I’ve been writing since the first grade. That was a long time ago.
As a writer, I always have a lot to say. And I’m rarely at a loss for words. In fact, one of the things most people who know me well know about me is that I love words. Love them. I have “favorite” words and when I have an occasion to use them, I’m very happy. (example: when I was a park ranger at a battlefield park, I loved to use the word ‘bivouac’–which means to camp. If I could somehow slip that word into one of my ranger talks it would totally make my day!) My husband occasionally gives me a hard time when I use a slightly obscure word instead of just the “regular” one. It’s a running joke between us and now sometimes he tries to slip those words into conversations, too.
I’m on a deadline–for the second book I’ve written this year (not to mention a novella). That used to be a piece of cake for me–to juggle a full-time career by day and a second career as an author by night. But now that I’m married (and I have a farm full of animals to care for and three stepchildren to spend time with) I’m finding that the juggling isn’t so easy. I look at other authors with large families and small children and try to figure out the secret to getting it all done. (I still haven’t figured that secret out!)
And recently I sat at my computer to write and realized that sometimes THERE ARE NO WORDS. No words. Typically I sit down and words just pour from my fingertips. Recently though, I’ve struggled. It’s been a time when every single word is like pulling teeth.
Thankfully I’m not too worried. I’ve been down this road before, during the year of the six book deadlines, when I had the same thing happen. I know that eventually, the words will come.
But in the meantime, it’s helped me realize something: sometimes it is okay to be silent. Sometimes that is exactly what we need! Sometimes ‘no words’ is okay and silence is truly golden. On a daily basis, there is a constant stream of conversation coming at us. Our TVs, radios, and social media make it nearly impossible to have a quiet moment.
But you know what? I think we need to find those quiet moments anyway. I’ve come up with 3 ways to find the quiet in a loud world:
- Spend time in prayer. In my house, very early in the morning or very late at night are two of the best times for quiet prayer.
- Take a day off from social media. You can catch up on Facebook and Twitter tomorrow. My husband and I were on vacation a few weeks ago and several days went by where I wasn’t logged on to anything. I was amazed at how much more peaceful I felt.
- Go for a walk or spend some time outside. For me, it’s on our farm. An hour outside with the chickens, goats, and dogs does wonders for me after a stressful day.
As for me–I’m happy to say that yesterday I had a little breakthrough and the words flowed again. I’m still not sure what made them stop, but I’m thankful for the lesson it taught me.
How about you? Does your life feel too “loud” sometimes? What do you do about it?
Linda Herold says
Great post! The thing that bothers me most is the “silent” communication of people who are always tapping away on their mobile devices! It drives me absolutely crazy and messes with my peace and quiet!
Lee Tobin McClain says
I enjoyed reading this. I spend way too much time on social media, and I’m beginning to realize how it interferes with my peace… and, sometimes, my ability to connect with others. And it certainly interferes with my meeting my writing deadlines in a peaceful way! But I’m a little addicted. It’s hard to imagine even a day without social media.
Jill Weatherholt says
I’m happy to hear the words are once again flowing for you, Annalisa. Often I feel overwhelmed trying to juggle everything. I feel my stress build when I try to keep up with all of the social media outlets, when all I really want to do is write. Quiet time in prayer and unplugging from the internet help me to regain my peace. It’s comforting to know I’m not alone with these feelings.
Valerie Comer says
There is a time for everything, right? A time for words, and a time for silence. A time for social media, and a time to be unplugged. I’m betting Solomon would have loved social media!
Harold Daughety says
I am NOT a writer but I write. That was one of many roads not taken. I did have one valid publication – a short story about a female mule, a horse colt, and a lawsuit . . .Anyway, in my personal writing I strive to find the perfect word and phrase, and over time, the writing goes from personal to abstract. So don’t be concerned about less time to write: relish the life experiences that keep what is written alive.
Kimberly Rose Johnson says
I love silence. I know what you mean about having no words–I get like that sometimes when trying to talk, lol. My brain likes to ponder things before I speak, so writing is a better form of communication for me. :)
Love your books cover!
Melissa Henderson says
Most definitely there are times when my life seems too loud. I have been thanking God for quiet times lately. The sounds of nature are so relaxing. Sometimes, all I hear outside are the birds chirping and I love that. Funny thing is that I tell my husband how quiet everything has been lately and he was off of work one day last week, and the whole neighborhood was loud. The landscapers were cutting grass, fertilizing, mulching and making all kinds of noise. My husband said, “I thought you said it was quiet here.” haha! The next day, when he went back to work, all was quiet again. God does have a sense of humor.
Great advice for some “quiet” time! I love getting up before everyone in the morning, turning my coffee on (hubby sets it up for me the evening before), and reading my devotions. It starts my day on the right foot! I pray that God will open my heart to what He has to say to me for the day through His word. Never ceases to amaze me on the difference it makes! :-) I could probably use to go offline for one day. Those emails, blogs & Facebook will be there the next day waiting for me. Sunday has been my day to unplug & it really does help refocus my mind on more important things….like family time & church! Maybe I can find another day (or even half a day?) to do that as well.
We live in a tiny apartment and my husband is retired and wants TV 24/7.
On the rare occasion I get up earlier than him or stay up later, I turn off the TV.
I do admit I love my devices and check my e-mail frequently,read on my Kindle and keep up with Facebook., Goodreads and Pinterest because I review and Influence Christian Fiction, well maybe a little for me thrown in lol.
I prefer to read or write with no noise.
I loved reading this. I had a dream of being a park ranger when I was younger. I thought it would be the coolest job.
I feel like a young 40 something, but I am very old-fashioned when it comes to social media, cell phones and other gadgets (except for my Kindle!) I rarely carry my cell phone with me and I sit down once a day and check emails and facebook (maybe) Even my older friends get frustrated with me that I am not available by text or instant messaging. I don’t like being “on” and available at all times. My kids are a bit more addicted to their devices, but we have rules that when they are connecting with, they are not to be connecting on their devices.