#TellHisStory Featured Writer: Sandra Heska King

October 8, 2013 | 18 comments


During 2013, dozens of talented writers are joining me to cheer you on in your storytelling. These guest-writers will share a few helpful words with you right here every Tuesday night, to encourage you as you #TellHisStory. (Come back after midnight to link up your story by clicking here.) And now, I’m delighted to introduce you to my dear friend, Sandra Heska King.

In Which I Pursue Wordlessness

 It’s after midnight, and my weekly words will go live in less than six hours. Except I have no words. The week has steamrolled over me and pressed me right into the muck of procrastination.

 Now here I sit with panic rising but eyes drooping and mouth drooling.

So I do what I often do when I’m stuck.

I take a shower.

Because there’s something about the rhythmic pounding of water as it pelts my body that somehow unkinks my brain and allows words to sputter. I jot them on my AquaNotes pad before they swirl down the drain.

Sometimes it’s just a couple stray words. So I ponder their differences and possible similarities, consider how they might relate to the Word.

When I return, the words flow.

The shower’s a quick fix.

TIP: Regularly pursue wordlessness so words can pursue you.

Dorothea Brande writes in Becoming a Writer that if we starve ourselves long enough in a wordless void, words will eventually rush in “to fill the wordless vacuum.”

“If you want to stimulate yourself into writing,” she says, “amuse yourself in wordless ways.” She calls it wordless recreation.

Sometimes I take my camera and go for a walk or just sit in the yard, immerse myself in wordless wonder.

Or sometimes I just take a shower.

Me on the Frio - 2012

Sandra is a writing, camera-toting, recovering doer seeking stillness and simplicity to see—and just be. She tries to live Mary Oliver’s quote, “Pay attention.
Be astonished. Tell about it.”
She blogs at www.sandraheskaking.com. (But you won’t find her saying
anything over there this month, because she’s sitting in the silence.)


by | October 8, 2013 | 18 comments


  1. Lorretta @Dancing On The Dash

    Oh. my. GOSH!!!!! AquaNotes? Seriously? There is such a thing??! Because this is just what I was saying to my husband last week, “I need a white board next to the shower because all these words and phrases come pouring out of the shower head and I have no place to write them! ” Yes, there’s yet another reason I like you so much SHK. Bless you.

    • Sandra Heska King

      You’ll love the AquaNotes, Lorretta! Just spill those words and phrases all over that little pad. (And your husband and you can write love notes to each other, too.)

  2. Kelly Greer

    Love this! Just read a blogpost over at Becoming Minimalist on Silence. An exercise in being silent for 24 hours and then only breaking it when absolutely necessary. Keeping it to one sentence and returning to silence, reflecting on what you said, the words you used, how you used them, and the motivation behind your words. I too find inspiration in the shower – or the van – or the garden – the porch – at the river – in the hills. Thanks for this great tip and your always well-delivered words that inspire me!

    • Sandra Heska King

      I love that blog, Kelly, but I’ve missed that post. I need to go find it. I like the idea of just a sentence and then reflecting. You’d have to recruit the family into that experiment. 🙂

      I discovered a retreat center called Still Waters (!) not to far from us with a cottage called “Tiqvah”–Hebrew for hope. I can’t wait to visit it!

  3. Karrilee Aggett

    I love this! And this: “Sometimes I take my camera and go for a walk or just sit in the yard, immerse myself in wordless wonder.” I did that just the other day… there were so many words – I needed a beautiful silence… a wordless wonder! (Bookmarking her site now – so I can drink it in when she returns!)

    • Sandra Heska King

      You make me so happy, Karrilee! Why do we think we need to push, push, push and fret, fret, fret–when what we really need is to rest, rest, rest?

  4. wynnegraceappears

    SHK, love working on the art of words with you day in and day out. Thank you for supporting me in this writing life and in “the” workshop. You words here are masterful. Girl, you knocked it out of the park. You shine like a diamond here. (is that two baseball metaphors in one comment 🙂 )

  5. Sandra Heska King

    I so love running these bases and heading home with you, Elizabeth!

  6. Kris Camealy

    Love this, Sandra. And aqua notes?! Oh I need to get me some of those!! Thanks for reminding me how to get the thoughts moving again 😉 XO

    • Sandra Heska King

      You’ll love them, Kris. I’d seen them. Meant to get some. And then a writer friend send me some as a gift. Best. Gift. Ever. Tomorrow I’m leaving everything behind to do a little hiking in the Upper Peninsula. Maybe I’ll find some words there. 🙂

  7. lynndmorrisseyL

    I”ve heard of Acqua Notes (or the like) before, but never thought of taking notes in the shower. I thought they were writing in the rain, when water and words gush forth. I always find that words flow at the most inconvenient times. It’s good to have a way to capture them. Oh……but when they don’t flow, Thank you, Sandra, and Dorothea for ideas to start the flow. You’re a wonderful writer, and I appreciate being carried along on your thought stream.

    • Sandra Heska King

      Thank you, friend. Here’s to running waters and word-filled streams.

      P.S. Becoming a Writer is one of my very favs.

  8. Rebekah

    I, too, love to grab the camera, and go for a walk in the woods. Or sit and watch the children. And yes, words and water always seem to go together, whether it’s taking a shower, hot bath, or hands in a sink full of hot suds. Thank you Sandra!

    • Sandra Heska King

      The camera has opened up a whole new world for me. 🙂

      But now I want a hot bath. I can’t remember the last time I had one.

  9. Diana Trautwein

    I love this Sandy! And I’ll have to look for those Aquanotes thingy-deal. And that picture there???? THE BEST ONE YET. LOVE IT – you look relaxed and happy.

    • Sandra Heska King

      Relaxed and happy? You must have been standing nearby, my friend. I’m sure going to miss you next month! 🙁

  10. laura

    Yes, I’m with the others: Aquanotes?! Supercool. Way better than my scribble pad at bedside that I can never read in the morning :). It’s always the empty to fill, isn’t it, friend? love

    • Sandra Heska King

      Yes, ma’m. Always the spilled that needs to be filled. Get the AquaNotes, but don’t ditch the bedside pad. 🙂

      Love you big. See you soon and very soon!



  1. breaking the silence and what I learned/did in October - Sandra Heska King | Sandra Heska King - [...] God has a sense of humor. The piece I wrote on wordlessness for Jennifer Lee’s #TellHisStory Featured Writer series…

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