Creativity Needs Silence

I recently attended a workshop on creativity, specifically on morning practices which can help to nudge along one’s creative juices. In this workshop I heard the presenter use the statement “The heart of creativity is silence.” This caused me to ponder (lots of pondering in my life these days) the deep and intense value of silence. I attempted to learn the source of these words and found that NY Times commentator, Maureen Dowd is attributed with “Creativity needs silence.” This is a brief version of the same.

When am I most creative? Is it at my desk writing or working on editing images? Is it during a planned retreat where the purpose is to “get creative”? Is it sitting on a bench waiting for life to happen on the streets of another country so that I can capture something interesting with my little whiz bang Fuji XT3? Or is it in the shower, on a morning walk, sitting with a cup of coffee on my patio? YES. It is found in all of these. What do these have in common?

Although there may not be perfect silence in and during any one of them, the common factor is silence, quiet, not talking about being creative. Yes, indeed, some good ideas come during a workshop, a lesson from a pro photographer, or at camera club. But for the most part, ideas come (hence creativity) when I have my mouth shut, my ears shut and my brain mostly dis-engaged.

The value of silence is evident. Daily meditation is essential for me now. After fighting the practice for over a year, I have drifted into the numbers of the die hard and almost evangelical. I cannot live without the silence. It feeds my soul as well as my creativity.

My goals for this year are lofty and simple-but not easy. I truly believe that adding a little more silence, a little more quiet, a little less monkey mind will serve me and my creativity just fine.