Alone again

I’m incredibly grateful to have so much time to work on my novel. There are lots of wonderful aspects of working at home: I can set my own schedule, wear whatever I want, talk to myself (or my cats) without anyone judging me. My creativity has an outlet and a framework. I am lucky to be able to spend my days perched at my desk in my little office, typing away on my laptop.

But —

(You knew that was coming, didn’t you?)

It gets lonely.

When I was teaching, I used to sit in the staff room and drink coffee with other people. We’d fill out the daily crossword, make each other laugh, chat about work and life.

Now I go downstairs to my kitchen to make coffee, then drink it all by myself. I sit at my table, read the paper and work through the crossword and the sudoku, all alone.

Sometimes I reach out and share some thoughts on Instagram or Twitter. I’ll scroll through Facebook, looking for a virtual community, but social media often makes me feel even more lonely and inadequate.

I know, I know: I signed up for this. The writing life is inherently sedentary and solitary. The downside to giving up my day job is that I miss out on all the little social interactions that go along with having colleagues and coworkers.

Anyway, it’s not that bad; I’m only alone during working hours. My husband’s office is nearby and he often comes home for lunch. My three kids keep the house bustling when they’re home from school. I’ve got lots of friends and an active social life.

This isn’t a problem that can be solved, just a wistful observation. I’m living the dream, but even an introverted writer gets lonely sometimes.