Writer, comedian, and musician Lane Moore is highly visible on Twitter and in real life, but she’s always been alone. Without a traditional support system, Moore has been forced to rely on her wits to survive. In How to be Alone: If You Want To, and Even If You Don’t, Moore delves deep into the pain of loneliness and how it has shaped every element of her life.
Are you at a place in your writing where you’re comfortable being raw and open? If not, how do you push past the discomfort to let it all out on the page?
Oh my god, no. Writing this book was brutal, but I just was so tired of feeling like the only one who felt the way I did, and that was worth summoning the bravery to be vulnerable. Maybe someone out there will feel seen, and I’m writing with the hopeful-ness they exist and we can both feel seen.
In the second chapter, you write about unlearning the idea that a soulmate will show up and fix everything. How did you reach that understanding?
I still fantasize about it all the time. It’s intoxicating, right? That someone super-hot wants to suction out all your pain with a vacuum until you’re finally whole? Holy shit. But I’m still grappling with what this means for me. Do I get to have the love and support I always wanted? I don’t know, but I’m optimistic. I want that for myself so badly, and for all little kids who weren’t loved properly.
Though How to be Alone grapples with really sobering topics, it also has humorous moments. How were you able to retain that wittiness while writing about such painful subjects?
My sense of humor, along with making music and writing, was my only friend for most of my life. Comedy is so thickly in my blood, and I love making people laugh. But the great thing about this book was getting to do something I’ve really become confident in, which is being very vulnerable and open and sometimes expressing unspeakable amounts of pain while also making people laugh. That’s my sweet spot.
Did you learn more about yourself by writing about your experiences?
I definitely had a lot of “OMG, I understand everything now!” moments while writing it. I hope a year or so from now it’ll feel cathartic. I haven’t reached that state yet. I’m still grieving and feeling way too many feelings. Writing the book was like digging up 40 freshly dug graves and exhuming the bodies and staring at them, completely alone. It might take me some time to heal from all that.
At the end of the book you write, “I’m a little less alone because you bought this book and you’re right there, right now, being alone with me.” What do you hope readers get out of this book?
I wanted to write a book for people like myself because no one writes for us. Almost everyone I’ve read claims to have constant lifelong love and support and protection, and I just have not had that at all. I wanted this book to be something [people like me] could read and think, “Maybe almost no one understands this, but she really does. And I’m not as alone because of that.”