Writing is a solitary act. As writers, we might look to others to form our community: to get advice before the fact and feedback and edits after, but the act itself and where we spend most of our time, is as one person hammering away at the words.
I used to hate being alone. Hated being left behind, physically or mentally. I hated being left out (I still do). But now, though I crave the circles of friends that I have had in the past--miss them like an ache--I can't wait to get home, to shut the door, put on a slippers and start typing or finish reading.
Part of that feeling is because at some point during the awesome suffocating heat of this summer, I will finally make my escape. All moments are now pointing to that moment like an arrow. Now, it isn't even an escape (though I can be grateful for the luxury it will afford) because I am leaping into something instead of just away from it. This town has come to represent a failure to thrive, a stuckness, while also showing me that I do have a writer's work ethic, I can commit to myself and my goals. I have done what I have in spite of setbacks.
I generally walk a fine line between selling myself short in every way possible and holding myself in such high regard as to be above the dues paying of everyone else. I know this. I am trying to do more celebrating, less self-pitying.
Every now and then I daydream about what I would say to the men who laid me off back in Austin nearly three years ago. They would surely say, Who could have predicted what a good thing it would become? What a surprise! And to that, I would say, NO. Nothing about what happened to me was good, or fortuitous, or even a foreshadowing of success. None of of the things that have worked out are a result of their actions. It is important to make that distinction, if just for myself. This is me rising up, not flying like a released bird.
This isn't to say I am an island. I have had so much help and support and shoulders to cry on and ears to bend til breaking &c. This is just to say that nothing has made me OK with being alone before, until all this writing. Which is maybe the most remarkable thing of all.
I'm also going to spend the next 100 days submitting work only to paying markets (book reviews and flash exercises excepted). Not that it relates to all the rest of this; it doesn't. I just don't want to forget that I said it.