Wednesday Words of Wisdom: Pico Iyer

This week’s Wednesday Words of Wisdom come from Pico Iyer, a British-born essayist and novelist. I came across one of his books, The Art of Stillness and I saw one of the book’s quotes on Pinterest. This quote isn’t particularly based on writing… but for me, it translates to how I try to approach writing and life. 

“In an age of movement, nothing is more critical than stillness.” -Pico Iyer, The Art of Stillness

Our days are filled with errands, work responsibilities and chores. On top of that, technology and social media apps as well. We live in a busy world, no doubt about it. But lately, I’ve tried to take a simpler, more minimalistic approach to life.

I try to really be present in the moment–whether I’m looking out a window, taking a breath or walking. I try to take in the different calls of birds–red-winged blackbirds, robins, morning doves…I take note of the weather and what it’s like–is it warm and muggy, or cool and windy? I take note of how I feel–whether I’m stressed, frustrated, relaxed or happy.

 Whenever I walked this same route years ago, I was always rushed and on my way to school, stressing over when the local bus would come. I was worried about being late or missing the bus. I was focused on school exams, projects and tests. I was trying to get across busy intersections in one piece.  🙂

But now that I have the time and patience to take everything in, it’s been very beneficial physically, mentally and emotionally. Getting into photography and taking pictures of the world around me has really helped me see the world as a simpler, more peaceful place.

And I believe it helps my writing as well. There’s nothing like a good walk and some peace of mind that helps you clear your head, look for inspiration and just enjoy life. As writers, it’s important that we be observers of the world: of the small details, of the things other people don’t see, of how we feel about things. Pico Iyer has it right–in such a busy age, we need stillness to pause and reflect.


Do you use any quiet or meditative activities to help calm yourself? Or to help clear your mind for writing?

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6 thoughts on “Wednesday Words of Wisdom: Pico Iyer

  1. kittykat says:

    I love this and agree 100%…

    However, I am truly awful at practicing it! Always got my head in a laptop nor over thinking… I should really try to make this happen more often.
    Thanks for sharing this, I RT it for you too.
    K x

    • creativewriter says:

      Thank you 🙂 I’m the same way haha. It’s really hard to practice mindful meditation or calming practices. No problem and thanks for the RT- that’s really nice of you 🙂

  2. Sheila says:

    A great quote. Hope you don’t mind if I share it. This post is so true and a helpful reminder, when we are near to our last breaths, we will be wishing we’d spent more time in stillness. Thanks for sharing.

    • creativewriter says:

      Thanks! For sure, go right ahead 🙂 It is a great reminder and I know I feel much better taking the time to enjoy the stillness now. We live in such a busy world now. Thanks for your kind comments.

  3. badfish says:

    Yeah, I already knew all this. But the funny thing is…I always need to hear these things again. So thanks for trying to slow me down…again. I’m going for a walk to be here now, and smell some roses.

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