Sitting Idle


I am inspired by a lot and currently I am inspired by Brenda Ueland’s book, If you want to write. It’s a small book but filled with profound reminders on why I write, why we must write, how we can write, now we must write. I would have to say that I’m putting Brenda Ueland on my top five list of books to keep and to keep very close.

                                                                   las pinturas    Lady on a bench

One of the thoughts I’m enjoying is idling. Sitting idle, waiting for the story to appear.

And it is Tolstoi who showed me the importance of being idle, – because thoughts come slowly. For what we write today slipped into our souls some other day when we were alone and doing nothing. ~ Brenda Ueland.

Have you ever had a shower and an idea for a story suddenly appears in your mind’s eye? Or while cooking? When I make spaghetti sauce I will have daydreams while preparing the sauce, it’s one of my favorite ways to just be still.


Did something occur the day before and today you have an idea that needed a little nudge? It happens all the time to me and other writers I know. We talk about how we will be walking and so does the story that has been lingering around, it shows it’s self – I always carry a pen and paper for such moments, and lately I’ve been pulling out my smartphone and making voice notes to capture the moment. I love to walk by myself, I get so much out of a walk, just walking, not really paying too much attention, just enjoying the walk. Brenda Ueland speaks about how creativity might show itself.

And how do these creative thoughts come? They come in a slow way. It is the little bomb of revelation bursting inside you. I found I never took a long, solitary walk without some of these silent, little inward bombs bursting quietly: “I see. I understand that now!” and a feeling of happiness. You may find the little bombs quietly burst in you when you are doing other things, – sewing, or carpentering, or whittling, or playing golf, or dreamily washing dishes. 


When I run, cook or bake I have these little bursts of creativity. It’s amazing when you are still or just doing something your really enjoy, the creativity enters and whispers gently. The important thing is to pay attention, to be aware and just be. Meditation also is a great door of opportunity for creativity to enter. When my mind is still I am aware of those gentle whispers, the muse speaks a little more clearly, or maybe I am just able to hear my muse easily when I am still.


Like I expressed before I am inspired by a lot and there are bursts of inspiration I gain from Brenda Ueland, she suggests if you want to write;

So if you want to write try this: go into your room alone. Resign yourself tranquilly to doing something slow and worthless for at least an hour. Take a pencil or sit before your typewriter and look out the window. Perhaps write down and name (if you feel like it) what colors you see in the sky-exactly-and absorbency, with quiet, dreamy attention. Don’t bother to make sentence (unless you want to). Or dreamily and carelessly write what goes through your head such as: “I don’t seem to feel at all like working today. What is this muggy feeling?” (You many find yourself giving a brilliant, truthfully, luminous description of dullness and apathy).


Funny this very topic is lingering all around me. The other day I pulled a card from the Observation Deck and it was “Sit Still” and the message was very much the same as Brenda’s. Sit down for one hour and write, or don’t write, but you can’t do anything else, only write if you choose.  The messages from my muse, the creativity is quite clear. Sit down and write and don’t get up for at least an hour. I did this and I found that one hour passed quickly then the second and the third and I was amazed on how much work I had finished with the feeling of no time passing at all. What’s that they say about if you do something you love you never work a day again. I am meant to be a writer and I believe we have been chosen to write and I want to share with you that you can write, and with the help of a few gentle reminders, such as sitting down and writing, the possibilities are endless.

What inspires you? How do you hear your muse? Is the creativity calling out to you?

Until next time, keep on typing….


2 thoughts on “Sitting Idle

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