huddle away in my room at my desk for some time.

    Liked by 1 person

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