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?