Virtues of silence

old ezra poundAt the end of his life, Ezra Pound (pictured, above, in Venice) sank into silence.  The man who redefined modern poetry and ranted endlessly about it — and showed his anti-Semitism on Italian radio during WWII — finally shut his mouth.

I’m feeling like Old Ezra Pound these days.  I have nothing to contribute to the WordPress-sphere about writing … or to Twitter.  Nothing interests me.  Nothing sticks.

I’m not paralyzed.  There’s a different reason behind it.

There are some structural challenges in my novel-in-progress, but instead of tackling them, I’ve been avoiding them.

Actually, what I realize is that I’m not really avoiding them at all.  I’m not writing right now, but I’m doing other creative things — growing our tower gardens, playing music, etc. — as my subconscious works through the challenges.  I can feel that work taking place (like hearing somebody walking around in the apartment above your head).

That’s where our writing comes from — from a level beyond our apparent talents, ability, voice.  Sometimes, you have to sit and wait for it.  You can’t command it (even though plenty of workshops insist that you have to write every day).

And that’s also why I’ve avoided all book-related social media lately. It’s too distracting. Instead, I’m trying to follow Ole Ez’s example. But I still think of all of you, my best beloveds, and I wish you nothing but good work and satisfaction in your own goals. Just wanted you to know that.

Now, back to the silence.

10 responses

  1. Thanks for letting us know, Nick. I’ve been wondering. I, OTOH, have been in a flurry of activity with my kidlit writing. Hope your subconscious works through your challenges. Patience. And other creative endeavors. You’re doing the right things!

  2. When I first began blogging, I followed a Danish (Norwegian?) woman whose tagline was: “If I don’t have anything to say, I won’t say it.” Seems reasonable to me.

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