Jenny Diski at the Guardian on why to write a book. (The piece is cross-posted at her excellent blog.) I post all the time here about Diski, she's definitely one of my particular favorite writers; here were my thoughts on her latest essay collection, which I was happily seduced into ordering from Amazon UK. (This is the Amazon US link, but I think it must have been a limited release of some kind.)
Here's a bit from the essay titled "On spiders and respect for sheep," it expresses a sentiment that speaks directly to my inner recluse:
Being really alone means being free from anticipation. Even to know that something is going to happen, that I am required to do something is an intrusion on the emptiness I am after. What I love to see is an empty diary, pages and pages of nothing planned. A date, an arrangement, is a point in the future when something is required of me. I begin to worry about it days, sometimes weeks ahead. Just a haircut, a hospital visit, a dinner party. Going out. The weight of the thing-that-is-going-to-happen sits on my heart and crushes the present into non-existence. My ability to live in the here and now depends on not having any plans, on there being no expected interruption. I have no other way to do it. How can you be alone, properly alone, if you know someone is going to knock at the door in five hours, or tomorrow morning, or you have to get ready and go out in three days' time? I can't abide the fracturing of the present by the intrusion of a planned future.