Silence and Creativity

As I am pondering how to make more creative moments in my everyday life, I came across this thought-provoking post entitled the sound of silence by Kelly Easton at the Storyteller’s Inkpot. In this post, Easton writes how her “overwhelming urge to write” dwindled. She then noticed how she filled her world with sound. She exercised to music, cooked to NPR, and drove with the radio on. Easton tried silence, and her urge to write returned. She opines that our society avoids silence, but writing thrives in it.

My own life provides little silence without conscious effort. I am a homeschooling mother of three boys. That alone provides a constant, often less-than-harmonious soundtrack. And Easton’s right. I tend to fill those rare silences with sound: television in the background, my ipod at the gym, the radio in the car or the shower, and internet radio on my laptop. And I don’t find silence comfortable at first. However, my best insights occur in the quiet moments when I can finally and literally hear myself think.

The next time I am feeling a creative dry spell, I think I will turn the volume off.

Creative Check-in

Happy Holidays!

I feel the need for another creative check-in. I continue to struggle during the school term to make consistent time to be creative. However, over the winter break, I seem to have made up for lost time. As an aside, I also notice how much more content I feel with life when I do take time for creative pursuits.

So, on with the update:

Blogging: I haven’t been posting much of late, as this blog evidences. However, I’ve been accruing a long list of blog topics, which is a good start. More importantly to me, I have taken on Movable Type’s CSS code and managed to redesign both of my blogs. I genuinely enjoyed the challenge of discovering how to manipulate the code to get the look I wanted, and my blogs feel like they are really mine once again. I’m excited to start writing again.

Book Reviews: After taking a hiatus from reviewing for the Sacramento and San Francisco Book Reviews, I have a lovely stack of nine new volumes on my desk, some of which appear on my bookshelf widget. I’ve also signed up to review for the new Portland Book Review when it gets up and running.

Knitting: I am proud to say that my yellow Warm Bundle baby afghan for Project Linus is off to a solid start. Having mastered some new stitches and gotten a feel for the pattern, I think I should be able to make steady progress now.

Photography: For the past few years, my steady sidekick has been my Canon PowerShot S1 IS.  Lately, however, the lens has been sticking just long enough for me to miss my opportunity to shot pictures. My anniversary, birthday and Christmas all fall within several weeks of each other. This year, my husband decided to splurge and surprise me with a new Nikon D5000 D-SLR with AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm and Zoom-NIKKOR 55-200mm lens. During this winter break, I’ve been spending a fair amount of time reading about digital photography and testing out my new toy. And someday, if I can master its dozens of features, you may once again see my photography here!

Children’s Book: No, I haven’t actually started writing the book yet. I have a list of good ideas and a small stack of writing manuals as guides, but that is as far as I’ve gotten. However, I’m including it on my list because I’ve decided to make getting a draft done a real priority, rather than something I’d like to do someday.


Second Draft: Swirling Leaves

Swirling Leaves

Wash the car. Vaccinate the
dog. Brown the meat. Rotate
the tires. Grocery shop.
Vote. Don’t forget the
milk!!  Prune and
compost. Simmer the
stew. Pay the taxes. Make
the bank deposit. Dentist
appointment tomorrow
at two. Renew the
library books. Pay the
gas bill.

Pet the cat.
Hold the boy.