Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Solitude and Silence

I have a strange personality. At times I come out of tests as introverted, others as extroverted. There are occasions when I will ignore a ringing phone or knock at the door if at all possible, and other times when I crave company and conversation.

What is even more interesting about that is that I learned earlier this year in psychology that introversion and extroversion are actually created by brain processes. Introverts have a high level of cortical arousal, meaning they seek out silence, while extroverts have low levels of cortical arousal and therefore seek out company, noise and excitement. Is my brain moodier than the rest of me?

When writing though, I am definitely in introvert mode. Ultimately I think I swing more in that direction. I can be sociable, but it takes more effort, even when I want it, then being alone. There are so many things I can do when I'm alone. As many things as there are ideas in my head or books on my bookshelf. Writing and reading suit solitude and silence. Sometimes I like music on in the background, but frequently I'll forget to change the CD when it finishes. I'm barely even aware of it, and I tend to concentrate better on writing at least without it being on at all.

No distractions. The dogs can bark and I'll barely hear it, though at other times I'd find the noise ear-splittingly loud. The cat can go unfed, for all that she whines about it - also quite vociferously, I might add, she has a hell of a miaow for one so small.

There are always distractions, if I seek them out. I have an email notifier, and as well as the daily emails from various mailing lists, organisations, etc, as well as those from friends, and prospective editors, I have facebook and twitter set up to email me whenever someone sends me a private or direct message. When I'm trying to force myself to write (or more often, to edit something I've already written) these distractions do just that. Distract me. When I'm in a truly creative flow though, nothing can interrupt. Little flashes on the screen or noises - I hardly even notice them, and they soon go away.

When really writing, I seek silence and solitude.

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