Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence
We blog for a million different reasons, but in the end we’re all storytellers. Writing Challenges help you push your writing boundaries and explore new ideas, subjects, and styles.
To participate, read the challenge instructions and write at least one post in response. Tag your post with DPchallenge and include a link to this post to generate a pingback. Make sure your post has been specifically published in response to this challenge. We might just highlight some of our favorites on Freshly Pressed, on our @postaday account on Twitter, or in our quarterly newsletter.
This week, we’re asking you to make “silence” a presence in your post. We promise, it’s not as counterintuitive as it sounds!
Silence, Zip It, Shh!
In our last class, my ever-creative yoga teacher gave her students one simple instruction: to remain silent. As we finished our session and pulled ourselves off our mats to make our way home, she reminded us of our challenge. “At least in the car ride home, no phone, no music, just silence,” she urged.
Uplifted after our class, I walked over the mounds of snow to open up my car door. I turned off the radio, buckled myself in, and put the car into gear. “Crap,” I said to myself out loud, “which way am I going again?” Two minutes after I’d left the yoga studio and I’d already failed at our challenge without even realizing it.
What’s Left Unsaid
As someone who enjoys spending time by myself, I find it funny to acknowledge that staying quiet can be just as hard as being talkative and outgoing. Silence, as many good quotes can attest, can be just as powerful as using words. In fact, one of my favorite Martin Luther King, Jr. quotes speaks to just that point, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
Even outside of our interactions with others, whether that be friends or in the context of a larger social struggle, that which is left unsaid can still tell us volumes. Books that leave the ending to the reader’s imagination, songs with meaningfully placed breaks, even moments with friends or family where you wished you’d told them how much you care. In it’s own way, the unsaid is a powerful way to send a message.
There are multiple ways of interacting with silence: purposefully leaving something unsaid, breaking the silence around a topic, or, quite simply, getting tongue-tied. For this week’s challenge, we want you to take the theme of silence and explore it in your own way.
At a loss for words? Here’s a few ideas to get you going this week:
- Breaking the silence: is there a post you’ve been chewing on in your mind for a while, but have been nervous to publish? Break your own silence by getting it out there.
- Is there something you left unsaid, but regret? Tell us about a time when you didn’t say what was on your mind, but wish you had.
- Write a story, but leave out someone’s voice. What changes? What type of storyline can you tell with silence acting as a character? (Hey, even Jay and Silent Bob are a pretty good example of this.)
- Take the challenge to real life: how long can you actually stay silent? An hour, a whole day? If you’re able to take on a day of silence, or have in the past, tell us about what the experience has been like.
We’ll be waiting in quiet enthusiasm to see what you come up with.