Solution to Writing Obstacle No. 46:
“I get lonely writing all by myself.”
Writing can feel like the loneliest act in the world.
Before the virus, one solution was to write in public spaces like cafes or libraries. Or to meet up with other scholars to write side by side, each on your own article. But solutions to the loneliness of writing are few and far between in this time of social distancing.
One solution is the ingenious sites that mimic the sounds of cafes, if their ambient sound always helped you to write. One is called Coffitivity, which allows you to be at a variety of cafes around the world, including Paris and Texas. Another, Cafe Restaurant Noise Generator, allows you to increase or decrease certain aspects of the ambient noise (such as more kitchen noise, less chatter).
Another solution is to meet with other scholars on video at a particular time, say Friday morning at 9:00 am and do a check in. Then, write for a set number of hours (say until noon) and again meet on video to discuss what you accomplished and obstacles you encountered. Some even live the video conference on, just audio, so that they have that feeling of being with others.
Yet another is to sign up for one the many online writing support groups, such as Kerry Ann Rockquemore’s National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity or Helen Sword’s Virtual Writing Retreats.
The good news is that the more experience you have with writing, the less that loneliness bothers you. You can find that your focus improves and the lack of interruption becomes a godsend.
If your university subscribes, many faculty have found Kerry Ann Rockquemore’s . It provides weekly one-hour meetings with three other faculty and a trained facilitator. They often go for twelve weeks as well!
Finally, the feeling of loneliness passes the more experience you have with writing. Your focus improves and you find the lack of interruption a godsend.
Solution to Writing Obstacle No. 46, in addition to the emotional obstacles listed on page 31 of Belcher’s Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success (University of Chicago Press, 2019).