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I think stillness in one’s life is very important. I’ve practiced it enough now to yearn after the still time, the solitude. I think to have stillness one has to have simplicity. Sounds easy enough, but in reality creating a simple life is one of the toughest accomplishments. The best give I’ve given to myself is to seek a plain and simple life.

Three years ago I was running on the treadmill of corporate America. I competed for the my technical writing success. I could walk with the big boys. One day I received a contest notice. What words changed your life? Tell us. I sat down and wrote a 1,000 words about those words and sent it off before I could think otherwise. The contest was for Marlo Thomas’ new book The Right Words At The Right Time Vol. 2. Writing that essay, Surviving Mom, took me to a place inside I had never visited. I began to write more and more personal work and fiction. As I did this, I became unsatisfied with my corporate job. I saw the level of depth in the work I was asked to produced. I wasn’t making a difference.

Surviving Mom was one of a hundred essays chosen out thirty-thousand essays to be published in Marlo’s book. At that point I had several short stories published and an agent knocking at my door for a novel–which by the way, I just finished :). I began to dream I would someday follow my passion of writing emotional work that touched readers. On January 6, 2006, I received the news my corporate job, my safety net, was going away. I could choose to move to TN or be cut loose. Isn’t there always a choice involved with simplifying your life? I walked away. It is the best choice I could have made. I live on a shoestring budget supported by my husband and love of my life. But life is so much better. I don’t have cable. I don’t go out to eat all the time. I don’t go on shopping sprees. I have been known to buy too many books though. But I have this rich inner life that did not exist before I began my new life. My life is so simple. I’ve found peace in what many would call boring. I now have friends tell me they want what I have, the calmness, the quiet way in which I approach situations. They want my passion and my Faith.

I leave you with a quote from Sue Bender’s book Plain and Simple:

“It is the enjoyment of every step in the process of doing; everything, not only the isolated piece we label art.”



Ann Hite is the author of two novels and a novella. Her debut novel, Ghost On Black Mountain, became a Townsend Prize Finalist and won Georgia Author of the Year in 2012. Her newest Black Mountain novel, Where The Souls Go, will be released by Mercer University Press in September 2015. She is an active board member of the Georgia Writers Association. Ann lives in Marietta, Georgia.

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