How to Strengthen Your Writing With Silence

April 8, 2013

“Let us be silent, that we may hear the whispers of the gods.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Silence is one of the most significant components of the creative writing process. It is the alpha and omega of Conscious Writing, and invites readers into the essence of the stories you are telling and the ideas you are sharing.

Writing with silence leads to active participation from your readers who use their imagination to complete the picture your words are painting in the most meaningful way for them as individuals.

Powerful writing is punctuated with silence that creates space for your readers to experience the living reality beyond and through your words. As a result, your writing has immense depth and a memorable impact.

“He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words.” Elbert Hubbard

An understanding of the significance of silence goes back to the dawn of time. The Hindu creation myth tells us that before this time began, there was no heaven, no earth and no space between. Lord Vishnu lay sleeping in the coils of a giant cobra when a humming sound emerged from the depths of silence to fill the emptiness with energy. Vishnu awoke and commanded the world to be created.

Modern science now concurs with ancient teachings about energy being at the core of everything in existence. One of the forms that energy takes is sound, and sound arises from silence.

The Benefits of Silence

The benefits of silence are becoming widely appreciated as the levels of noise in the contemporary world increases.

Thoreau wrote of silence as “a universal refuge” and studies have been done to show that silent meditation, for example, improves the ability of practitioners to concentrate(1). We even have an International Noise Awareness Day (this year on Wednesday 24 April)!

As Conscious Writers, silence enables us to:

  • access the deepest levels of truth and insight that are usually lost in the distraction of external and internal noise
  • hear the still, small sound of our authentic voice beyond the perpetual chatter of our everyday thoughts
  • follow the golden threads of inspiration and the guidance of our intuition
  • recharge our creative spirit by connecting to our creative core
  • feel a sense of connection to the whole of creation through the whispers of our heart.

To experience the benefits of incorporating silence into your creative writing process, try one or more of the following suggestions regularly over the next 21 days:

  1. Begin or strengthen your resolve to make time and space for silence daily. First thing in the morning is a perfect time for enjoying silence. If necessary, set your alarm for 15 or 20 minutes earlier than usual, and simply listen to the silence that lies beyond any noise that may be present.
  2. Eat your dinner in silence at least three times a week. Pay full attention to the sensations of eating and be mindful of how the silence increases your awareness of all the senses associated with eating. You are likely to enjoy the taste and texture of your food a great deal more this way!
  3. Turn off the usual sources of noise in your home for an extra hour a day. This includes the television, music, and the radio. Instead, use this time to become more accustomed to silence and enjoy the inner and outer peace it brings. Choose silence over noise regularly from now on.
  4. Before you write, take at least 5 minutes to close your eyes and sit in silence. This practice alone will benefit your experience of writing and the quality of what you write. Even a few moments of silence enables you to become more grounded and to write from your centre rather than from your intellect alone.
  5. Once a week, dive more deeply into silence with a practice such as this:
  • Sit in a relaxed but alert posture and make sure you won’t be disturbed.
  • Deepen and observe your breathing to still your mind.
  • Listen to sound of your in-breath and your out-breath like the ocean waves in constant flow.
  • Notice the silent pause between each in-breath and each out-breath.
  • Focus on the silence as a gateway to the mystery beyond the everyday world where you and the silence ultimately become one and you experience the wholeness of being that is your natural state. Enjoy!

Q4U: What experience do you already have of the value of silence to your creative writing process and to your life generally? Share your comments below.

1: http://www.pnas.org/content/104/27/11483.abstract

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© Julia McCutchen 2013. All Rights Reserved.

If you want to use this article in your ezine or on your website I’d be happy for you to do so as long as you use the complete article, including the copyright line, and include the following paragraph in its entirety:

Julia McCutchen is an author, conscious writing coach, intuitive mentor, and the founder & creative director of the International Association of Conscious & Creative Writers (IACCW). A former publisher of books on spiritual and personal development, Julia teaches conscious creativity, conscious writing and a holistic approach to writing for publication that combines the inner journey of creative self-discovery with the practical steps required for writing and publishing books. She is the author of The Writer’s Journey: From Inspiration to Publication. For more information and a FREE Special Report on Discovering Your Authentic Voice – on the page and in the world, visit www.iaccw.com.

Filed under: Articles — Julia @ 12:01 pm

5 Comments »

  1. How appropriate to read this after a weekend spent with Sara Maitland’s book, A Book of Silence. I’ve found it a very absorbing read and in a small way I’ve been incorporating more silence into my days during the last twelve months. Cutting out 70% of my television viewing has been easy. Less easy has been cutting down on listening to music. But it did bring up how much I’d used it as a background and has resulted in a more concentrated listening experience. I can’t write to music with words and often now write in silence.

    Comment by Eileen Parr — April 9, 2013

  2. Hello Eileen
    Sounds like perfect timing to me! Enjoy the silence – for your writing and in general – you may well find that immersing yourself in conscious silence enables you to appreciate your music even more when you do listen to it. I love both 🙂
    Julia

    Comment by julia — April 9, 2013

  3. Taking that moment to slow down and to be still and present is so valuable, but so easy to lose when the day has begun and one task can roll straight onto the next. Thanks for the reminder; I’ll take heed!

    Comment by Joanna (Lazuli Portals Trilogy) — April 24, 2013

  4. Hi Joanna, it is indeed easy to lose the stillness and presence once the activities of the day kick in, so taking regular moments throughout the day to reconnect, even for the duration of a few breaths, makes a real difference!

    Comment by julia — May 7, 2013

  5. […] The International Association of Conscious and Writers featured an article on How to Strengthen Your Writing With Silence. […]

    Pingback by Friday Web Finds: Writing and Silence | Writing on the Pages of Life — March 20, 2015

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