The World Is Loud. Writing Makes It Quieter.

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The writer’s “Choose-Your-Own-Adventure.”

Picture this: You, sitting in a big easy chair, by a fireplace, watching a blizzard out the window. The wind howls and moans around the corners and contours of the house, and every now and then, a particularly strong gust makes the windows rattle. It tries to come swirling down the chimney too, but the fire, though temporarily buffeted, fights back and repulses it.

Have you got the picture? Ok, good, now hold on to it for the next few minutes.

That picture is how I feel when I write. The creative process of putting down my thoughts and feelings in written form is the most effective way I know to quiet the increasingly obnoxious noise of the world around me.

Writing forces my easily distracted mind to focus. It draws my attention and holds it as I struggle to bleed my inmost self onto the page. Writing is cathartic but also traumatic. Without the trauma there’s no catharsis, it’s just empty words dribbling out of me.

The process of inhabiting the same space with my words clears the clashing noises pounding into my ears all day, every day. Words are the puzzle pieces of my thoughts. I’m able to sit down, cross-legged on the floor next to my neat pile of words and pull out a verb here, and a noun there, fitting the edges together and constructing an idea. Like a puzzle, sometimes I don’t know what the full thought will be until I’ve started writing it down. It only reveals itself to me through the process.

I’m bombarded with “messages” but very little content. Words, those treasured pieces of my thought-puzzles, are being rendered meaningless by others, and I fight to preserve their value by writing. Writing is my way of rebelling against the lack of substance behind so many of our words these days.

Writing is a skill. Words are powerful, individually and collectively, and the highest form of art is achieving maximum expression with minimum material. I try to craft my words like a Modernist painting: minimalist and impactful at the same time. Words are powerful, but excessive words sap that power.

The world is a cacophony, a blizzard of white noise. The world is a cold wind come to steal our creative spark and render us mute through excessive commotion. The world is trying to scatter our thought-puzzles and keep us from thinking.

The world is trying to take our words, our writings from us.

Put another log on your fireplace, sink deeper into your easy chair, and let the world howl away outside, while you write. The great wall of noise outside your window cannot silence you, while you write.

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