For all of us aspiring writers, Silas House offered good advice in his column in this week’s Sunday New York Times. “Many writers I know talk about writing more than they actually write.” These aspirants read books about writing, attend conferences, talk about writers block, but spend too little time alone putting words to pages and computer screens. He opines..”The problem is, too many writers today are afraid to be still.” He’s not necessarily talking about the kind of stillness where you are locked in a room alone with your laptop. People are too busy being Moms, spouses, daughters, and employees. We are always in motion. But that motion does not preclude pursuing our dreams of authorship. The kind of stillness to which Silas refers is a stillness in our heads, keeping our mind’s eye still as we observe the world around us, which feeds and fuels our inspirations.
Silas argues writers, (like every other woman I know), “must become multitaskers who can be still in our heads while also driving, waiting to be called “next” at the D.M.V., while grocery shopping or walking the dogs. We are people who are forever moving, who do not have enough hours in the day, but we must remain writers. This kind of stillness translates to maintaining our focus on the essay or short story at hand even in the midst of caring for children or care-taking for aging parents. It is pausing to notice the details around us.
This article embodies the Be Brave. Lose the Beige philosophy of transforming those mundane, every day tasks into creative opportunities. “Life stuff” will always pop up and try its best to postpone or interfere with our dreams. Why not use all this life stuff instead to fulfill our dreams.