Writing is, by very nature, a solitary activity.
We may be writing with others within the same room, or even collaborating on a project with other writers; but when we put the pen to paper or our fingers to the keyboard, we are alone. Completely and horribly alone with our thoughts, our emotions, the empty page.
For a few moments, we are forced to face who we are, reflected from the mirror of that empty page and the words we place onto it. There is nothing to hide behind, no one to guide our steps, no one to lean on as we translate thoughts and emotions into words. No one can write for us. It is something we do on our own.
What happens as we write is similar to when a musician performs solo. The audience fades away, place and time no longer matter, and the performer is alone with their music, their instrument, and themselves. It is that kind of aloneness–not necessarily loneliness–that artists of all kinds face when engaging with their craft.
And this, to me, is one of the most exhilarating yet terrible aspects of writing.
The freedom and space one finds in this aloneness may well fill the writer with excitement and joy–yet the journey from word to sentence to paragraph to page is fraught with uncertainty, imperfection, and turmoil. But one must go on…
When we consistently engage in activities that force us to stand up, put in the work, and fail forward alone, we learn much about ourselves and the craft; and in the process, our craft and ourselves are refined, strengthened, and transformed.
Write alone, because there is no other way to write.