“Silence is more musical than any song.” Christina Rossetti
Silence. What a gift it is to us as writers — and how hard it is to come by. I write this as a small army of leaf blowers buzz and rattle outside my window, setting my teeth on edge. I’ve read of more than one writer who uses headphones like the Bose Noise-Cancelling ones. I know why!
More and more medical studies are proving that silence renews us. The more we enjoy, the less stress, fear or anxiety we experience and the more creativity we can generate. Why? Because even subtle noise sends messages to our brain warning us that we need to be aware, prepared, and ready to confront possible danger. It can also interfere with our unfettered ability to create.
One Duke University study found that two hours of daily silence stimulated the growth of new cells in the hippocampus–the part of our brain focused on memory. Researchers also discovered that even subtle noise, when constant, causes the adrenals to produce cortisol–the stress hormone that puts us on notice that danger is around the corner.
When they can spend some time in total quiet, many writers see their creativity and problem-solving abilities ratchet up, often dramatically. While finding quiet times to create can be difficult, it’s a challenge worth pursuing. When we can relax into silence, we give ourselves permission to simply be and out of this quiet space, inspiration often flows.
Silence gives us the chance to enter our work time with singular focus and intention.
Silence gives us the strength to listen with our inner ear and hear our own unique music.
Silence gives us the time to create, free of distractions and free of brain-fogging noise.
Silence gives us the freedom to seek out our best, most creative self and give it a voice.
Silence is the silent spring from which our best work flows. Challenging as it may be, let’s find more silence in our life so we can nurture our gifts. Write on!