Today I’m discussing how meditation and writing goes hand in hand. As writers, we tend to get stuck frequently, feel like our writing is boring, or come to a halt because we have ran into a problem and cannot think through it. Meditation can help with this as we quiet our minds and relax. I believe as a writer myself, I’ll start a dialogue in my head or compare my work to others or even myself on a good day! I want to write my best for every person I work for, but sometimes I feel like I can’t give my best because I am not really interested in the subject, or I’m tired, or I have a jumble mess of thoughts going on inside my head.
You may be saying, “Okay, Monica, whatever. Meditation is for yoga freaks and Buddha monks.” I have to disagree. The benefits of meditation have a long list of how it can open your mind up to new possibilities to make your writing rock. Here are some benefits (and this is just the surface) from writer, Jane Friedman:
It provides Insight. With the help of brain mapping, we know that good writers are not born with writing talents, but are made. We practice our art work on a daily or regular basis. With this comes revelation, insight, and perception that sorts the great writers from the mediocre ones. When we take time to meditate, we can connect with our emotions and mental selves to allow creativity to flow easier.
Decrease anxiety. If you want to be known, you have to put yourself out there. I am a freelance writer and what I write better be worth every penny my clients are paying me for. What does this cause from time to time? Stress. As a writer, my writing becomes limited when I am stressed and it won’t be as well written or flowy as I would like it to be. According to Friedman, “Meditation soothes those edges and creates a place of safety from where we can take risks. Brain scans show that meditation reduces activity in the amygdala, where the brain processes fear. It allows us to become… steady and well-ordered in our life so we can be fierce and original in our work.”
It connects us to our creative selves. When we are meditating, it allows us to become more concentrated and focus on our writing, which leads us to more inspiration, ideas, and connections. We cannot only focus on what we are writing at the present, but helps us to be more creative and inspired as well.
You can read more about the benefits of meditation on Jane Friedman’s post where she lists up to seven benefits of how meditation can help writers out.
Now you know the benefits of meditating, maybe you’re saying to yourself, “Monica, I need to meditate because I need to be more creative, inspired, connected, etc.” Let me give you a few ways on how you can begin meditating.
Copyblogger has a excellent article which goes into more detail about meditating, but she said that you can meditate on your own or if you want to be around others, go to a class. You can listen to a podcast, CD, or DVD to lead you through a meditation or you can do it on your own. You will need to find a quiet place where you’re not bothered by your pets, spouse, or loud noises. Sit cross legged on the floor or cushion, open your palms on your knees, close your eyes and begin to focus on your breathing. Start a mantra, which is just a repeat of a phase that you’re needing inspiration to. It can be anything from, “How do I overcome writer’s block?” to “How can I write for my client in his/her particular field?” Continue to focus on your breathing and listen to the silence around you. Allow your mind to be quiet and allow the inspiration to come to you. Do not chase it; it will come on its own.
You don’t have to meditate for long, you can set a timer for 5-10 minutes. Copyblogger suggested that you should write immediately after your meditation. Have a notebook while meditating and start writing afterwards. This is when the genius inside of you will come out.
I hope you will start to meditate today as well as begin to be inspired, more creative, and connected with your writing self! I am looking forward to your comments about how your first meditation went!