The Value of Solitude

“Solitude is an absolute necessity—the single most crucial necessity—for the writer. Only in the deepest solitude is it possible to achieve the utter surrender required for creative work. Writing at its deepest is a spiritual discipline, where the unconscious and the conscious mind merge, where what we currently call ‘left brain” and ‘right brain’ somehow leap the boundary, and dream becomes indistinguishable from rational thought…

“‘Solitude,’ however, does not always mean being physically alone. Thousands of times I have seen it in a writing workshop where we write together in silence. A kind of solitude happens there, where each of us works silently and protects the other’s privacy. In that setting, miracles happen: The writer writes clear, clean narrative; surprising juxtapositions; metaphoric images; insights that the writer does not perceive until it is read aloud and named by listeners.”

Pat Schneider, Writing Alone and With Others 

Tell me about the conditions you need in order to write. Begin with the words, “In order to write, I need… .”

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