The creative process requires that you leave the external world and go to your private inner one. And while you dwell in this inner space, you don’t want to be distracted by the external world. A telephone ringing, a spouse rushing into the room in search of the car keys or the grocery list, a child shrieking in your ear demanding your attention — all these jerk you out of the private reality that is the writer’s life source. These are not just simple interruptions. When you are thoroughly immersed in your creative work they can feel like assaults, breaches of intimate boundaries.
Solitude contains and nurtures your inner world. It is here that we best access our self and the wealth of resources it holds. For most of us it’s the only place where we dare be fully ourselves. Flannery O’Connor once said, “I am never more completely myself than when I am writing.”
Think of solitude not as just a mood or sentiment but as your entrance to the imaginative theater where you project the illusions of sailing on the open sea, or taking a leisurely walk through a mountain village, or driving along city streets teeming with life, or sitting contentedly at home in your favorite chair. Solitude is where your mind opens to new possibilities and the currents of your creativity flow freely.
Write about ways that solitude works for you. Where do you go to find it? How do you feel when it is interrupted? Familiarize yourself with the ways it works in your life and how it serves your creative life. Examine ways you can protect it and have more of it in your life.