In media, artists are often portrayed as loners, living on the outskirts, able to create their best works in isolation. This is the story of some famous artists, that is true. For others though, living in a digital age, is creating art in isolation the best means of creative exploration?
My Beginnings Were In Isolation
When I began to pursue creative writing seriously, I found myself in a very lonely place. Isolation permeated not just the creative spaces in my life, but also all of my relationships, career aspirations, and even my day to day routine.
For me, writing, at first, was a solitary and isolating activity. I often found myself alone in my apartment, curled up with a book, trying to write blackout poetry. Then, slowly but surely, I began writing things down in a small notebook that I didn't share with those. Yes, I was writing, but only for myself.
My desire to pursue writing meant a few things. It meant having a stable source of income. It meant not working a corporate job. It meant having to worry about things like health insurance, and taking a closer look at all of my budgets.
I'm young and very lucky, so I figured why the hell not take every risk?! The isolation didn't bother me, yet.
Finding Value In Creative Communities
Despite having the ability to create in isolation, it eventually became a stagnant process. I wasn't happy with what I was creating.
At this point, artists must decide where to turn. I found myself interested in finding a writing community more than ever before. I started reading more work, looking into literary magazine submissions and writing short stories.
A great place to start is at Poets & Writers. Their website is truly a comprehensive resource for writers who are just starting and for veterans. When in doubt, I go there.
I also became more familiar with the writing communities on Instagram and Twitter. While different, both mediums are great places to share work.
On Instagram, I suggest following @herheartpoetry. It's a supportive community, hosts writing competitions, shares fun prompts, and even has publishing opportunities for writers.
The Twitter community is more hashtag centric. I would suggest using, researching, and engaging with those who use #amwriting #mircopoetry #WrittenRiver #DimpleVerse. These hashtags foster a creative space, and have really opened my eyes to different styles of poetry and some very talented poets!
Isolation As Inspiration Instead Of As A Requirement
Granted, being alone and separated from everything can be incredibly inspiring. I've been there. Isolation can provide artists with some much-needed perspective.
On the other hand, some of my best writing has been prompted or inspired by the communities I've become a part of. Creating art in isolation is over-rated.