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Monday, April 26, 2010

The Quiet Place for Writers

By Jennifer Hudson Taylor

Sometimes a writer needs a quiet room, a place without distractions, a place of comfort surrounded by inspiring things to bring out the motivational creativity lurking within them. So how is it that a writer can take a laptop to a busy cafe such as Starbucks, or some other public place that is loud and busy with people and get heaps of writing done? 

My answer to that is simple. More than the outside location and environment, a writer must find that quiet place inside himself or herself to initiate the creative muse within them and to be guided by the Holy Spirit to write what must be written. Now, getting oneself to this quiet place isn't always easy or simple. 

Writers often wrestle over guilt of not spending time with family, missing out on family events, fatique from other jobs, other responsibilities, etc. We need a healthy balance in our lives to find that quiet place inside us that allows us to do the best writing we can do. If we cannot find that quiet place, we will still force ourselves to write. We may scrape and scratch at the words as we dig them out of our hearts rather then allowing the words to pour from us when the writing muse hits, but we will keep writing because that is what we are born to do, conditioned, and trained to do just like any other profession. All the while we know that what we're writing will need to be heavily edited or rewritten--but on we go!

For a seasoned writer, I believe it is at these times that writers often make their worst mistakes. This is where loop holes are created in the storyline, characters may lack a dimension of development, a plot twist might be ignored that would greatly improve the sagging middle, an ending may be rushed and feel forced as if it's missing something. How does a great writer who has written some major best sellers, plop and fall flat in their delivery of a fourth or fifth novel? I believe this is how.

Just like anyone else, we can suffer burnout, grieve for loved ones we've lost, struggle with health issues, family issues, fight spiritual battles, etc. All these things can affect our writing muse, just as it might affect someone else's performance on their full-time job. 

Two things seem to be key to my inside quiet place where I tap into my writing muse: prayer and decent sleep. 

If either one of these two things wiggle out of balance for me, I lose that quiet place inside me.

What about you? What advice to you have for struggling writers trying to find their quiet place?


I completely agree! Prayer is so important in a writer's life. It centers me outside of myself, and keeps me connected with what is really important. It reminds me that my writing is a gift from God and not something that I deserve or create myself. Thanks for the awesome post : )

I think I need to get back to praying before I open my WIP. Inviting God to be a part of our writing is so important!

Oh man...did I need this post this morning. I have been struggling with lack of inner silence because of some family issues. It is so hard to write when all you can concentrate on is your problems. I am going to pray and give it back to God. I know the words are piling up in me - they need to come out!!
Thanks and blessings Jennifer

I still have difficulty finding that quiet place within me. My mind is full of To Do's. Laundry, dishes, start dinner at such and such time so we can eat on time. However, there have been days when I have found that spot and will sit here and write while life bustles on about me. I think everyone needs to find their own key to finding that quiet place.
Excellent post. :D