What About Silence
Thinking about the most elementary of writing maxims.
If you were to ask 100 writer’s for their most prescient piece of advice on the thing necessary to distinguish one’s self as a writer, I can guarantee you — without fail — someone’s gonna tell you to write everyday.
I know this because I’ve watched the interviews with writers, read the books on improving my writing, and watched the masterclasses. It’s the most common piece of advice. Hell, even I wasn’t immune from offering it.
Now I can’t say as to whether this bit of advice is just freshman hazing, or if the words of wisdom were offered at one point by some presumed all-powerful best selling writer (looking at you Steve) and we all just decided to go along with it.
Either way, it’s not the best advice.
Because it neglects the creation is an ongoing process; and much like any process, it occurs in stages.
There are times when words will flow so freely you can’t help just pouring them onto the page, or medium in front of you. And then there are times where you can’t find a word that rhymes with purple to save your life.
Acknowledging that creativity comes in stages releases you from the burden of always having to create. And it gives you a chance to embrace one of the stages where I personally can say that I get my best work from: silence.
There are times when I sit alone and contemplate the quiet and the dark. No real sound or input other than the dull hum of household appliances. And it it from these moments I am able to pull something beyond words: emotion.
That emotion is a deep language that does not always translate effectively into words. All you can do is sit still with it long enough to understand how to craft it on paper.
Don’t misunderstand me, this is not an easy space to sit it. It requires healing to contemplate the quiet in the darkness. And many don’t survive it’s depths. But if you can, and be patient with your self and your abilities in the process, it can yield some beautiful fruit.
The following poem came from examining said quiet darkness, and believe it or not, came about when someone asked a question about writing everyday.
I do hope you enjoy it, and that it inspires you to leave the maxims to the old guys, and be the best damn writer you can by doing it the beat way possible.
Till Next Time.
And what of silence
What of the moments that roar into eternity
Quiet moments of chilled contemplation
Where stillness beckons —
Sometimes against the will
What of the distant pitted patter of thoughts
Spaces across the canvas of mind and matter
What of those times
Where neither word
Plays before the reel of life
And breaths near cease
Stretching longer and longer
Whispering to death
“Draw near that I may know your mysteries…
That I may see into your depths”