The Sound of Silence

I’m going to subtitle this: “The Head Wants, what the Head Wants.”

I have always listened to music while I’m writing. The kind of music varies (or at least it used to), but it was always there. It’s there right now, in fact, as I’m typing this.

I use music for a number of different reasons. Sometimes it’s for inspiration. Sometimes it’s a layer between me and the rest of the world – a bit of distance between my head and the stuff that wants to worm into my awareness. Sometimes it’s because I just want to listen.

Whatever it’s for, I’ll eventually reach a place where one part of my head is listening to what’s playing and another part is doing the writing. I’ll lose songs sometimes. I’ll glance up at the playlist and find that some songs have played, and I’ve totally missed them.

It doesn’t happen instantly. At first, the music is front and center, like a huge rock tossed into a deep* pool. There’s this splash, and then there are waves. As I work, the waves smooth out and become ripples, which eventually smooth out and become still.

Now I know I’m mixing my metaphors here, but bear with me. Imagine that huge rock down at the bottom of the deep pool. See it begin to spin. It’s one of those really craggy and pitted rocks, so there’s plenty of spaces for the water to catch and swirl with the spinning rock.

This is the music going to work.

Gradually the rest of the water gets caught up in the movement. The two are still separate – the rock and the water – but they are caught up in the same thing.

Here’s where the metaphor starts to fall apart, because I don’t *Need* the music to write, though I prefer it to be there.

At least I did.

All this week, I’ve been writing in silence. One morning (it was probably Monday) when I fired up the playlist, something didn’t click, and I couldn’t handle the sound. So I turned it off.

I did the same thing the next day. And the next. I didn’t question it because it was working.**

It wasn’t until I was composing my Friday Fess-Up post, that any kind of explanation came to mind. Like most things, I wasn’t *looking* for a reason. My fingers were just doing their thing and, “My creative head needs quiet” came out.

It stopped me for a second, the “Rightness” of that line. In an earlier post, I’d said that I’d been dealing with some things and I still am.

The waters are still turbulent.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m much better off than I was a week ago. Additionally, I don’t mean to imply that this blog isn’t a creative endeavor. It’s a different kind of creative thing, with a good dollop of reality mixed in.

Which doesn’t change the reality that my creative head needs quiet. I don’t know how long that’ll last, but I’m not going to force it.

Time: 11:16 am-ish

Music: Blind Guardian – Sacred Worlds



*No, I am not tooting my own horn here. There have been days where, in terms of “Water” containment, my head more resembles a damp sponge than a deep pool, and I’ll be the first to admit it.

**And the early morning is my writing time. I’m there to get words down. Get all introspective on your own dime, Ken.