White Noise and Quilogy

I imagine that all writers share the need to get into the right frame of mind for fresh ideas to spark and for the words to flow. There seems to be so much noise out there with politics, lock-downs, security alerts and endless chatter from pundits and pollsters, that it can seem that there just isn’t enough head room to be get into creative mode.
I’m as guilty in my own way. My novice attempts at using social media add a few micro decibels to the general clamour. I sometimes wonder if it would be therapeutic to go off-grid one day – hopefully by my own choice! – and sit by a shore in a blissful isolation, without mobile reception, internet or memorable words. By day, standing at the end of a jetty, waiting patiently for fish to bite while squinting to sight a sail on the distant horizon. By night, huddled around a fire on a cold night, transfixed by the sparks rising from the primitive stove, willing the kettle to whistle.
The trouble is, I don’t think that creativity comes from a peaceful vacuum, however appealing a simple life would seem. We crave company, voices, expressions, opinions, endorsement, empathy. Without noise around us, there is nothing to absorb, to assimilate, to challenge and to change.
Thinking about background noise, I find that a car journey accompanied by BBC Radio 4 or Times Radio does wonders for the thought process as the mind drifts to outlandish places. The hubbub of a busy coffee shop, still fondly remembered pre lock-down, was oddly conducive to developing a story line. My coffee-stained notebooks are proof.
I was dipping into the user guide for some sound recording software that I have just downloaded. One bit caught my eye. There is a way that you can add white noise to make the silences seem more real. Wow, that’s clever! If I manage to produce an audio book when I have mastered the skills – as I understand it these include building a soundproof fort in the upstairs bedroom which sounds like the fun bit – then may be my future audio will provide the white noise needed to inspire a truly great author who can successfully block out my home counties tones while penning their best selling quilogy.

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