As an all-out extrovert, I confess, too much quiet used to feel eerie to me, it freaked me out. If there was a pregnant pause in a conversation, I made it my mission to fill it. Alone in my house, I wanted the television on. Silence in a meeting? I moved the session into Q&A. Then, I started taking my writing career down a serious path.
At first, I had a full-time job working insane hours. Writing time was precious and protected, but I still tried to do it with the the TV on. Can you spell U-N-W-I-S-E?
An extrovert may convince themselves that they can think clearly and watch Dateline at the same time, but it’s a foolish illusion. You cannot focus fully on two distinctly different ideas simultaneously. One or both are bound to suffer if you try–either the writing stagnates or you miss the identity of the unsub whose plot you’ve sporadically followed for the past hour.
While I worked on honing the writing craft, I found that some of my most creative and productive time came when I least expected it. Driving alone in my vehicle without the radio playing in the background. In the shower, with my hair slathered in shampoo. Or in the middle of my daily walk/run. All of these scenarios had a single commonality.
I was alone with little to no distraction.
I eventually realized I could count on these solitary moments to inspire my dreams. When you unplug and connect with your soul, you release the fullness of your passion and purpose. You infuse yourself with all of the necessary elements required to tend your dreams.
These days, after much practice with the silent pause, surrounded by no sounds except the tap, tap, tap of my keys on the keyboard, I’ve gotten accustomed to solitude. I can now say I enjoy it very much. I’m more intentional about spending quiet time alone, understanding it’s fodder for making my dreams come true, and maintaining them once I do. And by drawing the depth of myself out, I have more meaningful ideas, thoughts, and creativity to share. When you connect with your own soul, you discover it’s easier to connect with others. How do you unplug?
Are you bothered by silence or energized by it? How much time in a week do you spend quietly alone?