On Writing and Silence

(c) Michel Cheval – Sounding Silence

I don’t know about you, but when I feel sad or lonely or restless, I write. When I am at peace and content, however, when the sky is blue and the shadows of threatening clouds do not loom over me menacingly, I tend to be silent, to keep to myself, to savor that which brings me pleasure and tranquility in quiet privacy. This is why, dear reader of my hopefully agreeable blog, I have not been as postful lately as I used to be.

While I am not entirely free of doubts concerning my more or less mysterious affliction, for the time being I have escaped from clinics and doctors, and that means a big sigh of relief. And then there have been other incidents — goings-out, late night walks, park benches, moonlight kissing and the like — which have elevated the shy and innocent boy that writes to you now to a state of unashamed contentment and quiet optimism. As I write this I am not engaged in any kissing, but I dare say I have been recently, and that silence of deep intimacy still lingers to me, making words almost, almost unnecessary.

When we are more happy than we can say,
Silence is the music our heartstrings play.
                                                         -- Listen

There are different kinds of silence, of course, and not all of them are good. Let us just ponder for a moment the awkward silence that falls between two people who hardly know each other, who have few things in common, and who have no idea what to say to each other. On the other hand, or rather “in the other ear”, there is the deep silence of people who kiss each other, the silence of ecstasy and joy, a silence more profound than any words ever uttered by human voice, a silence deep and nourishing like the summer sky, above which dances a bright rainbow of emotions.

Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact. ― George Eliot

Some of you ask me about my novel(s) in progress, either through comments or through the Contact form, and I like to think it’s not just politeness. I wake up early every day and, after an agreeable walk through the morning sunlight while the twittering birds keep me company, I sit down at my desk with great pleasure and work on my novel(s) in progress, devoting to them my best hours. However, I have stopped talking about them here because I find that counterproductive and even distracting. I do not rush them anymore, for to write them well, I must write them at the same time as I write my life.

One day I hope you will see at least one good novel written by me in your local bookstore, but until then I do not think it is a good idea to speak about them. Instead, I must write them. As you can see, you can grab a little book of mine for your Kindle through this blog, and in the future I may release shorter works in the same format, but for the time being I feel that longer works look better on paper, and that is where, though a persistent, concentrated effort, I hope to make mine available in the near future. The more I write, the more I understand that the glory of writing is in the play with words and the process of self-discovery this entails, and while us writers need readers to bring our stories to life, we must first and foremost cherish the writing process, for that is how, I think, we can make our dreams come true and write books that are not only worth reading, but that make a powerful impression upon readers.

This blog shall not, of course, fall into ruin and neglect. On the contrary, I would like to provide you with many entertaining, interesting, and thought-provoking posts in the future.

That is why I would like to ask you, dear reader, what kind of posts would you like to read this summer?

  • Almost-poems?

  • Writing-related articles, such as tips from famous authors?

  • Reading-related articles?

  • Musings on the world at large?

  • All of the above?

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26 thoughts on “On Writing and Silence

  1. I have an article/a post idea ( I’ve been thinking about this ever since I read The Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England by Brocke Clarke), is a story supposed to do anything? If a story has a negative consequence does it make it a bad story? If the story produces a consequence other than intended has the story done its job? Does a story do anything?

  2. You only need one to understand your silence. She is your one, your person. All the silences that follow will food to nourish your soul. Good read.
    P.S. I love moonlight kissing especially if you are on the ocean with your one, your soul mate, your destiny.

  3. Since your writing is unexceptionally readable and gently inspired, I will – as now – enjoy whatever you choose as a subject. You will bring it life. I am, however, weary of constant advice upon ‘how to write’ and famous author input. so maybe, on balance. a little less of those.

    As for all the kissing, I am afraid that love may take you away from us in favor of other, quite natural and very enjoyable occupations. If that were to be the case, we would not dream of standing in your way!

    1. Another inspired comment, dear Frederick. Your suggestions are happily received. I fear that too, sometimes, but what comforts me is the thought that Lady Literature is my true love.

  4. “To write [them] well, I must write [them] at the same time as I write my life.” πŸ‘ŒπŸ‘Œ

    Been writing since I was in high school. I’m in my second year of a science degree but nothing is more therapeutic than writing. My best work has come from times of great sadness or at the very least melancholy. Saved me a lot as far as shrink fees go. Its a type of self medication.

    I do not doubt you have great advice from aspiring writers but my joy in reading is that I get to experience another person’s reality/imagination. That being said, I’m opting for “musings on the world at large”

    Please and thank you.

  5. All of the above. What you wrote here was enlightening. More of the delicacy and of the poetic. A pointer or two from famous writers who have something to share, guiding our minds in directions inspiring. I do the same on my blog, the famous writers input. Pieces from work you find awaken the senses. You have a tender connection with words, they respect you and your offerings are often uplifting and encouraging.

    I agree, one should hold close stories in the process of being developed. It is too distracting the responses. They can lead one away from your direction by a sheer utterance of misguided guidance. Writing gives me great pleasure and balancing my blog and the novel(s), stories & poems I am trying to work on, is a definite struggle to fit all into the time I have. But it is a must. My dreams at present are just to write.

    Good luck with your novel(s). jk

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