Derek Sivers

from the book “”:

Solitary Socialite


For the past eight years, I’ve answered emails from 40-200 people per day who ask my advice on business and life.

I sit alone in my little office for 6-8 hours, engaging with everyone’s stories and questions for a few minutes each, before going home.

Then when friends want to hang out with me, I say I need some alone time first. They wonder why, since I’ve been alone all day, so I explain that I’ve been very social all day long and feel spent, even though I’ve been sitting alone.

I like it, so I’m not complaining — just explaining. It’s unusual to be physically alone, but extremely social. A solitary socialite.

At first I thought this was a new internet thing. But for decades, there have been people who talk on the phone all day. Before that, there were people who just answered paper mail all day.

It works for me. I love people one-on-one. When not answering emails, I’m often talking on the phone with one of my dear friends across the world, getting into great conversations for hours.

But it’s a strange life. The solitary socialite.