The Vow of Silence
by Sophia Chang
Community. The writing blogosphere says we need it. It's true.
But there's something just as important as connecting and sharing:
Learning solitude and silence.
There's a tradition of silence at various monastic orders that serves to deepen one's spiritual path.
Writers especially can learn from this practice of withholding excess communication - after all, we work in a solitary field. As much gabbing as we do on Twitter or blogs, in the end, the work is between you and your computer or paper.
I've taken a vow of silence with my writing. My betas/CPs don't even read it until I've gone through at least 3 revisions in seclusion.
I hold the fire of my work within my body, so my Muse has plenty to feed on day and night. So when I sit at my keyboard, the story is literally bursting out of my chest, dying to be put into words. This is my way of honoring the work. Of saying to it, "You come first. Nothing else matters."
Silence is a faith practice. A commitment to your work.
You may feel lonely when you start this. I grew up a Lonely Only, so I'm used to having to entertain myself for hours, and having to do things without help. It may not be for everyone.
Try it.You decide how long you can hold your silence - through the first 50 pages? The first draft?
Instead of telling everyone about your shiny new idea, hold it in. The public can wait. Give it to your Muse first. When it comes down to it, she's the one writing it.
About Sophia ~
Sophia is a former film/TV actor and playwright who now writes YA fantasy. She's been writing and editing professionally for 8 years and maintains a ninja silence about her current WIP.
Visit Sophia at her blog, or follow her on Twitter!
Sophia, thank you for this! I have never considered silence as a writing tool, but . . . I think I'm gonna try it!
♥ ♥ ♥
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