Closing a Book

Read! In the Name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists)…” (Quran 96:1).

I was reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron in which she talks about ways to boost creativity and to break through a tough bout of writers’ block. Julia Cameron wrote how artists have the best ideas doing random things such as taking a shower or driving on the freeway. It’s in these blank moments of repetition, great ideas can spark. An idea can bloom into a manuscript. The mind can actually breathe and start thinking on its own rather than listening to what’s going on.

I cannot always silence my surroundings, but I can allow my mind to start creating again by letting it wander if I give it some time and space to.

One thing, Cameron said that really surprised me was to take a break from reading, a week off. When I told my husband this, he responded incredulously, “You’re reading a book that’s telling you not to read?” Yes. Rather than read what other people have created, create your own.

That got me.

I love to read. But it is so much easier to hide behind the covers of a good book, tell myself I’m just seeing what’s out there in the publishing world, than cower behind a keyboard and actually attempt to create my own work.

What happens if you close your book and instead pick up a pencil, or open up a blank Microsoft Word document? What happens if you read a little less in order to make some tough edits on  a story? What happens if you silence your podcast or shorten a phone conversation to let in some silence?

I’ll let you know.


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