Writing gives me two things. The first is an incredible sense of freedom. The second a plateau of loneliness. You need to cut yourself off from people to write, that’s as simple as anything. But it’s not just about needing time alone to physically write, it’s about meditating- losing yourself in your head. Sometimes, I spend several hours by myself just thinking. I couldn’t tell you what 95% of my thoughts are, but 5% ends up here. Every so often, if I focus, I can write something tangible. Maybe it’ll be about love, or perhaps thoughts and fears that are afflicting me at that given moment. The need for isolation, for solitude, is crucial. I need it to find the seeds for my prose and poetry. It’s almost like in the movies when someone is put under through hypnosis so they may find clues to help solve a murder. That’s exactly what it’s like. Writing itself doesn’t prohibit me that much. I’ve been in relationships and maintained a reasonable social life. It’s the exploration of my mind that takes up most of the time.
Sometimes, I’ll find myself looking out the window for the best part of an hour. Or sitting in the garden looking at the trees for two or three. I’m not there; I’m someplace else. Past, present, future- fuck knows. I could be in heaven, or even hell. On the outside, I’m just a guy enjoying the view, but in my head, I’m exploring a landscape containing every memory and sensation I’ve ever encountered. All those dreams and thoughts, ready for me to swim in. I’ve been like this since I was a kid. Long before I was writing, this was a favourite pastime of mine. It was solitary of course, but nothing came close to the freedom it gave me. Still doesn’t. There are no confines in the mind. The real world has fences and barriers. Money. Social standing. Geography. All of them get in the way, but with my mind, I can travel to the distant corners of the universe. Create wormholes to far away galaxies. I can save the world from the brink of War, and get the girl while I’m at it. I can create alternate realities, nightmares and love in the palm of my hand. Explore the secrets of the earth’s seabed, and pull stars from the sky to give to a lover. In my head, there are no limits. And this is what I live for.
When I write, only a few things are touched upon. Only a few of those seeds plucked and ready to grow. The act of writing is quick, and when it’s over, I’ll enjoy a few beers and play a video game. It’s the act of being in my head that takes time and makes me miss out on things. But it’s crucial. The need to be alone is just too great. Maybe it’ll be going for long walks around the countryside, or just laying on my bed looking up at the ceiling. Either way, it has to be done. Don’t get me wrong, I like being around others, and have enjoyed the pleasures of being in relationships. Without solitude, though, I’d be destroyed. It’s the price you pay for doing what you love. Self expression is crucial. Whether it be painting, drawing, or writing. Expressing myself is the key to who I am as an individual. Writing, on and off for several years now, has been the way I channel my dreams. These last six months, in particular, it’s become all I think about day in, day out. It’s what I am. If you took away my writing, they’d be nothing left but a shell. If you took away the lonely hours spent exploring my mind, I’d be working in a bank. Either way, you may as well shoot me.