Monday, March 21, 2011

What Meditation Does For My Writing...

Some of you might remember a couple posts back when I mentioned that I was working on letting go and learning to meditate. At the time I said that I wasn't very good at it. (I actually said, "I sucked at it.") Well, I still have a long way to go but I have learned not to be so judgemental. In the meantime meditating is having a profound effect on my journey into the writing life. 

Can sitting with my eyes closed concentrating on my breathing improve my writing? Amazingly there are things that happen in my brain...

1- Harmful assumptions about what a writer is can be examined and released.
                               A real writer writes everyday. If I don't have an agent or 
                                       publisher I'm not a real writer. My writing sucks...  

2-The brain can increase its capacity to imagine and create. 
         Up until the last few years it was believed that the brain didn't grow, now we know that new neural pathways can be created. (Additional Info Here)

3- Dry spells and challenges are easier to ride out when viewed as the natural rhythm of the writing life.
           Writers "block", difficult revisions, painful critique, rejections, bad reviews.
4-End the wasted energy spent on controlling things that are uncontrollable.
              Interruptions, life, subjective opinions of agents and publishers, reviews, timetables.

5- Acceptance and understanding that change is inevitable and possible.
   Changes in the market, media technology and even in your own writing can and will happen.

6- Increased concentration and the ability to be aware and present in the world.
        Writers must be keen observers and to do that we have to be in the now. We can't live in our heads, past or future.

Here are some additional links you may find interesting...

OK, so I'm excited about the possibilities but I'm easily impressed.  What do you think?


  1. I do think we have to accept that the writer's journey is filled with ups and downs and it's just better to accept that and work with it.

  2. I am also easily impressed, but meditation does sound wonderful! I was just thinking the other day that I wanted to get into it - I think I'll check out those links!!

  3. No 2. is inspiring. Yes more yoga. Breath in-hold it- 12345 and release very slowly. The moment I do that, my shoulders relax and go back, and I straighten up, instead of the crouched over a laptop look! I try to do it with my second coffee on the front porch, just need to do a little more now each day, same place, same time is a good idea too. It really does make all the difference and I'm always suprised by how much.

  4. @Laura-As I'm sitting there trying to meditate my mind wonders, some days worse than others but the fact that even during that short time there is an up and down rhythm that just is...I don't judge it anymore...and that is what is carrying over into my writing life.

    @Marisa-I am currently working through Sharon Salzberg's, The Power of Meditation: A 28-day program. It even comes with a CD.

    @jacqueline- I'm beginning to realize the importance of same time same place. It is too easy to forget and then suddenly the day is over.

  5. I get this from yoga. I just can't seem to sit alone and meditate. My brain will not quiet when I sit and breathe. But movement in a yoga class does get me to that zen place.

    Wonderful and inspiring post. :)


  6. Thanks for the informative post! I find it hard to sit still, but I would definitely like to try meditating. I've heard so many good things about it.


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