Silenced: Wrestling with the urge to be heard


I am voiceless today. A nasty bug has been holding my vocal chords hostage for several days now, rendering me hopelessly, helplessly silent.

(Flickr: Vladimir Fedotov)

(Flickr: Vladimir Fedotov)

There’s no telling how long it will last.

Despite relying on my writing voice to sustain me, I still am quite frustrated by this time of enforced quiet.

Read: 8 great ways to achieve peace of mind as you write

I have to clap and snap to get my kids’ attention. My chest is sore from heaving out a husky whisper. I am unable to infuse my words with any inflection or sense of real urgency. And singing or humming — two of my favorite things to do– are out of the question.

I surfed the internet last night, looking for some quick, secret little trick for hurrying along the healing process.

The answer was what I suspected — rest. Rest and quiet.

This is not what this high-energy personality wanted to hear, but it is the only remedy that I know will work to restore my voice. When it is good and ready.

As a writer, certainly there are times when I find that my creative energy is similarly paralyzed. And to be thwarted in this way practically drives me crazy. It’s in my nature — no, my need — to be heard.

It is also not surprising that sometimes the cure for this type of writer’s block is the same thing– rest. 

When your creative well runs dry — and it will someday–you must allow it the time it needs to restore itself. This can be accomplished by stepping off, stepping out and thinking on new things.

Watch a movie. Read a book. Take a walk. Embrace a breeze. Engage in conversations with new and interesting people.

Today, I am using my quiet time to think on others who are silenced. Men, women and children of all races and inclinations who are not heard, whose opinions are thought to be without value. How do they cope? What venues are there for them besides the internet? Has the internet helped or harmed us in our urge to be heard?

What are the ramifications of a voice forever quieted? What price does humanity pay for not listening to others?

Heady topics, to be sure. But I have time to consider these things, it seems, as I silently observe the world while sipping on a hot, restorative tea.

My hope is that it will eventually make my storytelling all the more rich and thoughtful.

Kerri S. Mabee is managing editor at and founder of Breeze Media & Communications. Learn more about her at Follow @EducatedWriter.




Kerri S. Mabee

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