Living a creative life can sound like so much fun to the casual observer, and it can be rewarding, but most of the time the work is tedious and much of the hard work you create is done as a solitary effort.
Meaning, much of what you do as a creative artist is designed and completed sitting by yourself.
Creativity and Loneliness
I think many online writer dreamers don’t realize when you write, run a blog, or manage your own website; you live a good portion of your life in isolation, locked away in some room banging out your thoughts on a computer.
It takes real discipline to do show up alone over and over again to write your thoughts without getting much in the way of feedback or monetary compensation.
The famous writer, Ernest Hemingway once said,
Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer’s loneliness, but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day.
I would use some of his words and further argue that for you to be a true professional, you must treat every single article that you work on like a new beginning. You should strive for something new that feels beyond your grasp–be brave and do it anyway.
Each time you sit down in front of your computer, you should consider ideas about your given subject that have not been done, or that other writers have been attempting to cover but failed. Then occasionally, with great luck and hard work, you will become a successful writer.
And fortunately (or maybe unfortunately for introverts) people will eventually recognize your efforts, and you’ll be invited out of your writing room to spend time in the public eye.
Enter Conferences for Women
This month, I was offered the chance to interact with the public when I was invited to attend a conference at the House of An Image Emporium in Johannesburg, South Africa. Conferences are a wonderful way to get out of your work sweat pants or pajamas, dress up and connect with people who are interested in your big dream.
As a VIP guest at the conference, I was treated like a queen and pampered at cosmetic stations with luminous gifts and Pravda Vodka. The ladies who were in attendance got to enjoy product discounts of 30%, as well as free brow services, waxes or tints with their purchases.
While enjoying myself, I was interviewed by the Citizen Newspaper about attending the conference. I was asked a few questions about my blog and to plug what I do for women in the media.
Conferences targeted explicitly to women can make you feel connected to a larger group of women who recognize the value that creatives like bloggers and writers add to the media and the world at large. We have very real followers and fans who show up to read what we put out there for the world to read on a regular basis.
When you are feeling the loneliness that solitary work can induce from too much time spent alone, you need to remember that there is a very real public enjoying what you are doing–the loneliness is just an illusion. It’s also a sign that it’s time to be brave and join a writer’s group, attend a conference, or do something that gets you interacting with other people who understand how you live.
Leaving the Security of Your Cave
Stepping out from your regular dream routine is a healthy way to gain perspective. Interacting with like-minded big dreamers who are on the same path teaches humility and helps you feel the glory of being a person who has chosen to take a chance on living your life purpose. Hanging out with a conference community will galvanize your creative juices and have you thinking in new, bold directions.
No matter how hard you work to keep your creativity flowing and your big dream goals interesting enough to motivate you, eventually every dreamer reaches that place where your work is tedious, and you feel lonely and disconnected.
Loneliness is a Part of the Creative Process
Creative loneliness is the feeling you feel when you should be working on your craft, but you don’t want to, and you resist getting started. Or you experience a creative block you don’t know how to move past, so you use it as an excuse to ignore your work. Or, or there is a sense of sadness and dread you feel when you finally make yourself sit down to work. Any or all of these thoughts and feelings make you question your art.
Your big dream seems less exciting or less glorious than it used to–it’s even irritating at times–and this is when it’s essential to make a change in your daily routine so that you don’t give up on your dream.
Don’t Do the Same–Be Better!
Look for Meetup groups that are like-minded or attend a conference that attracts other dreamers like yourself then get off your butt and go meet new people.
Change up your morning routine. Go for a walk. Move your office around. Do your writing in a coffee shop. Do your work at the local library. Spend some time volunteering to help others who are less fortunate to take your mind off of yourself and your loneliness.
Just don’t succumb to the sadness and melancholy that can overtake you when your big dream involves a solitary pursuit. When you are feeling down, don’t make any drastic changes that have long-term consequences you’ll eventually regret.
A solo dream will test the limits of your patience and perseverance. That’s why we call them dreams because most people don’t get past the daydream state. The real dream lies with the work–the tedious work, the lonely work, the difficult work that you must overcome.
Be thankful for the boring. Be thankful for the loneliness. It means you are on the right dream track. But remember to be brave by venturing out into the world and mingle with people every now and then.
Sue Faith Levy
Sue Levy is the founder of the South African Just Pursue It Blog and Inspirational Women Initiative. She’s a motivational writer and media designer, who is obsessed with everything inspirational with a hint of geek. She thrives on teaching women how to be brave and take big chances on themselves. You can find Sue on her Twitter page @Sue_Levy.
Note: Articles by Sue may contain affiliate links and 8WD will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on an affiliate link.