Café novelist

Frustrated indie author!

Embracing solitude

on September 10, 2016




“I won’t tell you that the world matters nothing, or the world’s voice, or the voice of society. They matter a good deal. They matter far too much. But there are moments when one has to choose between living one’s own life, fully, entirely, completely—or dragging out some false, shallow, degrading existence that the world in its hypocrisy demands. You have that moment now. Choose!” – Oscar Wilde

In my ‘day job’ I’m forced to fly around the world with people with whom most of the time I have nothing in common with. The one solace that I have at the end of a very busy day or night, flying to God know’s where, is that I’m supplied with a lovely hotel room in which to relax in.

I’m constantly amused by my colleagues when they gather at the front-desk on arrival, and then ask who wants to meet for breakfast and then go shopping. Now, why on earth would you want to subject yourself to such torture? Do you normally ask half a dozen people you hardly know to sit around your kitchen table at home and share breakfast together? When I reply, ‘I’d rather spoon my eyes out and suck them dry with a straw!’ I must admit I receive a few strange glances.

But, hey – I’m a grumpy old bugger and I freely admit it.

I’d be interested to know if other authors feel the same. For me, if there’s a crowd I’ll do everything I can to avoid it, and if most people are turning right, then I’ll go left. I know people mutter that I’m a bit of a loner and I just do my own thing. But if I just gave in to peer pressure, then I’d be wandering around the streets of Mexico City with my colleagues, getting more and more wound-up. Instead I’m sitting in a lovely little coffee-shop on a tree-lined avenue, working on my third novel and telling you what a miserable bugger I am! 🙂

But on a serious note, it’s taken me a while to have the self-confidence to ignore the comments and just get on with what makes me happy 🙂


6 responses to “Embracing solitude

  1. lazypawsuk says:

    It’s always hard (I think) when faced with peer pressure to take the ‘road less travelled.’ In one respect, one wants to ‘fit in’ and yet be an individual. I don’t think being a grumpy bugger has anything to do with it although in your case – it might! 🙂 I think it’s just about valuing the time you have alone with which to study your surroundings, make notes for your books, and listen in to snippets of conversations which may come in handy later. Your colleagues, while on their shopping trips, and breakfast meetings would probably miss the nuances that you would have the good fortune to see and hear. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.


    • Thank you lazypaws for your kind and considered response. I describe myself as a grumpy bugger as I’ve reached an age where I can make choices as to whom I wish to spend my time with.
      I haven’t become like Howard Hughes just yet and haven’t taken to walking upon tissue paper in my hotel room! My time away from home is an ideal time to get a lot of writing done, where the normal distractions can make it difficult.
      Nice to hear from you


      • lazypawsuk says:

        That’s the trouble with writing at home. I have two cats that sit on my desk when they think I’ve spent enough time writing (or procrastinating) – whichever I’m doing on the day! So even if I’m in ‘the zone’ I have to stop what I’m doing and get their dinner or I’m likely to have a row of hieroglyphics added to my manuscript courtesy of one impatient cat! I’m editing a m/s I’ve been doing for several years, which charts my journey of living with leukaemia. I don’t know whether to send it to an agent or to a publisher en spec and hope for the best. Suggestions? Pauline


      • Hi Pauline,
        Writing must be a great tonic for you to take your mind off your illness i suspect? I think there’s a lot to be said for sending your work off to an agent or a publisher. But I think in the mean time you should consider self-publishing via Amazon whilst you wait for replies.
        I personally self-published straight away, and didn’t even consider a publisher. However, after a couple of years I approached a publisher and was offered a contract, but in the end I turned it down. The reason was because I felt that they couldn’t do enough to promote my work.
        You have to ask yourself what a publisher can do for you that you can’t do yourself. Even if you receive a contract they still expect you to do all the promotion yourself. So unless they’re a really big company I don’t really see the point – personally!


  2. lazypawsuk says:

    Hi Heath Thank you for your reply. I remember reading something that you’d written in Writing Magazine along those lines and I thought at the time either you were incredibly stupid or incredibly brave! You’re right about the promotion: that’s all you see on Facebook or Twitter – people promoting their books. I’m not ready to publish any of my books yet so watch this space as they say. Thank you for answering me. I appreciate it. Good luck with your books. Pauline


    • Thanks Pauline. Well, I thought long and hard whether to accept, but I went with my gut instinct, which is never wrong. Like I said before, getting a publisher isn’t the be all and end all. Sometimes it’s not always a good deal for an author.
      I’m in it for the long run and I’ll see what happens.
      Good luck with your endeavours.


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