Wednesday, July 23, 2008

White Noise

Vacations are a bit of a paradox for writers. We want a mental break from our usual obsessing so we opt for a change of scene or carve out a bit of quiet time for ourselves, but in doing so we often inadvertently stir our creative juices.

This happened to me on my recent vacation. My goal was to forget about the never ending pile of work waiting for me at home, get caught up on some badly needed sleep, and enjoy lots of uninterrupted time with my family. I gave myself permission to forget about writing for the week—a little relief from the constant self-imposed pressure to produce.

Before my vacation, I had felt as though my well had run dry. Creating was a forced activity, instead of a natural one. But as soon as I managed to find a few quiet moments to myself, I was surprised to find ideas quickly coming to the surface. Without any conscious effort, dialogue and narration started flowing. It was very strange; it was almost as if the story was playing low on a crackly radio station and only when I stopped long enough to listen I was able to tune into what was being said.

It struck me that maybe part of us is always creating and that creativity is the background noise of our daily lives. How comforting to know it is always there, quietly waiting for us. All we have to do is sit still enough to hear it.

No comments: