The number one habit of highly creative people, according to Leo Babauta, in one word is “Solitude.”  I’ve been thinking about solitude today. Why is it necessary? What does it accomplish?

 Without solitude no serious creative work is possible. ~ Pablo Picasso

Every kind of creative work demands solitude, and being alone, constructively alone. ~ Barbara Powell

The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind.  ~ Albert Einstein

Notice the similarities? Creativity and Solitude. They grow together. 

This last week, I took off. I took four days and went off the grid. A trip out to ‘my land’ in western North Dakota at a state park called Little Missouri. West of Bismarck and North of Dickinson. Out in Dunn County. It took a day to wind down and get used to no internet. I read, hiked and napped three days away. I brought four books with me and read three of them.

The quiet refreshed my soul. The solitude filled me. Letting go of everyday life engaged my mind.

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I thought, contemplated and wrestled with my next book. And finally, on the fourth day, I was ready to sit down and write. It’s been too long since I did this. All the book publishing, promoting, conventions, conferences, speaking, book clubs, and readings caught up with me. In my gut, I knew it. It was time. I was getting crabby. I was getting … leave me alone!


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In the evenings, I walked around the campgrounds, built for campers to bring their own horses. I could only drool. And take pictures. The four days were magical. I’m back home now. And you know what? I’m ready to go back to work.

Jill Kandel
  • Colleen Ford-Dunker
    Posted at 13:23h, 17 June Reply

    Yes!… to solitude and its necessity for creativity and to the Little Missouri State Park campground. …and YES to beauty as well.

  • Jill Kandel
    Posted at 20:38h, 17 June Reply

    It was beautiful! Forgot to mention that. 🙂

  • linda deg lee
    Posted at 11:38h, 07 July Reply

    just found your blog while looking through your So Many Africas. thanks for the great insight. I wish you well. Another NoDak arist.

    • Jill Kandel
      Posted at 11:57h, 07 July Reply

      Always great to hear from another North Dakotan! I wish you well, too!

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