the end of solitude
I was back in the office this week and struggled to find my rhythm after a long break away, so much so that I had to head home on Wednesday afternoon for a nanna nap! I woke after one hour's rest with the title for the fourth book and a few more ideas for its plot floating around in my head (noting there are several ideas I've already developed while writing the third book). It seems a short sleep in the middle of the day worked wonders. And I was productive for the rest of the afternoon with the day job stuff too.
It has been a curious week - all very high brow activity.
First, I spent the last night of my 'official' break Friday past at a lecture by Thomas Friedman. Yes, I spent a Friday night at a lecture when most normal people would have a drink or many. I found the whole experience quite uplifting as this Pullitzer prize winning journalist is a great story teller, with language rich in metaphors and analogies.
His lecture spanned a lot of topics with his offerings on what will be valued in the workforces of the future resonating rather nicely. It seems non-routine creative types are the future. It also seems I have been chastised for being such a thing all my life. So I'm rather happy that there is a brighter hell in my working life.
I also liked his commentary on attitudes to take into any job. Think immigrant - no one owes me anything. Think artisan - what is the unique thing that I can create. Think waitress - what is the 'extra' I can give when it comes to dealing with people. Have a nice day!
Second, I read perhaps the best essay of the year about how solitude appears to be less valued today. Here's the link:
In some respects I did not agree that solitude is a dying value. As a writer, I spend copious amounts of time on my own, embracing my inner hermit. I can go days without speaking to another living soul and to be honest most of the time rather like the silence. Certainly, being comfortable with solitude is not really an issue for me. As Deresiewicz says in the article, "loneliness is not the absence of company, it is grief over that absence." I only feel lonely some of the time I am alone.
But I also do the things that detract from solitude that Deresiewicz is critical of - this blog being a fine example of that. I am a writer and I readily confess a small part of me wants others to read my work. Besides as Herman Melville once said (in the classic story Moby Dick), "we cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects." We cannot live alone obsessed.
Finally, I ended my week at the theatre watching Hamlet. Shakespearean tragedies are probably my least preferred of Will's voluminous work - because you just know bad things are going to happen to ALOT of the characters in the play - but on a wintery Melbourne afternoon, it was just the ticket.
All this brain food has filled my mind with inspiration. Twelve more scenes to write and the third book will be drafted.