That quote has always been one of my favorites because it describes me pretty well.  I’ve never had a problem being alone.  Even as a kid I spent more time on my own with only a dog for company, making up games and playing out scenes from the ever present fantasy movie in my head.  (Hmm, and that’s different from now — how?)  When you’re a kid, and you’re a loner, other kids think you’re weird and adults think there must be a problem.  That problem, they decided, was that I was shy.

People who know me now don’t believe I was ever considered shy.  It’s true, though.  Because I kept to myself and didn’t like to get involved in anything that included more than a few people of similar ilk, I bore the stigma of <cue music> the shy girl.

Not that I cared.  That just made it easier for me to be on my own.  I had an out.

Now that I’m an adult, or at least much older than I was then, I’ve come to realize my desire for solitude had nothing to do with being a shy introvert and everything to do with the fact that, even as a child, I was creative.

Creative people need solitude.  As Leo Babauta put it, “The best art is created in solitude, for good reason:  it’s only when we are alone that we can reach into ourselves and find truth, beauty, soul. “

Solitude is where we find our focus.  Where we can more easily access those parts of our psyche where dwell our ever illusive muses.  Which, coincidentally enough, happens to be pretty darn close to the place where dwell our demons.  And they need to be faced, those demons, which is probably one reason many people choose not to be alone.  That and fear of loneliness.  But the very ability to choose solitude sets it apart from loneliness which is, in general, not a self-induced state.

Those of us who relish our solitude, who need it because we’re driven to create, actively seek it out.  We carve out spots in our homes and our lives where we can work, undisturbed.  We take walks by ourselves.  Curl up in a corner with a good book.  Sit and watch the sunset or the ocean waves.  We leave the internet, the smart phones, and the TV some place else, even if just for an hour or two.

That’s not to say we don’t enjoy time with family and friends.

It doesn’t mean we’re all anti-social hermits.

Or shy.

We’re just not afraid to hunt our demons. 


  1. Fantastic ending! What a great way to see yourself, and to explain to others a truth behind our love of solitude. We’re not loners, we’re not boring, we’re CREATIVE. Really wonderful post.

  2. Wow, what a superb post! Thank you for writing it…

  3. As someone who also needs soulatude, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post. Makes me fell more normal. “Soulatude,” what a wonderful word.

    • Thank you! It seems to have resonated with a lot of people.. BTW, I came up with the word “soulatude” for the photo I included. It’s one of mine taken on a camping trip. 🙂

  4. This is so true! I love being alone 🙂 Luckily my husband does too so we often enjoy many happy hours in the house of an evening being alone together!


    • Anne, LOL, my husband and I enjoy time together, alone, as well. Just last night, he was sitting on one end of the couch watching TV, I was sitting on the other end, ear buds in, jamming to the Return of the King soundtrack, and totally engrossed in final polish of Chapters 5 thru 8.

  5. Beautiful post, kathils! Very true to life and sensible.

  6. I love this post. I think you were describing me, especially creating wonderful fantasies in my head. It wasn’t until later in life that I realized that other people didn’t do that too. Unfortunately I spent a lot of time with people who didn’t understand the need for solitude. It was considered “selfish”. I had three children and sometimes the noise in my head was overwhelming. I am never lonely when alone, but have been lonely in a crowd of people.

  7. The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe obtained from Alone Quotes

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  9. It took me almost 40 years to realize I needed time to myself like fish need water. I need stillness to hear my inner voice and ideas. I revel in that space of connections and creativity. It was hard to ask my loved ones for that space. They mostly saw it as rejection of them. I think feelings toward introspection and introversion are changing though. There is more awareness regarding reflective temperaments. Thank you for an honest and beautiful post.

    • Thank you for stopping by. 🙂 Yes, getting loved ones to understand we’re not turning our backs on them, but rather opening up to ourselves, is rather difficult. It can be quite a challenge at times.

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