The Loneliness of the Long Distance Writer

Writing must be the ultimate solo pursuit. Which is great if you love the inside of your garret or your study or your bedroom. Personally I don’t know how else to get those words out of my head and onto the page. Perhaps that’s because I’m so easily distracted by … practically anything really.

The only way I can concentrate is to shut myself away.

When I’m into a project, I aim for 1000 words per day. Depending on how I feel and whether the story is falling into place, that might take anywhere between two and five hours (I usually give up at five, whether I’ve got my 1000 words or not).

To a well-practiced writer that might not sound like a whole lotta words, but I don’t have the luxury of doing this full time. After a day of staring at a computer screen at work, by the time I get to the computer in my study, my eyeballs are bordering on fried.

After dinner, off I go – there’s nothing to watch on TV anyway – and get that word-counter ticking at the bottom of the screen. Sometimes I keep going until my eyelids have actually shut. Sitting there fast asleep, fingers on the keyboard. I hate to confess, I have even drooled.

Anyway, writing can get pretty damn lonely. That’s why finding others who are doing the same crazy thing is like gold.

Last night I went to the end-of-year celebration at the Queensland Writers Centre and it was a joy. I’ve been a member for a couple of years and attended their wonderful workshops. Now, instead of a sea of unfamiliar faces, there several … no, many … who share this long and meandering path from wanna-be to made-it.

This solo pursuit doesn’t have to be lonely.


About Debbie Terranova

Debbie Terranova is an Australian author of contemporary and historical fiction. 'The Scarlet Key' published in 2016 is the second Seth VerBeek mystery. The crime-busting reporter is back with a new cast of unforgettable characters and a new puzzle to solve. It's about live, love, death, and tattoos, with a touch of the mystical. 'Baby Farm', her debut novel, is a cozy crime mystery about forced adoptions of the 1970s, and a surrogacy and baby trafficking racket. It is the first of the Seth VerBeek series. Debbie Terranova is a prizewinning author of short stories: 'Mowbray Brothers' about growing up in East Brisbane in the 1920s; and 'Mischief' about reinventing yourself and in the process falling in love ... with an adorable but mischievous cat.
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