Eating Less

by MW Cook

I have a forty minute drive to work. Forty minutes on a good day. Which, to be honest, is most days because I work nights and only creepy vampires like myself are on the highway at 11pm on a weeknight. The drive used to seriously bother me. Inefficient, y’know? Forty minutes of doing nothing. So I started getting audiobooks and throwing them on my phone to listen to. I consumed the entire Harry Potter series (fun), a little less than half of His Dark Materials (dumb) and part two of A Song of Ice and Fire (epic). I figured so much consumption of fiction would help keep my own creative juices flowing. Clever, eh?

Not so much, it turns out.

Driving was my only moment of solitude. I live with people and tasks. When I’m at home I’m with the family. When I’m out I’m with friends. When I at the library or work, I have tasks. Only in the car am I alone and idle. And that’s a good thing.

Creative Benefits of Solitude

  • Your ideas can ferment. Like a fine wine, ideas are never good as soon as they are mixed. They need to sit and grow and mingle within your head. Solitude lets them do this without allowing outside pollutants in.
  • Your mind can rest. Sometimes you’re just too tired to think. A bit of solitude is a break from stress, worry and tasks. And when you rest, you always tend to work better.
  • Your stress can dissipate. Not only can you rest, but when you are alone you can see your stresses a little clearer and they usually tend to get smaller for the seeing. Stress fades when we are not continually reminded of the things to be stressed about.
  • You can hear the Muse. She speaks softly, after all.