Being alone takes some practise but once you get the hang of it solitude can be a blast.
Stay home tonight and read on for advice from 15 writers sharing the secret of how to be alone.
Just because you’re alone doesn’t mean you have to be lonely, all writers learn to revel in the glory of solitude.
Lord Byron may have been ‘mad, bad and dangerous to know’ but he was first and foremost a romantic and a poet and you can’t do much poeticising at a party.
You can’t go about the messy and gruesome task of creating yourself in a room full of people. Some things should be done alone.
Read in order to live, demands Flaubert and kill anyone who interrupts you.
It may not be easy to find happiness in solitude but it’s impossible to find it in a crowd.
You can never be lonely if you have music.
If her diaries are anything to go by, Anaïs Nin was never short of people to fill the gaps in her life but, like she says, sometimes not everybody will do. Better to be lonely alone than surrounded by people. At least when you’re alone you can read.
Even when you’re alone you’re not alone, alone.
We may all live in a one-by-one box of bone but there are a few things that can break through it. According to David Foster Wallace those things are fiction, poetry, music, sex and religion. Put them all on your to-do list.
You may get lonely from time to time but embrace the beauty of it, Henry Rollins style.
Jane Austin knew that strength comes from solitude.
Finding harmony between yourself and the life you lead is the only way to true happiness. If Camus said it, it must be true.
This quote may sound like the start of a joke but the only punchline is ‘and the man was happy’. According to Einstein basic furniture, a fruitbowl and an instrument you can’t play is the route to happiness.
Stop looking to the outside world to make you happy, spend time alone and look inside yourself.
“I’ve never been lonely. I’ve been in a room — I’ve felt suicidal. I’ve been depressed. I’ve felt awful — awful beyond all — but I never felt that one other person could enter that room and cure what was bothering me…or that any number of people could enter that room. In other words, loneliness is something I’ve never been bothered with because I’ve always had this terrible itch for solitude. It’s being at a party, or at a stadium full of people cheering for something, that I might feel loneliness. I’ll quote Ibsen, “The strongest men are the most alone.” I’ve never thought, “Well, some beautiful blonde will come in here and give me a fuck-job, rub my balls, and I’ll feel good.” No, that won’t help. You know the typical crowd, “Wow, it’s Friday night, what are you going to do? Just sit there?” Well, yeah. Because there’s nothing out there. It’s stupidity. Stupid people mingling with stupid people. Let them stupidify themselves. I’ve never been bothered with the need to rush out into the night. I hid in bars, because I didn’t want to hide in factories. That’s all. Sorry for all the millions, but I’ve never been lonely. I like myself. I’m the best form of entertainment I have. Let’s drink more wine!” – Charles Bukowski
This is an incredibly long quote but I had to include it for its sheer genius. Bukowski knew how to be alone with himself and have a damn good time too.