My muse is the quiet darkness and the sounds of the night. When my daughter was born and I would nurse her, I coveted these moments when it was just she and I, roaming the house or rocking in the glider. My humming, and her cooing, the only sound. It was peaceful. Calming.
Now that she’s older and sleeping through the night, I find myself alone in these times, but only on the outside. Inside, my head is teeming with life.
My characters lives, that is.
Their voices. Ideas. Wants. Needs. Tears and laughter. It’s all there, bursting out of me.
I could never figure out why this was my best writing time, until I realized it was because of how loud the night actually is. It’s brimming, overflowing really, with inspiration. There are so many unknowns in the dark.
How often as children did we imagine the clothes under our beds or in the closets as monsters? Or think the tree tapping on the windowpane was witches or goblins coming to take us away?
And, when we turned on the light, we realized how silly we were, but were we? Really? What if that tree really was the witch? Or the shirt with its sleeve carelessly draped over the back of the chair really the arm of a monster?
Or on the brighter side, the starlight that twinkles through the branches of the tree, thousands of fairies sprinkling their fairy dust to make the flowers grow. The whisper of the wind, actually the voices of angels as they watch over us.
The dark is unknown and limitless, an excellent source of infinite inspiration.
If nothing else, the quiet, or perceived quiet, alone is enough to relax you the way a warm bath with scented candles does. Or an hour-long massage. It allows you to unwind. Let go of the stresses that hound you. If only for a few minutes.
So even if it’s only ten minutes, take some time tonight to really listen to what the dark has to offer you. You just may be surprised at what you hear.