Writing is the loneliest profession: ultimately, it involves being alone in a room while trying to create a whole universe. The difficulty for any writer is that they cannot just remain in that room; they have to come out sometimes, to engage with the outside world, or they run the risk that their work will become utterly solipsistic and therefore meaningless.
The challenge for any film about writers is similar: it has to get into that room to show the lonely reality of the writing process, but it must also get out of it, to show the writer’s struggles to live in and connect with the world that they are trying to document. Put simply, they cannot just show the writer hunched over their typewriter or keyboard but must also show them walking (or driving) the streets in rage, frustration or, on those wonderfully rare occasions, joy.
These 10 films achieve that tricky balancing act, showing writers both in magnificent isolation and in their stumbling, often fumbling, relationships with others.