Silence! Writer at work.

It’s almost noon. The whirring of the fan and the incessant peeps of the pigeon fledglings in my kitchen window are the only sounds that fall on my ears as I write. Once in a while, my pet parrot (the latest addition to my family, after Chikoo’s demise) enquires, “Eh?”, about god-knows-what, or lets out an ear piercing screech to grumble about something bothering him in his cage. I let him out  on the branch of a plant we have placed indoors, and then get back to my writing.

The lack of any other sound at this time of the day is, paradoxically, like music to my ears, and I begin watching word after word  springing from my mind onto the laptop screen faster than my fingers can actually type! The euphoria I experience at this sudden outburst of ideas leaves me feeling exhilarated, considering I had been having a tough time coming up with a topic to write on since the past few days.
I like it quiet at home – I am allergic to too much noise, except when I play some upbeat music at a high volume. And, it’s in such quietude that I am inspired to write. Hubby being at work and there being just the two of us, I enjoy such calmness for most part of the day. And, it’s during such quiet moments that I give my best performance – be it in the kitchen or on my laptop. Having said that, there have also been times when guests have been at home just when I have been working on a post. But, luckily for me, these posts written amidst the din of the family chatter and the television noise have turned out remarkably well, too!
 We read about famous authors finding stimulation either in the stillness of the night or in some solitary corner, far away from the deafening sounds of the world. But, rarely do we hear about writers giving voice to their thoughts amidst the chaos of everyday life; with people coming and going, kids squabbling and vying for attention, a hundred mundane chores demanding completion.  It’s just what I read about in an article yesterday. The writer of the article authored a recently published book and has been hounded with questions ever since, like “how can she, a mother of two and a full time professional, find the time to write a book?”
She has written about how she managed to squeeze in time for her writing despite her busy schedule, and that, too, amidst the din of everyday life. She sure must be a remarkable juggler, considering handling professional and domestic duties with elan is an art that needs to be worked at,  each day, everyday. And, working on a book when surrounded by noise of every kind, well, that’s something not all can boast about! So, this article set me thinking about myself and others of my kind and wonder why is it that we prefer the calm and quiet to breathe life into our thoughts?

The author and many others, who prefer the ‘noise’, must sure find a lot of inspiration in the life that surrounds them as they write. People and their myriad ways of living, their quirks, their joys and sorrows, all find their way into the stories of those who work amidst them. What a treasure trove of ideas life around them must prove to be! But, how do they work along those inspirations, stringing together those carefully chosen words into sentences and weaving a rich tapestry that enraptures the reader amidst  all the commotion that life can be? I have tried doing it a few times, as I said earlier, but  given a choice, I would much rather have my peace and quiet so as to feel my thoughts before I put them down onto paper.

In my quiet space, I get to meet my thoughts, like I would a dear, old friend; feel the emotions behind each of them, pick the right ones, keep aside the rest for future use and then use those chosen ones to put across my feelings into words.  I can manage it all better when I am with myself. The posts I write in such moments are the ones I believe I do justice to. Performing the rituals I do before I write, seems a daunting task when in the midst of the pandemonium that our life often is! Kudos to all those who manage this feat with ease, but I am happy in my soundless den.

What is the ambience you prefer when you write? Do you prefer the chaos of life to draw inspiration from, or do you like the hushed environment of your ‘den’ to let your ideas roam free? Do share with me, I would love to know! 



Published by shilpagupte

Do you know the secret to living a happy life? Eat. Pray. Love. Or, watch what you eat, wish well for all and fill your heart with love! That's precisely what I try to do through my blogs: 'Metanoia', the wellness blogazine, and 'Fictionista', my blog for fiction and non-fiction. Welcome to my virtual homes!

23 thoughts on “Silence! Writer at work.

  1. I agree with you..I cannot write when there is a lot of noise around. I can write best when hubby and kids both are not around. But we moms don't have much choice so I am getting used to the noise too. 🙂


  2. Quiet and at night , late night or early morning but usually when people around me are asleep. Only in a crunch do I write when my family is buzzing around. Hence the few personal posts, don't get time 😀


  3. I write best in silence, but that is a rare commodity here, though thanks to my amazing hubby, I do manage to get it in bits and pieces, and I make the most of that reprieve.


  4. Now you've set me thinking. Much as I think that I do not get the time or right quietitude to pen my posts, some of my best works have sprung when I was most pressed for time. It is like the essence is squeezed out of a fruit when it is put under pressure. Or maybe I like to escape from tense reality and find bliss in an imaginary world. Whatever that may be, I am a writer who works best under pressure. That said, this was once again a beautiful contemplative piece from you Shilpa. One that compelled the reader and writers like me to introspect.


  5. Strangely Shilpa it's a combination of both. I often get my ideas when I'm out on a walk on Marine Drive that is abuzz or in the bhaji market or even waiting at the traffic signal. My work space Can be quite noisy as my computer share space with the washing machine , ironing board and Bai's TV .
    But I write best in the morning on my mobile or late at night when all is really still


  6. I need solitude too and but music in the background is kinda necessary. I can't deal with too much of silence 😊 I sometimes play friends or cid while drawing or making something.


  7. Hey, that's just like me! I, too, love to play music, but only when I am sketching or baking/cooking. I play my radio in the kitchen and tune in to some old hindi melodies and that works its magic on me! But, while writing, there has to be pin drop silence. Earlier, when Chikoo was here, he would bark for attention, so I would sit by his side with my laptop and type my posts. 🙂 That's the only sound I miss these days!


  8. I, too, get my ideas when outdoors, but to put those ideas onto paper, I need my silence and solitude. Earlier, Chikoo would give me ideas (barking out loud about this or that!) now, I have to come up with my own ideas to write about! 🙂


  9. I know you, Kala. You write best when under pressure, when hard pressed for time, amidst chaos, and for that I could present you with an award! Really, girl, I don't know how you manage it all, because you come up with the zaniest ideas for your fiction and it leaves your readers spellbound!
    Thank you for your lovely comment, babes!


  10. 😛 I can imagine, Rachna! Earlier, when Chikoo was around and so was MIL, they both would be talking to me at the same time, and that, too, when I sat down to write. Now, it's all silent…and, it does feel weird, but it also feels good to the writer in me! 🙂


  11. Lucky you, Shantala! I know, kids can sure challenge your writing abilities, at times. I, too, used to get that when Chikoo was around and he and my nephew would have stories to tell me of their own! 🙂 I would then postpone my writing activities to nights or noons, when all was silent! 🙂


  12. I need my time and my space to write. A calm mind brings out the best. I like music when baking but not when writing 🙂
    I loved how your described the scene around you. very vivid and took me to your home.


  13. Ah! I work well in chaos and time crunch but do prefer the quiet. When alone, I love jazz or instrumental music playing in the background.
    Lovely post and beautifully written!


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