Thursday, November 02, 2006

A Few Days of Silence

By Nichole Giles

Being a writer, no matter where I am or what I am doing, I am constantly hearing voices in my head. I think of story lines, or plot twists, or interesting non-fiction ideas to jot down in my notebook. I carry a digital recorder in my purse all the time—just in case. And whenever I leave home for an extended amount of time (overnight) I always take my laptop.

But last week, I broke my own rule. I left home for a week and deliberately left my laptop home.

Somewhere in the recesses of my brain, I think I needed a break. Don’t get me wrong. I love to write. I write something everyday, even if it is just a letter or email to my friends and family who live far away. It is such a habit, that before I left my house at 4:30 a.m., I stood and looked at my laptop—as if to say goodbye.

I went determined to forget writing for the entire week. I would not work on one single project—however short or long. I decided to focus every ounce of my attention on things that had nothing whatsoever to do with writing, and somehow, I was able to quiet those incessant voices in my head. No plot twists, or stories, or characters stepped into my vacation. I didn’t even worry about whether or not I had rejections or acceptances in my mailbox. I gave myself a few days of silence, and even the voices obeyed.

I did take a notebook with me. After all, you just can’t give up everything. But amazingly, the notebook came back blank. (So did the digital recorder in my purse.)

Now my mind is rested and refreshed. I am absolutely ready to start working again…

Wait, wait! I didn’t say now! I did not give the voices permission to speak yet. I was going to edit first. Would you please be quiet already! Fine. I’ll write you. But only if you will only speak to me one at a time.

Sheesh. I guess my vacation is officially over.


Keith Fisher said...

You know the problem is: making them be silent only gives them time to plot your demise. the plan and scheme how they are going to get you to change your story thereby making you rewrite your book!

Nichole Giles said...

Oh, no. Anything but that! I really wanted to start work on a new one. Although, I guess if I have to go back and rewrite the last one, it can always be improved. Thanks, Keith.