If I were writing the never ending list of excuses, then, “I didn’t write today because I need silence for it” would be the top excuse. Yes, it’s my favourite excuse, but it also happens to be the most popular one among writers.
What do we want most from the universe? It’s silence. What did the universe give us instead? The Big Bang! (Please reassure me in the comments that I am not the only one who laughed at this joke.) Never mind, continuing with our post…
As writers, we cannot deny the importance of silence. This is especially true in a world where we are bombarded with information all the time. In this digital age, it is silence that helps us create space in our head. Think about it. It is the main reason why some of us love to write in libraries.
I love writing at both libraries and cafes. However, I have come to realise that the inner voice is best heard in silence…and I am not just talking about the silence in our surroundings. We need inner silence just as much.
Did you know that, in the Hindu religion, there is a fast called Maun Vrat? This means “silent fast”. During this fast, a person commits to being silent for a specified period of time. I have read in mythology books that yogis used to keep this fast to gain more power or, as we call it, Siddhis. In my experience, Maun Vrat is an amazing rejuvenating technique.
When you’re stuck in your writing or in life in general, it’s important to brainstorm your way out of the rut you’re in. To do that, most people need silence. But we don’t have complete control over our surroundings, do we?
No. And even if you are alone at home, as you shut your eyes, you’d be able to hear the leaking tap, footsteps in the building corridor, a car honking in the street, the sound of the fan, and a million other distractions. But what you can do is conserve your energy by going on the “silent fast”.
Even if everything around you is noisy and the world seems to be making the sound of a crumpling chips packet, you can try and stay silent.
Don’t say a word.
Stay there for a few hours or
as much as you can do.
What if you stayed there, in silence, for long enough? What will happen?
You will feel calmer.
You will gain clarity.
You will be able to concentrate on how your thoughts are travelling.
You will experience inner peace.
Inner peace will let you listen to your intuition.
Your intuition, or creative instinct, will then take charge.
Isn’t that what you wanted all along?
As a writer, when I talk less, my characters talk more. It’s always good to listen to them.
Now, take a moment and think about it. Don’t you sometimes want to stay silent when you are upset? Most of us do it instinctively but, if we do it consciously, the silence becomes even more beneficial. If you are someone who is new to meditation and you find it exhausting to catch hold of your thoughts then Maun vrat, the silent fast, is the best way for you to begin.
You can be involved with any work that you are doing, but don’t talk and communicate (binge-watching doesn’t apply here). Set your own limit. Mine is 18hours on a stretch, even if I am at a gathering. It always helps me clear some space in my mind. Also, when you break the fast with speech, you’ll realise the importance of each spoken word.
My mom believes that, if you practise this for months, God will bless your speech and the things you say will materialise faster. I am not sure if it’s true, but it is a fascinating thought. What if it’s true? I’ll leave you with this thought.