Pausing for Silence

What do you do when you want to block the whole world out?
As a writer and an introvert, it seems like I have a decent enough excuse. I love spending time at home when my dog, and I love when I get a free moment alone with my notebook to write and write for hours, leaving with a massive smile on my face and filled pages.
But it seems like that moment hardly ever happens. I own an iPhone, which gives me easy access to Twitter, Facebook, Blogger, Tumblr, Wikipedia, Instagram, and much, much more. As a millennial and someone who gets very easily distracted, the idea of an Internet-less moment seems a bit foreign. And what’s even more foreign is coming home to an empty house: I have never lived alone. When I moved into an apartment after high school, I had roommates. So in this fast-paced, Internet-driven, crowded, noisy world, how am I going to get that solo moment with my notebook and my thoughts?
Easy answer: move to a remote island where the inhabitants have never heard of internet or cell phones or television, bring a yearlong supply of food, water, and notebooks, and get going. Bring a stack of your favorite novels for reminders of the kind of writer you want to be. Leave with the next New York Times Bestseller. Since this seems very unlikely…
More difficult answer: find solitude in the crazy, busy world. Leave the cell phone at home and take the dog on a walk for exercise and inspiration. Observe, observe, observe so that when I return home, my head is swimming with ideas. Create a space at home that is specifically associated with quiet and writing, and make sure everyone at home knows that. Use those quiet moments I do get (in my car, studying on the 5th floor of the library) and take advantage of them.

But it’s possible, and so, so necessary. I push and push myself, wearing myself thin by the end of each semester. Without these moments of real calm and relaxation (not the quick breaks between classes of scrolling through my Instagram feed, but a real pause), I’ll have no chance of enjoying this crazy semester.
And lately, I’ve been feeling a bit like I haven’t had too much quiet time. Perhaps it’s just the school year pre-preparation starting back up, or maybe I’m still adjusting to life in the U.S., but either way, I’m certainly going to be searching for some peace this week. Some long mornings with a pen, a notebook, and a really, really large cup of coffee.


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