Hermit or Cocooning?


HK JournalDuring a three-year expat assignment in Hong Kong, I had a lot of time to myself. Time to discover not only the completely foreign world I then lived in, but also to discover myself. A friend gave me a notebook before we left with a cover title of Better to Wine than to Whine and I filled its pages on random occasions while overseas. Surprisingly, many entries feel equally meaningful now that I am writing full time.

March 2005

Today our apartment was totally in the fog – which felt like being in a cocoon, wrapped in a cloud. It wasn’t scary but instead comforting, as though I had an excuse to stay in the apartment rather than embrace the world. The cocoon held me trapped but cosy inside our four walls.

Lethargy can set in under such circumstances, encouraging one to indulge oneself, to remain introverted. It’s easy to be introverted, much more difficult to be out there, open to failure, rejection, judgment.

A critic might call me a hermit – who me, I would say, I’m just taking pleasure in my own company. After years of being busy, it’s rather nice to surround myself with me.

Do you think of yourself as a hermit when you are writing? Or are you wrapped in a cocoon getting to know yourself better?

FOR MORE ON READING & WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION follow A WRITER OF HISTORY (using the widget on the left sidebar)

M.K. Tod writes historical fiction and blogs about all aspects of the genre at A Writer of History. Her latest novel, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE is set in WWI France and is available from Amazon, NookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. Her debut novel, UNRAVELLED: Two wars. Two affairs. One marriage. is also available from these retailers.

Mary can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

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10 Responses

  1. I like the way you put it–cocooning. Although, to be honest, I don’t particularly have a problem with the idea of being a hermit. Hermits are still productive, just quiet and single in their productivity.

  2. Cocooning. Although, when life gets in the way, in the form of children, husband or demanding cat, I’d love to be a hermit. A hermit in a cave by the ocean, surrounded by books and notebooks to write on.

    1. Careful what you wish for! As I am finding even the mild winters in the UK, compared to Canada, increasingly difficult my thoughts have turned to a tropical beach somewhere to complete my writing. Then I remember all those little important things I take for granted and miss on other short holidays when I am always pleased to return home. I would also put up with those things that get in the way to avoid being lonely on a tropical beach somewhere. We can all dream on selectively about greener fields.

  3. While living in Sumatra, the only foreigners for nine hours in any direction, my husband and I relished the occasional afternoon downpour. Ahhhhhh, bliss. A wall of water shutting out the world; a chance to catch our breath.

      1. Taught English, did some small business training, and brought in experts as appropriate for things like ecotourism and agroforestry. Mostly wiped the sweat off my brow and clung white-knuckled to the dash during all the road trips. Hah.

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