My blog is often a neglected child crying for attention. I have a tiny window of time to write, proofread, and post new blog posts. My daily life is a rush that keeps the heart pumping and puts a limp in my walk at the end of the day.
Smile. There is always a moment when I can write a few sentences or thumbnail a new drawing or painting. It’s a yin and yang thing that keeps me balanced.
I have pages of incomplete sentences too, in notebooks, on index cards, and even in fancy leather journals. I am a sketcher. I see a light at the end of a tunnel and work my way to it. Sometimes, it takes years to get there. Sometimes, which is often the case, I find another tunnel and branch into a new direction.
Sometimes the tunnel is not a tunnel at all, but a lone highway that starts with no people, houses, or traffic. I take those lonely walks along such highways when I begin writing my stories. But I soon meet an interesting character—sometimes two or more. They join me on the journey, taking me to places and other people, showing me which way to go and telling me how to get there. That’s the fun of writing stories.
But that is internal. Externally, I am by myself, thinking, planning, writing—or thinking, planning, making art. I suppose, that’s the true walk on the lonely road. It’s what writers and artists do.
An artist friend calls her time spent sketching, her social time. It’s time spent with family and friends while she gathers and plays with ideas. But the time she spends while painting is a time for solitary confinement. And she’s right: I cannot write a book, or draw or paint artwork without shutting myself away from the rest of the world.
It’s lonely, yes, but necessary. Because that is where the lightning is—the juice that brings your creation alive. Without it, you’re just walking alone in the dark, going nowhere in particular.
To all my creative friends, I encourage you to walk the lonely road and create something great.