an indispensable element of the writer’s job is learning to live with the silence of being ignored – and not just because the silence is independent of our talent, of a book’s merit, of the love and effort that went into creating it. No, we must learn to live with the silence because silence is where we go to write. – Daphne Kalotay
As Kalotay says in her spot on piece “Before the Calm” in the most recent issues of Poets and Writers Magazine, all writers CRAVE feedback and loathe the silence that comes almost every time we birth a new piece into the world. I certainly do. It has taken great will for me not to log in to Google Analytics or pull up my Mail Chimp mailing list to count subscribers.
But as I resist, I am finding my way back to the reasons I wrote in the first place – the solidness within the ephemerality of language, the ordering that comes when I take images and memories to words, the meditative peace that settles on me when the writing is good. I am learning, again, to take my sustenance from the silence of writing.
I need to do this.
I do not want to be the writer who is consumed by anxiety when someone does not give me a review of a proof copy I sent them, and I do not want to the woman whose spirit gets slammed flat by every negative comment here. I am that woman in moments – every writer becomes that person in moments – but I do not want to live there.
Instead, I want to walk the forest of my reverie and find the stories, the ones that live in the silence that I carve from a world that begs me to be anything but.
I want to crave that silence like breath.
How do you live with the silence of being ignored?