A well-known writer, Jessamyn West, penned, “Writing is a solitary occupation. Family, friends, and society are the natural enemies of the writer. He must be alone, uninterrupted, and slightly savage if he is to sustain and complete an undertaking.” I couldn’t agree more. When writers are in their “element” they become isolated from the real world, if only temporarily.
I mentioned to someone recently that I can’t think clearly unless there are no distractions around me such as the television, radio, someone talking on the phone or involved in conversation nearby. They responded with “really?” as if they have no problem trying to write while surrounded by noise. I consider myself a pretty good multi-tasker, however I cannot devote my full attention to writing with any background distractions.
Sometimes the need for quiet is overwhelming. It is during these times I find meditation helpful. The following is a quote I happened upon recently which succinctly sums up my thoughts on the topic:
“The unusual thing about quiet is that when you seek it, it is almost impossible to achieve. When you strive for quiet, you become impatient, and impatience is itself a noiseless noise. You can block every superficial sound, but, with each new layer extinguished, a next rises up, finer and more entrapping, until you arrive at last in the infinite attitude of your own riotous mind. Inside is where all the memories last like wells, and the unspoken wishes like golden buds, and the pain that you keep, lingering and implicit, staying inside, nesting inside, articulating, articulating, through to the day you die. (p. 240)” ~ Hilary Thayer Hamann, Anthropology of an American Girl.
Okay, the ending is a bit extreme for the present moment. The point is sometimes we need to take a break if our creativity is to be of any consequence. Therefore, I’m off to my quite space, just for a little while, hoping to emerge renewed and enlightened.