The Necessity of Solitude

Women are givers. Women writers are some of the most giving people I know.

We tend to have stronger relationships because of it–with babies, grown children, friends, and extended family.

But unless you learn how to balance all this giving with replenishment, you’ll find it nearly impossible to write.

Gift from the Sea

It has been a particularly busy family time the last six weeks, with little sleep and even less time to write. I wouldn’t go back and change any of it either–very rewarding times. But there comes a time when you realize you’re close to being drained. Pay attention to those times, or you’ll pay for it later (in your health, in your lack of writing, and in lack of patience with those around you).

This morning I was reading a bit in one of my favorite little books, Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s book, Gift from the Sea. I re-read it at least once a year. Here are a few snippets that might speak to you giving women:

  • What a circus act we women perform every day of our lives. It leads …to fragmentation. It does not bring grace; it destroys the soul.
  • Eternally, woman spills herself away in driblets to the thirsty, seldom being allowed the time, the quiet, the peace, to let the pitcher fill up to the brim.
  • Only when one is connected to one’s own core is one connected to others, I am beginning to discover. And, for me, the core, the inner spring, can best be refound through solitude.
  • One must lose one’s life to find it. Woman can best refind herself by losing herself in some kind of creative activity of her own.

Is That You?

If you find yourself feeling fragmented and agitated today, find a way to steal away from everyone for even ten minutes of total solitude (and if possible, silence). Breathe deeply. Bring the energy spilled on everyone else back inside for a few minutes. Re-focus. Relax.

If you have a couple hours, get a copy of Gift from the Sea and read straight through it. You’ll love it!

And if you have a couple extra minutes, leave a comment and tell us your favorite way to find solitude–whether for a day or just a few minutes. We all need suggestions for this!

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