Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Telling Life: Quiet reconsidered

Today I am recycling a post from 2013, with a few tweaks.

As you know, 2016 has seen me on the road and away from home more than not. Through trial by fire, I'm learning what I need to feed myself creatively when I'm away from my usual resources. One of the most important, and one of the hardest to find, is quiet.

I have a great need for quiet in my life if I am to be creative. I need time and space around me within which I can think or not think. Time when I let my mind wander. It's a funny thing, knowing that day dreaming is part of my job and for that part to be effective I need quiet. I certainly need to be heard, need to talk and think things through with friends, but quiet is where it all starts.

That quiet that works for me can actually be quite noisy. It could be the rumble of a coffee shop, the crash-and-hiss of the ocean, the wind in trees... any kind of white noise works as well as quiet and sometimes even better. I have several apps that create white noise, including the sounds of being in a cafe. Going for a walk is another kind of quiet that supports creativity; I find the physical motion helps loosen up my mind. What doesn't support my creative process is interruption, directed noise or voices I need to attend to.

I don't work well if the music around me is in English, for example. I don't have day dreaming room if I don't have some physical room, crowded environments are hard for me.

It's important that we figure out what kind of environments support our creativity. I know I need quiet, I need blocks of time, I need good light and a comfortable place to curl up. What do you need? What fosters and supports your creativity?

If you are in the position of helping others be creative, what do they need? Do cubicles and florescent lights really support their creativity? What might help? How can you help them alter their environment so they can find their own sparks?

Put some thought into your environment. Find the quiet and space you need to listen to the still, small voice inside. You might be surprised by what it has to say.

(c)2016 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License

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