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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Solitude and Creativity for the Writer

Writing is a solitary occupation. Putting words on paper--or the computer screen--involves a lot of concentration. As an author, I record my daydreams and then offer them to others for their entertainment. If readers enjoy my story, they might buy another one of my creations. If not, I have to come up with a better flight of fancy.

Ideas are everywhere, but a book must be specific--it cannot wander around as real life does. There must be a point to the story and it needs a beginning, a middle, and an end. That process takes a great deal of thought. Sometimes I hit a dead end when I'm writing. Sometimes I'm not sure I'm leading my characters along the right road.

I've found the creative process can often be nurtured with solitude. When I was younger and raising three small children, sometimes the only solitude I could find was in a trip to the supermarket or a session of folding laundry in my bedroom. Now that I'm older, I find a quiet walk conducive in stimulating my mind.

I found several interesting articles on solitude and creativity but this one, The Lost Art of Solitude, by Leo Babauta, offers a good guide to finding some quiet space to allow your imagination to flourish.

Give solitude a try.


Rose Anderson said...

That about sums me up too, Penelope. Sometimes I find it hard to socialize because there's a story simmering on the back burner of my imagination.


Penelope Marzec said...


Yes, sometimes I want to be a hermit, too. :^) Seeing new places and experiencing new things can also spark imagination. But if I'm working on a story I get rather caught up in it and like to keep at it until it's finished.

Doree DePew said...

Your picture, the quiet of the world around her is my solitude. Those pictures become my salvation. I close my eyes and allow them to put me there so the world around me falls away. There are times that I think a 'hold' button on reality should be invented. Great article, Penelope, Thanks.

Chicki Brown said...

My creative process differs from day to day. I've discovered that I do my best writing by the ocean, but considering that I live four hours from the coast, it only happens when I'm on vacation. When the weather's good, sometimes I go to a local lake to write.

Other times, which are more frequent, I like the buzz of people around me, and I work at a coffeehouse with my earbuds in while I listen to smooth jazz.

Penelope Marzec said...

I do my best writing on rainy, gloomy days. :^) I've tried writing outdoors a few times, but I get distracted by birds, chipmunks, and squirrels.

Leann said...

I think I've decided that fiction writing is not my 'thing'. I feel I would do better with either true life writing or procedural writing, something like that.