As I write, I’m alone. But not really. I’m sitting in the loft of a large coworking space where I sometimes spend my days. People talk and mingle all around. Yet at my small table tapping away at my laptop, I feel alone. In fact, I need the people around me to ignore me if I’m ever to get anything done.
But why do writers and other creative people need time alone? Or to ask it another way, is solitude necessary for writers?
A recent Lifehacker post tackled this question. Citing research from the 60s, writer Jory Mackay said most writers and creatives demonstrated “an openness to one’s inner life; a preference for ambiguity and complexity; an unusually high tolerance for disorder and disarray; and the ability to extract order from chaos.” All qualities that require time alone, but not just to do the actual writing or creating.
Instead, time alone allows for introspection, interrogation, and incubation of ideas. “Without incubation—that space away from direct thought—there is no Eureka!,” Mackay writes.
Here’s the bottom line: “In our lives, we face so many distractions, notifications, and constant demands on our attention that it’s difficult to find time to let your thoughts go inside. Yet when we search inside ourselves, we become more open to the ambiguities of life. And there, nestled among the chaos, is the birthplace of creativity.”
How can you make some time for solitude in your life today? For more ideas, read “Is Solitude a Key Element of Creativity?” from Lifehacker.
Photo by Lukasz Saczek via Unsplash.