I am alone. I am here at my PC, on the shady patio around the back of the house, at the outdoor dining set, with the birds at the feeder and the tomatoes in their pots, but I am alone. I am learning how to be alone well. As I write each day, I learn a bit more about how to labor alone, few people having any idea that I am spending this time chiseling away at this block of marble, finding the rights words and putting them in the right order. It is a bizarre notion, to write a book. One spends countless hours working to get it right, aligning the hand-made cogs of an imagined machine, exposing what he’s doing once in a while, getting feedback – some supportive, some brutal – and going back to re-align or perhaps to build entirely new cogs.
Craftsmen frequently work alone. They will something to be and go to work making it so. Success comes to some of them, but it is the passion for the craft that fuels. Success is not the reward. If this were the case, there would be many one book-authors, one-term presidents, and one-healthy-patient doctors. Yes, I am learning to be alone, but the love I am developing for the craft keeps me company. The characters come and sit with me and tell me what they are thinking. I delight in time with my wife, my kids, my friends, but the alone time is time I am learning to delight in too.