Lin-Manuel’s Facebook Posts Remind us that Writing is Super Lonely
Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton, In the Heights, Moana, #YayHamlet) is a writer whose prolific nature is not kept solely to the confines of stage and page: he’s also well-known for sharing aspects of both his personal and professional life on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.
Lately, Miranda has been posting some of his old Facebook “memories”, where Facebook shows you things you posted on a particular day one or more years ago. Some of them share small snippets of his personal life, such as funny conversations with his wife, but the ones that interest me most (sorry Vanessa!) are the ones where we see inside the process of Miranda’s writing, such as this post:
Whilst I love both of these for their humour and their insights into Miranda’s own writing process, the thing that strikes me most about them is that they convey, in some ways, a sense of loneliness, and a desire to share and connect. These posts remind us that, hey, writing (or indeed, any creative process) is super lonely 99% of the time. It’s just you and your weird thoughts, trying to make sense of the world. Sometimes you have to tell the world what’s in your brain, and just pray that someone, somewhere is listening, and will want to share some of their own ideas with you. Writing is, at its heart, about connecting with people, and sometimes it can be hard to keep going when it seems like no-one wants to listen to the things you dreamt up in your bedroom at 2 a.m. And even when you do find someone to listen, there’s always a worry that you’re oversharing, or boring them, or that you’re not actually that good of a writer after all. But you know what? Lin-Manuel–that optimistic super-rad rapping dude who has a wonderful family and gets to write stuff for money–had those exact same thoughts. And probably still has those thoughts, even though his talent for words is reaffirmed by both fans and professionals on a daily basis.