A photo of my desk. To be a writer requires a great deal of time being alone with your thoughts.
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Writer
By Richard Mabey Jr.
My inspiration for the title of this blog came from Alan Sillitoe’s book, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, which was publishes in 1959. For there is a certain loneliness in being a long distance runner. And, there is a certain loneliness in being a long distance writer.
Right now, I feel the loneliness of having hit a roadblock in my goal of getting my book published. The loneliness lies in that friends, fellow church members, fellow employees, acquaintances, will all say, “that’s too bad,” when I might mention the frustration of getting a book published. Their words of consoling are mostly done with a bit of sing-song voice. Some might even be a bit sarcastic, with the undertone of “THAT’S your big problem in life?”
Never-the-less, the loneliness is real.
Back, when I was a young man, I worked for the International Public Relations Department of this huge telecommunications company. I wrote press releases, so I did have to have that time alone to concentrate to write. But, I was far from feeling lonely. There were people all around me at the office. I was on top of the world.
Then when I went on to work at an advertising agency. I once again worked as a proofreader and writer. There were long periods of time, where I needed to be alone at my desk concentrating and focusing on my work. But, I was from feeling lonely.
Working as a Security Gate Guard for a large gated community gives me the opportunity to interface with a lot of people, during the day. Still, there is a certain loneliness that I feel of late.
Mostly, I wonder if I’ll ever see my novel published. It feels like I’ve walked 50 miles across a desert, with only one canteen of water. And, I still have another 50 miles to walk, with little water left in my canteen.
Lately, I’ve been questioning my talent as a writer. This is painful to admit. Still, it is something that weighs heavily upon my mind, of late.
When I first arrived in Central Florida, I edited and wrote the newsletter for a diabetic support group. Not just any diabetic support group, but the single largest diabetic support group in all of Central Florida. I did that for about three years or so, then moved on to writing articles for a small town weekly paper. Sadly, that wonderful little newspaper went out of business a couple of years ago.
Writing is hard work. Some people have this romantic idea of writing. There’s very little grand and glorious about the hard work of being a writer. And, there is certainly nothing festive about the stick-to-it-tiveness that it takes to get a book published.
I promised my beloved father that I would do my absolute best to work toward getting my book published. Despite my self doubts, the hollow emptiness, the walk-through-the-desert loneliness; I know deep inside that I will never give up. Never give up.