It's a funny thing being a writer in the 21st century. You can still be the lonely, conflicted isolated person in a loft, wearing a beret, drinking red wine and feeling angst all alone. The difference is you no longer have to.
Thanks to the internet there is really no need for any writer to feel lonely. The opportunities to connect are almost boundless.
You can find readers, editors and cover designers all on the internet.
You can join discussion groups with other authors on Facebook that cover your genre, writing style or nationality. You can hop on twitter, follow other writers and getting chatting. There are author forums and loops. There are online critique groups. You can pitch to publishers and agents online sometimes as well.
There are so many ways to connect in fact that many authors have to unplug and lock themselves in that garret just to get any real writing done or to finish that project before the dreaded deadline.
One of the things I love about the internet is that it lets you stay connected with people years after you meet them. Today I'm meeting a friend for dinner I met at during a writing program back in 2008. Even though he lives interstate I've been able to follow his progress, buy his books and easily keep in touch thanks to the internet.
I have other friends from my writing group who no longer attend regularly due to work commitments. Thanks to the internet I can stay up to date with their journey as well and the same is true for people I've met at writing conferences.
What this creates is a community. It's nice to feel a part of a community (Sorry Margaret Thatcher but I believe in community!) It certainly makes the journey less lonely as you share your triumphs and failures with people who know what they feel like from first hand experience.