Vision: A Resource for Writers
May I Have Some Silence Here?
By Holly Lisle
a perfect would, writing would happen in the center of a pristine office the
size of a golf green, full of breathtaking wall prints, leather-spined volumes
filled with learned and inspirational text, and ankle-deep carpet in some muted,
classic color. Soft music would play, something fine and classical. No other
sounds would intrude. In this veritable cathedral to our art, we would create
masterpieces, edifices of words to rival the finest edifices of architecture.
fact, unfortunately, writing tends to happen in the middle of laundry, with
young children screaming, “Mommy, I want some lunch!” and older children
arguing and joking and horsing around with each other. Cats lurk on shoulders or
attacking toes; books -- paperback and stacked sideways -- lean in perilous
half-arches over us as we crouch, swearing, over our keyboards in the cramped,
ugly little cubbyholes we have dug out for ourselves from unwanted and unlit
corners of the house. Phones ring, stereos rumble, horns honk, babies cry, dogs
don’t get cathedrals. We’re sometimes lucky to have a dedicated desk, one we
don’t have to share with anyone else or with any other purpose. Like
breakfast, lunch, and supper.
we still write. Some of us carve a bit of peace and quiet out of the day by
working weird hours, either very early or very late. Some of us have learned to
threaten effectively, demanding a bit of silence and respect while we’re
getting our pages done. Sometimes, however, we all end up sitting in the middle
of chaos, writing in spite of everything.
learn, after a while, to make our own silence -- to block out distractions while
we fall into the magic of our words. Or we learn to write in five-minute
increments, in between distractions.
we are writers. We write. In spite of everything, we write. And whether we work
in cathedrals or kitchens, we still build magic with our words.
to your own magic -- and to a little bit of silence wherever you may find it.