Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Is Silence Really Golden?

Silence is Golden

Silence is golden or so they say. As writers, we believe we need that golden place where there are no distractions, nothing to keep us from writing thousands of words each and every day.

So many of us wish for solitude in which to write. We tell ourselves that we need quiet and peace in which to write. Without silence, we say, there is no way to be creative. Yet, when we find it, we often fill the silence with music, or television or anything to fill the aural void. We become uncomfortable with silence without acknowledgement or understanding. Oh, we may write a hundred or two hundred words, but the 5,000 words we knew we would write if only we had peace and quiet never materialize. We walk away from the keyboard after a few minutes because on a molecular level, we’re uncomfortable with silence.

Silence and solitude are hard. It is hard to be so alone even in familiar places, like our own home. Do we really need solitude or even quiet in order to write? Or is that something we’ve bought into because so called “experts” have convinced us that what we need. Experts who no longer write or who don’t write except maybe once a week or maybe have never written any thing but school essays.

Writing Habits Evolve

I used to be able to write sitting in front of the television watching a baseball game or my favorite weekly television program. I no longer want to write there. I learned to write in coffee houses overseas, but I can’t do it here in the US. Now I need as few distractions as possible to write. I’ve tried listening to music as I write, but find it a distraction because I end up singing along - not out loud, mind you.

I’ve tried writing in the big easy chairs in my local bookstore or favorite Starbucks, but that doesn’t work either because I tend to eavesdrop (writing down the most interesting of the conversations I overhear, of course). I’ve given up trying to find other places to write. I only write now in the peace and quiet of my home sitting in my recliner that has, over the years, become a bit saggy just as I have.

Where Do You Write?

Where do you write best? Is it at a crowded coffee house? On a park bench in your local park? A library? An empty classroom? Where do you write?

Do you need silence to write? Or the hustle and bustle of people nearby? Or does it matter where you write?

1 comment:

  1. I am most productive at home, curled up on my favorite loveseat. Sometimes I listen to a CD, but I pick one song and let it repeat so that at some point I stop listening. It's almost hypnotic and helps me concentrate. Coffee houses or retaurants are too distracting, and I find my self people watching instead of writing. Not a bad thing if you're needing a character sketch, but not a good thing if you're supposed to be writing -- which I am, so........