To open up creative space in our world requires that we find, or make, a quiet place for ourselves to work.
As with visual distractions – bills, unwashed dishes, windows that look out on untended yards – sounds call us away from our work too easily.
Since quiet is the counterpart of solitude in making a space for creation to occur, I suggest:
Eliminate potential noise distractions. Turn off the email program on your computer. Silence your cell phone – or better yet, leave it, silenced, in another room.
I was once obliged to write in a loft over the family room, where, below, my three small children sometimes watched TV. Volume was limited, and I wore earbuds and listened to nature sounds – no lyrics, only flowing water and winds – to create a “wall” of white noise that worked for me.
Eliminate foot traffic to where you are. With traffic comes noise. Police tape across the doorway is a bit severe. But sometimes necessary. If asking for alone-time to create is not enough, create your own version of a “Do Not Disturb” sign. Use it.
Enforce your quiet zone by not answering knocks or intrusions. It may seem like the better part of valor to respond to, “Can I interrupt you?” But it isn’t. “Not just now” is a fair and sometimes necessary response. (More on this in the next post.)
Many actors know that, to steps into character is hard, and to answer someone who is speaking to the personally they just stepped out of will break the power of imagination from which a great performance arises. In the same way, entering our own private space, from which our powers of creation arise, requires us to build – and maintain – a space of quiet.
Stationed on the mind’s quiet edge, able to tune-in to the heart and soul’s voice, we then get to witness creative images and words to arise.