Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Writing in Silence

Writer Wednesday

When I was growing up, there were eight of us in a three-bedroom house. There was no such thing as privacy, unless you hid in the bathroom. And even then, one bathroom for eight people meant there was usually someone knocking on the door soon after you went in to hide (or sit over the heating vent because it was the only warm place in the house.)

I was accustomed to doing my homework surrounded by noise, whether it was other people or the television. It stayed that way through college. I needed the radio or some noise to study. My ex needed complete silence. I found it very difficult to concentrate in complete silence. My mind wandered more. Yet, when I do have the radio on, I never really 'listen' to it. I couldn't tell you even half of what was said or what songs were played. I just liked the noise.

I can write with noise. The TV is on as I write this. It's usually my playlist on my laptop. But some writers like the silence. Complete silence.

Most are somewhere in between. For example, I can't write with interruptions from family members (another sort of noise.) I like music, but please don't interrupt me. And there are only a handful who need complete silence. Instead, there is usually soft music or nature sounds playing in the background. And very few of us live where our street or building offer complete silence. Neighbors and life are part of the package.

The important thing is to find YOUR happy medium. If you don't want interruptions, close the door and don't answer the phone or open your email account. If you want background noise, choose a level and media that's good for you, whether it's the television, the radio, or your iTunes. This will help you keep on task and concentrate.

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