John Irving on Being Alone and a Writer

To be honest, I haven't read his works but I guess he's a great author. Just a wild guess.

To be honest, I haven’t read his works but I guess he’s a great author. Just a wild guess. (Image credit: thinkbig.)

“Did you know from an early age that you would be a writer?” I was asked.

I answered,”I didn’t know. I loved writing longhand, and still do now. I wrote longhand like a clerk for hours. I can stand it better than solving math problems, which killed and stressed out my brain almost instantly.”

Nobody is aware of the fact that I’m just an amateur. Maybe I’m a professional, slightly, but still I have got a lot to work on. I’m no published writer. Well, I’m published writer ONLINE, but considering how many bloggers and casual writers out there, I feel a bit depressed. How can I stand out amongst them all? My work gets published like 25 times a day, but as I look back, those 25 pieces are not really my work. So I’m not going to take pride of the paraphrasing job. That’s all about quantity.

But being a writer should also take quality into account. And I need to work more on this. I have to. Or else, I’ll be condemned to be a failure.

In fear of being a huge failure, I feel like I have to find role models. A perfect author for me to be aspired to. John Irving seems like a perfect candidate!

Irving claims he had a pre-writing moment when he recognized from childhood that he felt enough to be with his friends ONLY on his school days. Other than those days, he preferred wanted to be all alone. It does sound like my childhood, too. I’d rather be at home, studying, or doing things I liked on my own. I wanted full control of my environment. And allowing people to come into my private circle was too risky. I wanted them to stay away. Even my parents, and siblings. I kept diary but my parent found and no privacy was enforced at home. So I stopped writing any personal stuff on a piece of paper. The writer in myself was dying. I shifted to my own imagination.

The young Irving liked to keep a journal too and drew sketches of landscape on it. He liked to go home alone and to stay in a room alone, and to play at his grandmother’s garden by himself. Sounds like an introverted personality to me!

How much do you enjoy being alone? That more or less determines whether or not you’re going to be a writer.

I’m a loner. And my parents still think I’m cold, too introverted, and silent. Also, my coworkers think I’m a cold person. It’s just because I need to focus while writing and that means I have to ignore them completely when I’m working. That’s something non-writer folks will never understand perfectly.

As Irving puts it,”There’s a desire to be in a comfort at being alone.” That said, it gives me hope, that I’ll be a writer someday. A true writer, an author who makes hsi beloved ones proud for being himself: a loner on the corner.

Long live writers!

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