Dear Kesten,

With all due respect for your own creative process, which is unique to you, I would hesitate, first to ever make such a sweeping statement as your title. Not every creative writer needs music. You do. That’s your sacred right and your process. I am a lifelong writer, a prize-winning author and journalist. I can’t write to music. It would drive me batty. I can’t write with noise in the background. It gets in the way of my process.

Your point, above, is something I am doing an article on right this moment. Silence, to my mind (and I am hardly alone here) is only terrifying when we are not at ease with what lives in our heads. Silence is the gift that allows us to have thoughts land, untrammeled, unaffected. Our inability to deal with silence is a symptom of our times.

While I totally support your right to have an opinion and speak to your unique creative process, I might respectfully suggest that you do not tell Dear Reader what Dear Reader needs. You and I can’t possibly know that. You know your truth. In the above paragraph you are effectively dictating to me my reality. Again, with respect, that doesn’t respect your reader. You and I cannot possibly know what works for any of the other nearly eight billion folks on earth. Shoot, half the time I hardly know my own mind, but on this, I most certainly do. At 67, writing is who I am, not what I do. I cannot create with noise. That includes music. Even Bach or Mozart, which I dearly love.

And I cannot possibly speak for anyone else’s creative process, which likely is as unique as fingerprints. For all you and I know, someone can only create when they smell bacon cooking, the dogs are barking and the baby is screaming. I’m sure there are folks out there for whom that’s a reality. I’d go find a tent in the wilderness, but again, that’s me. And I most certain have done just that. Many, many times.

We simply don’t know. I think you might be a little put off if I wrote an article that effectively implied that you, Kesten, could ONLY write in silence, by making a similar claim that creatives can only get work done in silence. That’s most certainly not your truth, and you’d be a little put off that I had the temerity to speak for you. You’d be right, too.

I know you modified your comment, but your title makes it clear that you are making a broad assumption about the creative process- for all of us creative types.

I don’t know you, and I respect your take. I only suggest here that a little more regard for your readers might be in order. As for your argument that the brain needs something to keep it occupied, research does not necessarily bear that out:

Again. I do not speak for you. I’m actually researching this right now: our inability to be in silence, which for so many of us is terrifying. Yet, Kesten, the greatest writers speak honestly to what lives in the darkest alleys of our consciousness. We can only go there in the deep dark, the silence, trusting our own way to the light. Of course there is terror. But in facing those terrors, we find courage.

But that’s just me. I am one of nearly eight billion. And I love the silence, breathe it, celebrate it, and bask in it. As I am right now in this house in Colorado. Sweet, perfect silence.

Like a snow blanket on a December day.

Written by

Horizon Huntress, prize-winning author, adventure traveler, boundary-pusher, wilder, veteran, aging vibrantly. I own my sh*t. Let’s play!

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