– by Cheri Cowell
As the dog days of summer deepen, humidity builds, and it seems the summer is dragging on, one drawback of the profession we've chosen grows more intense. Loneliness is something we don't often talk about, but it is a reality that needs to be addressed so we can learn from each other and develop healthy ways to combat this tool the enemy uses against us.
Most authors tend to like our solitude. We have plots and characters to keep us company. We ponder, question, and research with happy hearts, but if we are not careful our solitude can slip into solitary confinement—a prison of isolation. This can easily become a form of depression that is difficult to climb out of, so it is best to develop healthy habits to prevent the slide into that dark hole of loneliness in the first place.
Here are a few ideas I've gathered through the years. Try them to learn what works for you:
1. Join an online writers group such as The Writer's View. Through these groups you will hear how others deal with issues similar to yours, and most importantly you will connect with other writers who may become lifelong friends.
2. Look for a local writers' group. I attended a local ACFW chaper and met a woman who lives less than a 1/4 mile from me and we've become good friends.
3. Develop a non-writing hobby. When my husband pointed out that I did nothing fun outside of writing, I determined to find a new hobby. I joined a scrapbooking club at my church that met monthly and have developed some wonderful friendships. It is good and healthy not to have all of my friendships in the same basket.
4. Spend time in the Word. I often find when loneliness clouds my horizon, an underlying issue is I've neglected my most important relationship—my alonetime with God. It may seem counter-intuitive, but the greatest cure for loneliness is alonetime—with God. When we put our focus on Him, He helps us move our self-focus to an other-focused life. He opens our world. He calls us out. And He opens doors for us that we might not have thought about opening.
So if the summer blues have overcome you, I hope these ideas will give you the encouragment to know you are not alone and you don't have to stay under that cloud. There is a way out and a way to prevent yourself from going there again. Take one or all of these steps, and let me know what other ways you've discovered to stay out of the prison of isolation.
Cheri is an 'Award Winning Author' and her Bible study Parables and Word Pictures (AMG) is available at local Christian bookstores and is also listed at Amazon. Her current book, Living the Story: Reaching Outside the Church Walls, can be purchased through your local Christian bookstore. She can be reached through her website.
www.EABooksOnline.com where Cheri helps authors reach their publishing dreams.