I do enjoy the company of friends and, on average meet up for drinks and/or a meal, once or twice a week. I am especially fond of sitting near an open log fire, whilst enjoying a couple of pints with close friends in a traditional pub. I do, however also have the reputation of being fond of my own company which is, I think a trait shared by most (I suspect all) writers.
I well remember, on my 18th birthday, going to bed whilst the party was still in full swing. It was, after all my party and the person who’s party it is does, surely have the right to retire to bed when he chooses!
The need for my own space has remained with me, and one of the ways in which it manifests itself is in my need to be left alone when writing.
My need for solitude whilst writing is well provided for as I live alone, so can sit in my spare room (which I glorify with the title of study) and write undisturbed, other than by the occasional entrance of my guide dog who, on occasions nudges me with his cold wet nose, or presents me with his blanket demanding attention!
When writing, I usually ignore the ringing of my landline and turn my mobile off. I do answer the door in case of it being a delivery. But other than that I am, whilst writing fairly antisocial.
To be interrupted while composing a poem is very irritating. It breaks my flow and its often difficult (sometimes impossible) to return to the poem as the moment of inspiration has been lost.
So engrossed in my writing do I become that I have been known, whilst making a cup of coffee but with my mind still on writing, to put the jar of coffee in the fridge or to pour cold water into my cup. As I say, don’t disturb me when writing!
As I said at the beginning of this post, I do enjoy the company of family and friends. However, when family come to stay (or I go to visit them), I find it difficult to write unless I am in a separate room, with the door closed, or they go out of the house. So, when other people are around I tend to wait until I have a room to myself or they go out shopping!
There is, of course a balance to be struck as regards my need for quiet whilst writing, and the common courtesies one must observe when staying with others. I love time spent with family and friends but there will always be a part of me which craves (and needs) what Wordsworth described as “the bliss of solitude”.