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Quiet

Charles DickensThere is a sto­ry about which I have always mar­veled. It con­cerns Charles Dick­ens, the great 19th cen­tu­ry nov­el­ist. If I remem­ber cor­rect­ly, it hap­pened when he first became famous with The Pick­wick Papers and he was writ­ing David Cop­per­field. A large, bois­ter­ous par­ty was being held in his hon­or at his home. At some point, he excused him­self, explain­ing he had a dead­line to meet, and retreat­ed to his study to write. The par­ty­go­ers, refus­ing to accept this excuse, car­ried his desk down to the par­ty. Midst the loud rev­el­ry, he wrote on. How he could do so I can­not imag­ine! I like, need, qui­et to work. Deep qui­et. Silence. Noth­ing, not even music. Since I live in a busy house­hold, I even have rifle-shoot­ing ear­muffs to block out sound. I only want to lis­ten to the words I write. The more I lis­ten, the more I hear. The more I hear, the more the read­er will hear.

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