Writing and silence

I am taking a break from writing brand new blog posts over the summer.

Instead of posting new work I am going to give readers the chance to read material from the archives of this blog.

Starting on Monday, a new-old blog post will appear here every two days, twenty of my favourites from the last four years.

See you all in September, and happy holidays.



I love the silence that descends on a classroom full of people who are all engaged in the act of writing. There’s something thick about this silence, nothing but the muffled voices of people outside in the snow, the hum of the computer in the corner, the odd cough. Each of us is travelling, lost in our own world and yet contributing to each other’s writing by signing up to the power of the silence. We affirm to one another as we write in this companionable silence, our hands moving across the blank page, that this matters, is important, can bring about change. The knowledge contained in each of our writing is unique to us and us only. But we co-construct it by committing to creating something not previously seen. How this happens is a mystery. In this way writing is similar to praying and singing in the company of others. You never quite know what will emerge. The power of what happens is greater than the sum of our individual voices and words, unique though they are and surprising to us as they appear under our pens.

For my Primary PGCE English Specialists, 3 December 2010


  1. It sounds like the holy grail, Anthony. God bless you for the vision. I’ve had moments like that in drama lessons. Longer ones when children have been doing artwork…..especially observational drawing, especially of animals. Writing? Outside an exam hall? No. I’ve often been part of that silence in writing workshops, but too absorbed to reflect on it. Till now.

    Liked by 1 person

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