Trading The Hustle For The Silence

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Image courtesy Brooke Cagle via

“You either walk inside your story and own it or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness” ~ Brene Brown

As I have settled into November, settled into a month where I have put aside freelance writing and blogging to work solely on my novel, there is one thing that has stood out the most for me.

The silence.

The silence that comes with not hustling for my worthiness.

Because in this digital age, this is freelance writing – the fight to be heard, the struggle to be seen, the relentless pursuit of views, shares, readers, followers.

It is busy, it is noisy, it is exhausting.

I have found myself relieved to come away from that, surprised to find how much more I am able to breathe. But in the silence that has been November, I have also struggled to keep hold of my worthiness. Because it is easy to justify my existence when my articles are being published; better yet, when they are going viral. It proves I am worthy to call myself a writer. It proves the hours I spend in front of my computer are valuable, warranted, not just time wasted on a self-indulgent hobby.

It proves I have what it takes.

But in the silence, when I write, and I write, and I write, without any proof of this, without any publication, without any affirmation, I panic that my existence – that what I do – is not justified. That I have readers, followers, people who support me because of what I write; and yet, here in November, here in the silence, I write no words to be seen, and I wonder if I let people down, if I fail, if I need to show somehow that I am still validated to hold a space in the lives of others.

And so I struggle with the ambivalence of November – on the one hand, the silence being a welcome comfort. On the other hand the way it unnerves me, agitates me. Like two strangers face to face in awkward reticence, I feel as though I need to fill the quiet space with some kind of clang and clatter.

But instead, I choose to look down, and continue in my silence. Try to remember my worth is not based on any prerequisites. Try to remember my existence is justified because I am being, not because I am doing. Try to remember the long term dream the silence allows me to work toward, how much that dream means to me, how much closer I am for the silence.

The hustle can be all-consuming if we allow it to be.

We must find a way to be comfortable in the silence, to rest in knowing no matter what gets done, or what doesn’t get done, we are enough.

In the silence we must come to understand our worthiness is not based on how hard we hustle for it, but in how willing we are to embrace it.


PS – Thanks to everyone who has asked how I am after laser eye surgery <3

My recovery has been slow, a few post-op complications, but a week later I’m doing much better. I went for a run last night and could see every. single. blade. of. grass, as well as birds on the swamp, hills in the distance and the Mt Benson tower which is 10kms away.

My close-range vision is taking some time to adjust which makes computer work frustrating as I have to rest my eyes quite often. It’s slowed my writing progress down quite some, however, mid-November and I’m over halfway to my NaNoWriMo word count goal – further along than I’d hoped to be at this point – so here’s hoping next week I’ll be full steam into it again!

4 thoughts on “Trading The Hustle For The Silence

  1. It is in the silence without the thoughts that you find that quiet place and the light, to know yourself, to know nothing, and to know everything. #fightthegoodfight
    Keep on writing those beautiful words, unseen or seen.

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