Take Time to be Quiet

Anna Quindlen wrote a column for Newsweek explaining that though she loves her family, she also loves time alone:

“I like solitude. I can spend days happily alone, eating Raisin Bran for dinner on the porch instead of bothering with a starch, a stove, and a napkin. Eldest of five, mother of three, veteran of noisy newsrooms: it is any wonder that I like the sound of silence? It has a good beat, and you can dance to it.

“I can be the life of the party when necessary, but sometimes I just need to hear myself think. After all, if we can’t hear ourselves thinking, is any thinking truly going on?”

I love that. I also love teaching at writers’ conferences and helping train writers.

But I also love solitude. I have a mountain of books to read, scores of plots rattling in my head, and there is always something to do around the house. I could happily live alone (with a dog) in the woods. Through the magic of the Internet, my friends are just keystrokes away.

Not enough
But God has also called me to live and worship in family and community. By rubbing against others we smooth our rough edges. In family and communal living we learn we’re not the center of the universe.

Quindlen is right about needing silence to think—it’s a spiritual discipline writers often neglect. Because we’re not listening, how many times do we fail to hear God speak?

Practice silence. Get alone, get quiet—and listen. What do you hear?

Reprinted from Angela Hunt’s blog .

Photo: Angela HuntAngela Hunt is blessed to be a writer—especially when alone at her desk. Celebrate with her by visiting her online.

Solitude image: Idea go / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


  1. Pauline Hylton says

    Thanks, Angela. In the days when I went to bed later than my children, I had to be around people. Now that I’m in bed shortly after sunset, I love to be alone. With my coffee. And my dog. And my computer.

  2. Janice Garey says

    I, too, love solitude and silence interspersed between times of lively conversation in group settings. I hear peace in the silence and feel God’s love.

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