Monday Musings: Appreciating Time Alone

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From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were—I have not seen
As others saw—I could not bring
My passions from a common spring—
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow—I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone—
And all I lov’d—I lov’d alone—

Edgar Allan Poe, ‘Alone’

(read the full poem here)

Sometimes, we all need that alone time – to recharge, to take refuge from a demanding world; whether that be by curling up with a book, or simply stopping to sit and take in the natural beauty all around us. And that isn’t just me spouting some hippyish nonsense – it can often do our mental health a world of good, as well; there is a marked difference between being lonely and simply being alone. If we didn’t have snatches of time to ourselves (even if they can often be difficult to find), we would likely be driven crazy within the madding crowd.

I find myself thinking about this in the midst of writing my novel, as two characters end up having a discussion about this ), the small pleasures of solitude.(which thinking about it, may be a tad ironic…) Both appreciators of fine literature, one of them quotes a passage from Byron’s Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage:

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:
I love not Man the less, but Nature more,…

Byron beautifully illustrates his point through his use of words – the ‘pathless woods’, particularly appealing, implying the idea of simply going for a walk in the forest just for walking’s sake – why does there have to be an ultimate destination? And while it refers to a ‘lonely shore’ this is not portrayed as something negative – for it is near a deep sea with ‘music in its roar’ – indeed, is there a feeling quite like sitting on the beach alone, simply listening to the sounds of the sea, the wind whistling in the air?

Of course, finding one worthy to ‘share’ your solitary spots with, your secret places to get away from it all, is one of life’s simple joys as well. There is something to be said for being ‘alone together’, of course 😉 But let’s not forget to appreciate our time alone as well – as the same character in my novel says, ‘Solitude is not something that should be actively avoided’ – make the most of it when you have the luxury of a little ‘me time’!

Check out my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, available NOW for download as an eBook on Amazon. Check it out here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M

Inkitt Grand Novel Contest (and my own novel plans!)

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I was made aware of this via Twitter – https://www.inkitt.com/grand?utm_source=twb&utm_campaign=grandcontest&utm_medium=3&utm_term=1457990507

I plan on entering the novel I have currently been working on for the past year or so, Searching for Sunset, for this competition. This has given me the drive to finally push ahead and try and finish the thing, which will take a lot of work in order for to meet the June 7th deadline, but I think it can be done. I am expecting to spend a lot of time re-writing and editing, however!

The novel concerns a young gay man who is a bit of a social misfit, and is trying to move past the pain from his previous relationship. An aspiring writer, his life changes when he meets a gentleman with similar ambitions through the infamous phone app, Grindr. (a lot of the story is based on personal experience, while other parts are a little more fantastical).

For any other aspiring novelists out there, this contest may be worth a look – there is also the chance to get critiques on your writing from other entrants, so even if you don’t win there should be something to get out of it. I may post about my progress on the novel over the coming months, but I thought I would bring this contest to people’s attention 🙂 Good luck to anyone who enters…

Check out my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, available NOW for download as an eBook on Amazon. Check it out here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M