“The longest journey is the journey inward.”
Here’s something you might find worth trying: a silent min-retreat. This is a day or even a half-day in which you keep silent and engage in deep listening. I just did this recently and found it very relaxing and restorative. A few ideas for my YA revision also bubbled up in the stillness, which is always very exciting.
Actually, keeping silent isn’t really all that hard for me: I spend a good portion of my time at home hoping to commune with my muse and she’s not a talker. That’s a flip way of saying that I spend a lot of time alone. I used to chat with my dogs, but sadly, those days are past. So when I’m sitting quietly and writing, I’m basically in my comfort zone.
But dedicating some time to deliberately being in silence is a little different: There’s something special about setting the specific intention not to talk, but just to listen with your inner ear. In a world where we are so easily and relentlessly distracted, it seems wise to tune out of all the hustle and bustle, all the noise and confusion — even if it’s just for a little while. Here are a few of the joys I’ve discovered can flow from stillness:
It’s relaxing: The pause that refreshes — that’s how I think of the time I spend in silence, whether it’s just 20 or 30 minutes a day, or longer. It’s such a relief not to have to talk or do or plan, but just to be.
It’s re-energizing: Being quiet even for a short time each day can give you a chance to recharge your creative batteries. And when you listen with your inner ear, you never know what you’ll hear: something astonishing and delightful can crop up at any moment and what a gift it can be!
It’s re-motivating: When you relax and just enter into the silence, you may find it easier to recapture the spark of excitement — the original intention — that inspired you to embark on the project you’re currently pursuing. Fanning that spark is so important! So let’s seek some silence today — and write on.