Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Writer's Wednesday: Stillness





Creativity doesn't simply happen. Sorry all you big ban theorist out there, but I know that nothing ever came from nothing. Creativity is not a random act of chance. Just like writing is not the product of words suddenly bumping into each other on a page and weaving themselves into sentences that cling in paragraphs, and paragraphs that lengthen into chapters. 

You might think I'm stating the obvious here, but a book cannot happen of its own accord. If that were stating the obvious then more writer's would protect their creativity.  

How do we protect our creativity?
Be still. Yup. That's it. We need to be still.
Life is noisy. Busy. Bold. And often in your face. As writer's we need to erect fences around the mental space required to create. 
TIME
Put it in your diary. Ink it on the calendar. Write it on your arm. Make time to be alone without the noise of life. 
QUIET SPACE
You can find this anywhere. Libraries, parks, your bedroom, swimming in the ocean, walking at sunrise.
Stay with yourself in quietness long enough to discover what you think and if in fact you have anything worth saying, much less a whole book. 
FOCUS
Find a way to quieten your mind, not by emptying it, but by focusing it. For me when I want to find stillness I take my camera and head outside. The photo above is an example of one afternoon on sunset at a local park when I simply needed to be still.

Isn't that called writing time? No. Writing time is writing time. Too much is going on in our heads when we write. Stillness is about refilling that space inside up where the words come from. It's about letting go of trying to figure out plot twists and character arcs and simply allowing ourselves to breathe. Why do you think it is that good ideas come to you when you're in the shower or dreaming? Cause you're STILL inside your mind. A quiet mind is has great capacity for creativity. An unquiet mind is... unquiet.


"True intelligence operates silently. 
Stillness is where creativity and solutions to problems are found."
~ Eckhart Tolle


22 comments:

  1. lovely and totally true...
    my sitting practice (meditation) is a neccesity for everything I'm involved with whether it is my writing, my parenting, my heart or doing the dishes.

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  2. Thank you Jan.
    Yes. lots of things flow out of stillness :)

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  3. Lovely post Tabitha, I always take half an hour each afternoon to play a relaxation cd, it's surprising how it quiets one down to carry on with the rest of the day.

    Yvonne.

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  4. I'm enjoying the stillness right now. When I drive into work in the morning, I feel the blanket of quiet. Then on the ride home from work, I exhale from the day's demands. Love those moments.

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  5. Thank you for this. I am currently trying to write a Creative Writing project for university, and I often find that my mind is too busy and distracted to actually think about (let alone do) writing. I will definitely focus more on the stillness within. It sounds blissful. x

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  6. Lovely post and photo, Tab. I am starting to sit down at the computer, close my eyes, and say a prayer, connecting me to that stillness before writing. Then, sometimes, if I'm lucky, the words begin bubbling up from deep within.
    karen

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  7. The picture is lovely! I agree with you- stillness needs to come in somewhere- we get so busy with life we forget to just be. Thanks for posting.

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  8. Gorgeous photo, Tabitha. It radiates stillness, peace. With all the horror going on in the world, I need to find those moments, too. I managed to find a few writing hours yesterday by putting on the i-pod and turning off the internet. My head isn't in the sand. I've seen with eyes wide open, and now I need to find calmness again.

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  9. absolutely stunning photograph...

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  10. beautifully written! I agree I need some quiet to hear my thoughts and garner new, fresh ideas.

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  11. Excellent post! I need the quiet too, and I love it.

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  12. Oh so true. My mind is a noisy, clattering place. All the pots are banging and someone is going full throttle at the doorbell. I crave peace. Crave quiet. I have so few skills to get there.

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  13. This is so true. In stillness do I weed and in weeding the mind grows quiet.

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  14. I need to practise being still a little more...

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  15. Love this post ... in my very noisy house right now... I need some quiet.. I need to add more quiet to each day

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  16. Your words are so wise and so right on the mark. When I stopped to put myself in the places you were describing...I knew that's where my mind was refilled with "me" and not my responses to things. Thank you for sharing.

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  17. I agree with you. When life is too loud, too busy, my creativity suffers. I'm so glad you took up photography--you're a natural! Beautiful!

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  18. Tabitha: I am agreeing with your words, mostly and yet......MY words just come to me from wherever/whenever! I could be walking down a busy street, falling and rising in the Ocean;or simply sitting gazing at the Moon.They whisper in my ear, poke me in my ribs and bug me; until I surrender!
    Love this post. Love how it provokes thoughts tangled in my hair.

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  19. I think it's true, that we need to be still, and yet, even when we find that 'quiet' time, away from all the external distractions, there must be a way to quell all that noise in my head. Sometimes it's deafening...
    ...that's a lovely photo, by the way--oh to grab a snatch of that and plant it in my brain to grow...

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  20. Really enjoyed this post. I've never looked at it that way before---"protecting our creativity"--but it is SO true.

    Your photos are lovely as always.

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  21. I couldn't agree more! Isn't is interesting that this recipe for creativity also works well for a fully-lived and present life?

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  22. Thank you TB for sharing a wonderful post. Blessings.

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