Some days we all struggle with writing. The words don’t flow, thoughts get stuck, and even our best efforts and tricks don’t create new ideas. Other days, writing is effortless. Words emerge in complete sentences, and all of them make sense. Why is this? More and more, I believe the answer lies in silence.
Escaping the Noise
I live in the middle of a forest. My little house is surrounded by redwood trees. I always thought it would be quiet here, but there is a lot of noise: chain saws, trucks, and leaf blowers are among the contraptions people use daily. And also: motorcycles.
Loud music, or even music with words is distracting. People with their constant chatter is distracting. More and more, I hear both: people talking, loud music, which equals the inability to focus.
So on those easy writing days when words flow, what happens? What is the difference? For me, writing is more effortless when I write every day, and when that writing is done in silence.
Sometimes white noise in the background works. But mostly silence. Maybe this has to do with being an introvert.
By the way, I’ve been reading a great book about noise and the lack of silence: One Square Inch of Silence. ”
“SILENCE IS NOT THE ABSENCE OF SOMETHING,
BUT THE PRESENCE OF EVERYTHING.”
Gordon Hempton, author of One Square Inch, writes about Jay Salter, bagpipe player, who lives in Santa Cruz. The two of them hiked together and visited some quiet spots. The next time I went to the Homeless Garden Center (a local CSA in Santa Cruz), there happened to be a bagpipe player, playing in the fields. Although I did not stop his playing to ask his name, I’d never heard a bagpipe player there before, and suspect it was him. Coincidence?
Some of my sources of inspiration are:
- Twitter (tweets about technology and art)
- Silence, again
Fear or Silence?
Maybe it’s a generational thing, but I’ve noticed that many dislike silence and will fill it with any nearby noise. White noise generators, steady hip hop, or t.v. Have you noticed this, too, or is it just me?