I sometimes forget how nice silence can be. Like most people, I live my life surrounded by noise. Streaming music (or radio, if you’re old school), television, traffic, airplanes overhead, the hum of electronics, people talking, dogs barking, phones pinging and beeping…it’s constant and never ending.
There are times when I need a break from it all, a few minutes of silence, a few moments of zen. That’s why I like to get up early on the weekends before the sun rises and the outside world begins to stir. My partner and my dogs are still curled up and sleeping, there’s no music playing, no talking heads on the television, no traffic passing on the road outside. The only things I hear are the soft hum of the ceiling fan overhead and an aquarium pump in the next room. It’s peaceful.
In fact, one of the things I notice during these calm moments is how relaxed I feel. Without the noise, my body seems to decompress. My heart beats slow and steady, my head feels light on my shoulders, and I don’t feel the need to listen or pay attention. I simply exist in a momentary state of bliss.
It’s during these times that I feel the most creative. I don’t feel any pressure to create, I don’t have to push myself to write another paragraph or line of dialogue. The words flow much easier without all the distractions. It’s almost as if having a clear head allows my creativity to stretch out and take over. The wonders never cease!
Lately, I’ve found myself appreciating the quiet moments more often. I work from home, which is fantastic, and that allows me to switch off everything (except for my work laptop) and simply focus on my job. Keep in mind that I enjoy my work. I get to edit and write all day, so occasionally shutting off all the extraneous noise around me can be helpful on the busier days.
Does this mean I can focus better without noise? Maybe. I think it depends on the complexity of the text I’m working with, how soon the deadline is approaching, and how comfortable I am with the subject matter. The more complexity and the tighter the deadline, the more I need to focus, so eliminating distractions can help.
For the most part, I like silence because it’s a change from the norm. Our lives are so wrapped up in noise, background noise, white noise, constant noise, that we forget to occasionally unplug, sit back, and simply enjoy the quiet.
Do you ever unplug and step away from the daily noise in your life? If so, I’d love to hear about it. And if not, give it a try sometime. It might make a positive impact on your life.