Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Inner Sanctum


"A soul can create only when alone"
Abraham Joshua Herchel

What feeling does that quote evoke in you? Peace?
Excitement? Fear? When I read it a sense of desire welled up in me. The urge to get away from life, sit in solitude and create was overwhelming. At the same time, a fog of despair rolled over me knowing that my life prohibits that kind of creative heaven.

There's no hard and fast rule that you must be completely alone to write your stories. There wouldn't be many published books if that were the case. But what kind of atmosphere is most conducive to your imagination taking flight? What is your inner sanctum?

A dictionary gave a couple of definitions for sanctum: 1.a sacred or holy place 2. an inviolably private place or retreat.

What writing rituals do you hold sacred? What private place or retreat do you run to when you dream up your novels? Do you wait for the family to go to bed, light candles and turn on soft music? Do you go to the farthest corner in the library? How about under the trees in your backyard? Or do you prefer to sit in the hubbub of your family, relishing the noise of life and vitality?

When I first started writing, I needed complete quiet. No music, no loud kids in the background, nothing. Over the last few years I've learned to tolerate more noise. I still cannot listen to music with lyrics, but a soft easy listening or classical song is now acceptable. I've learned I can sit on the couch while my husband watches football and work on my character sketches. I still need the quiet to develop the story, whether it is in the wee morning hours or the quiet of the car on the way to work.

I've heard numerous writing styles of various writers and I've learned that there is no right or wrong in any area of the writer's life. You do what works for you.

So what is your inner sanctum?

14 comments:

Aimee L Salter said...

Husband at work, son at kindergarten, house clean and curtains closed. Oh, and don't forget: A really big, really good mochaccino next to the laptop.

Bliss!

Pepper Basham said...

Ooo, I'm liking Aimee's descrip. It made me sigh. :-)

Pepper Basham said...

I don't get a 'sactum' all that often, but there have been a few times where I've experienced it. Right now, I've learned to write in distraction :-)
But...
I LOVE to create when I'm outside, preferably on a mountaintop with a breeze blowing. When my husband and I have taken a few overnight excursions to a B&B or chalet, I'll sit out on the porch overlooking the vast ocean of mountains, and my imagination comes alive as my spirit calms. I LOVE that feeling. :-)

Sarah Forgrave said...

When I'm in creating or intense editing mode, I can't have any distractions. But if I'm doing light edits, I can usually tolerate the TV in the background or other peripheral noise.

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Pepper, now that's my idea of an inner sanctum :) I love writing outdoors, or at the very least dreaming up stories outdoors. Surrounded by trees in the mountains or with some other nice scenery.

But I've learned to write with all sorts of distractions around me, including television, music, children yelling and playing...you know, normal life :)

Pepper Basham said...

cindy,
totally with you on that score. "normal life' :-)
If I can't write within distraction, then I don't get much of an opportunity until after 9 or 9:30pm
And that's when lecture notes or grading is completed. Sigh.
But it's so much fun.
Do you just fall in love with your stories?

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Oh yes, Pepper. Deep love--the kind that keeps me awake at night :) It's so wonderful when you have a story idea that completely envelops you and draws so much emotion from the heart!

Pepper Basham said...

and, for some strange reason, you keep reading and rereading even though you KNOW it.
:-)

Patti Lacy said...

The writing cave is my inner sanctum! It's a matter of prioritizing so that nothing gets in the way of that one-on-one writing time with God!

Have been hiding out for a couple of weeks but shold be popping out for sustenance of the bloggite kind!

Speaking of blogs, this place place is getting way cool! Glad y'all added Angie to go along with cool Pepper and Wendy and Sarah and Sherrinda and Cindy and Krista. Now I need to meet Angie, Casey, and Mary.

Casey said...

Hmmm, great post Sherrinda, btw. When I do my rough draft I like to escape to my bunkhouse. I do listen to music, and when I wrote my last WIP I listened to like 6 songs by Sara Evans over and over again. It just seemed to fuel creativity for some reason. When I edit I can be interrupted, I do it in the office in the house and have the emails hooked up, but I do have to watch for too much distraction or I won't be productive. Like right now. Sigh.

But music is a must. An absolute must and I prefer lyrics, it just seems to help. :)

Mary Vee said...

Hey Patti! Come to Billings--we can do a rodeo, or a coffee shop :)
I can't work without distractions. Don't know what will happen at empty nest time. I'm so use to the family sounds. We love to take long trips, I write while gazing at the scenery. My husband laughs. "How can you write your stories when you aren't looking at the screen?" "I know my key board, I feel my story, I am moved by the scenery, I'm good."
I especially love Nora Jones in the background.
I'm one of those ADHD people....always moving, shifting, doing.
Editing is the one and only time I force myself to stop and focus.

Supamom said...

Great post! I am such a night owl usually...I love to write while the house is asleep! I used to enjoy writing with Norah Jones in the background and maybe a glass of wine...but pregnancy has stopped the latter, and my need for silence after a long day with the kids, nipped even Norah in the bud!
Mostly, if I have something brewing in my head, regardless of the time of day or the place, I need to write it or type it ASAP or it will flee forever!

Sherrinda said...

Wow! I couldn't get away at work to check the blog and I had a late meeting this afternoon. I love hearing you inner sanctums. Just as I knew it would be, we have some who love the quiet and some who work in chaos. Isn't God so fun to make us all so incredibly different?

Julia M. Reffner said...

Supamom, I'm with you. I write most of my best when the kids are asleep. In fact I write most everything when they're asleep. But I think I need to learn to create a quiet in the midst of the chaos.