Thursday, June 23, 2011

Writing Is Not Lonely, But Avoiding It Is!

Hi, folks.

You may have noticed your favorite Murderby4 hosts are not around as much as usual these days. That's because we elected to give ourselves a break this summer, and grab back some writing time. We usually post on Tuesdays (Ron), Wednesdays (Marta), Thursdays (Kim) and Sundays (me), and offer guest posts Mondays and Fridays.

We've closed submissions for the summer (except those who already subbed and were accepted last spring), but we're not totally giving up the ghost! No, we'll be here off and on, and some will post special pieces like Ron did for Father's Day. Great piece, by the way, if you didn't catch it. 

Anyway, when I'm browsing around the web on writers' sites, I'm going to pick up select articles or essays that "speak" to me to share with you. (with the author's permission, of course!) 

I landed on Andrea Cumbo's site purely by accident a few weeks ago. Her blog piece spoke to me, and I instantly knew I wanted our readers to be able to enjoy it, too. So, please join me in welcoming writer Andrea Cumbo, of, to MB4 today. And check out her blog - she does a great job of keeping it up!

So, enjoy your summer. And remember, if you love to write - Write Like the Wind!
- Aaron Lazar

Writing Is Not Lonely, But Avoiding It Is!
all rights reserved, copyright 2011 Andrea Cumbo

You’ll never know what you’re made of until you sit long enough with the writing to move through the pulls for companionship (whether virtual or “real”). — Laraine Herring

I am agitated at the core of myself these days. Obviously, something is happening in my spirit – some cleansing, some burning off of the chaff, some rearranging of the fragments of myself – and I am tired, teary, and baffled with life most minutes of most days.

If I was smart, I’d be buried in words because of this. I’d fill pages and pages with the outpourings of my spirit. I’d read all day and all night. I’d let the rich curves and jagged spikes of language smooth me back to the place of peace.

But I am not smart. Instead, I run from words. I seek out distraction – Facebook, email, conversation – and I tell myself these are the things I need for my “work.” I am lying to myself. I am not working; I am trying to be less lonely.

“Writing is lonely.” People say this all the time; I’ve said it. But the truth is that writing isn’t lonely, not for me. As
Laraine says, “I don’t feel lonely when I’m working. I feel the loneliness when I am avoiding working, when I’m distracting myself from the story or essay.”

When I write, I feel like I’ve walked into a forest where even the trees speak companionship to me. In my writing, I find a spaciousness, a richness, an abundance that restores me to wholeness. As I write, I find the companionship of myself to be quite enough.

So the struggle I have is not with loneliness but with fear, the fear that just one time I will come to the page and find it empty. It has never failed me, yet I fear it will. So I avoid, I busy myself, I seek out people when I know that human companionship will only aggravate me. I lie and say I am simply “working” when I am doing the farthest thing from it.

I must cocoon myself with my words and with my self. I must trust that this will be enough . . . as it always has been and always will be.


Andrea's blog –


Andrea Cumbo is a writer and writing teacher who is currently lives in rural Central Virginia. She is writing a book about the people who were enslaved on the plantation where she was raised and working to keep her cats from bringing live frogs as sacrificial gifts. She blogs daily at


Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Welcome to MB4, Andi. We all hope today is a GREAT writing day for you, and that you feel centered, excited, and ready to roar. ;o)

Ron Adams said...

Welcome to MB4, Andi, and thanks for keeping the site alie Aaron. You keep finding amazing writiers with such unique perspecties. I have to admit I look at the art and craft of writing as the ultimate in social networking, the storyteller as the ultimate facebook page. So I can't say I have ever experienced loneliness when writing, but I know I feel a whole lot better doing it than not.

PLease don't be a stranger, Andi. And thanks for all you do on your site!

Anonymous said...

enjoy your summer of your blog.