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Lonely as Cheever

In the New York Times the other day there was an article on John Cheever's life in suburbia. At one point, it said of his widow, "Mrs. Cheever took care to point out that her husband wrote only in the mornings because by the afternoon he was often drunk on gin."

That got me thinking about the inherent loneliness of the long-distance writer.

We all, we who choose to do this as a passion and for a living, feel that, don't we? The loneliness that is unavoidable when we spend a good part of our lives shut away from the rest of the world, creating, with no one for companionship but our own characters?

Especially when we don't stop the workday early at lunchtime to get drunk.

But I also got to thinking about what John Cheever's life would have been like if he'd lived a little later, if the Internet had been part of his daily existence?

The Internet, for all its downsides - and it does have them! - shrinks the world and also brings it right into my home so that anytime during the workday that I feel like chatting with others, I can visit my invisible friends at BookBalloon (forum for readers) or Backspace (forum for writers).

So I don't need to start drinking at noon. I can wait until five! Or even six!

Of course, maybe Cheever's stories wouldn't have been so amazing if he'd had the distractions of online Sudoku and YouTube.

How about you? What sites get you through the occasional loneliness of the writing day?

Be well. Don't forget to write.  

5 Comment count
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It really can be lonely,

It really can be lonely, even with the internet!

Backspace and Myspace seem to be the places I gravitate to the quickest on those lonely days. Sometimes it's enough to read current posts, other days I need to interact!

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Well, obviously...

...the many authors and members I read every day on Red Room keep me company. Lucky me, to have such a job!

Huntington Sharp, Red Room

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answering Cat and Huntington

Exactly, Cat, and I'm lucky we're friends everywhere!

Huntington, obviously! Red Room rocks.

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It was only when I made the

It was only when I made the commitment to write (and finish) my first novel that I began to truly appreciate the blessings of the Internet. Whether I needed an answer to a research question, or just needed to feel, on those writing doldrum days, as if I were a part of a larger community, the Internet provided instant gratification. Not to mention that, without it, I would never have found my wonderful editor - one Lauren Baratz-Logsted.

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OK, Sharen

Now that really made my day. I'm glad that in addition to our virtual online relationship, we got to meet in person too, however briefly. Keep writing.