Silence. Many of us don’t do well coping with silence. In my own case, I’m a second-generation silence-shunner. During my childhood, I remember my mother almost always had a radio playing in the background. Both she and my dad slept to the muffled sounds of a radio providing ambient noise.
Music provides my preferred background sounds and I have a diverse collection of music on iTunes, a couple weeks’ worth, if played 24/7. At night, I don’t use a radio (deferring to my Beloved!) but I usually rely on a fan for constant sound.
Some mothers who’ve raised their offspring are known to dread the silence that results from an empty nest. Suddenly-single spouses (whether single by death or divorce) may encounter the loneliness of silence causing unexpected stress. In fact, the concepts of loneliness and silence are often coupled. Excruciating loss (as one suffers after death of a spouse) brings both loneliness and silence into painful focus. (Thankfully, I’m not speaking from experience, but I can imagine.) Continue reading “Fleeing Silence”→
To me, the idea of writing prompts is both curious (on the one hand) and slightly unnatural (on the other). I suppose some writers depend on such devices to spur their creative juices. WordPress even offers a daily prompt to facilitate bloggers who are stuck. At the end of 2013, the editors at WordPress produced a PDF file titled 365 Days of Writing Prompts.
A Google search for “writing prompts” yields more than ten million results. Many of those come from writing-teacher blogs and online workshops. Others have been provided by schools, colleges and how-to professional resources organized to help individuals develop career goals and more ably compete by acquiring better writing and/or conversational tools. There are writing prompts from past College Board exams to help future test-takers know what might be expected on an SAT test.
The range of writing prompts is probably as varied as writing itself. Sometimes writing prompts are fanciful: write a fairy tale where the princess turns into a frog. Other writing prompts are more mundane: describe the steps required to power up your computer. The key, apparently, is to train your mind for spontaneous, off-the-cuff writing readiness. (As I previously suggested, I think developing this skill carries over into conversation as well.) Continue reading “Careful Writing”→