I do my best writing when the house is so quiet I can hear the wind pressing its face against my window. That’s solitude. I can’t write while playing music (even Maria Callas is a distraction). I can’t write while drinking overpriced coffee in a cafe. I have to be home. And my home must be quiet.
Knowing that for as long as I have, why has it taken me so long to learn to shut up? In the last few weeks, I’ve come to realize that I have refined the art of talking projects into the ground. It’s goes a little something like this: A well meaning friend asks, “How’s the writing going?” And I say something like, “Oh, pretty good. My thesis advisor is looking over a draft of my manuscript right now, so I’ve decided to write a series of poems about… I think I want all of the poems to involve.. I’m really drawing a lot of imagery from… This series is different from my last project because… ”
That’s fine and dandy except when I go home and sit down to write this fantastic new series of poems, I have two realizations. First, I haven’t written ONE poem in this supposed series. Two, now that I’ve talked and talked and talked about this series, I can’t write it. I’ve talked the idea to death.
And so, I am learning about the art of silence, the art of staying at my desk and answering to no one put the words I’ve already written.
You say, “How’s the writing going?” I say, “Just fine.” End of scene.