I sat there, the other day, listening to the rain. Not doing anything…not writing, not planning, not thinking about anything at all…just listening to the rain.
It’s one of my favorite sounds, the rain. A bit of thunder, and the constant patter of drops on the roof? There’s a hypnotic quality to that, a quality that encourages a certain detachment, and a certain blanking of all the things that have such a tendency — and so much power — to overwhelm our minds and our thoughts.
I was asked once, by my sister, if I could sit and meditate. If I could sit in silence and hear…nothing. No worries, no thoughts, no emotions…just sit in silence, and in peace.
Yes, I can.
I have to, it helps keep me sane.
And, no, I’m not going to dive into everything that goes into that statement. Mostly because, as honest as I usually am on this blog, the majority of my thoughts and my troubles are mine alone. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but the need for privacy is an important part of my make-up.
There are, however, examples I can give…examples that matter. They matter to me as a writer, and (hopefully) to you folks as insight into how someone else deals with everything that goes with that life.
I just finished editing a story. It was far too long of a process — longer than it should have been, to be honest, because of my foray into other projects…and because of my six months living in the wilderness.
It is a story intensely personal to me. It is a story I believe in, and one I felt deeply as I wrote it. It also is a story I let languish in the process because, well, it was hard to go back to. But I had to finish it. I had to finish it for commercial reasons (yes, I DO like to get paid for this stuff, you know!), but more importantly I had to finish it for personal reasons.
And I did.
I don’t know about you, but when I write, I feel. I feel my characters, I feel my story, and I feel what I want my readers to feel. Probably more intensely than I should, all things considered. To abuse an old writing rule: I write what I know. More than that, however, I write what I feel…and that can be difficult. Very difficult, sometimes.
So, I finished this particular journey of writing and editing and revising…
And I was drained. Completely.
Now, I’m an introvert at the best of times, but when I get done with an intense writing or creative session, you can multiply that by a thousand. It takes me a while to get my head back above water. I’m generally a couple of hundred feet down when I’m into my characters and my stories, and — as anyone who scuba dives will tell you — it takes time to come back up.
So I sat there, listening to the rain. The rumble of thunder, the fall of the drops…nothing in my mind except silence and peace. I needed that silence to come up from the depths. I needed that silence to regain a semblance of balance.
I still need that silence…everyday, in fact, is a quest in some way for that silence.
There is a reason why my next story is titled The Silence That Never Comes…