Unlocking your writing talent

June 27, 2012

There are all sorts of resources out there, that will claim to help you become a better writer… from technique lessons, cheat sheets and formulaic tools, to inspiration and endless, amazing role models. But these are all external helpers. There’s an invaluable asset when you turn inward and shut everything else off too.

Here we are claiming that meditation will make you a better writer. It’s not all you need, but it definitely helps the process, making sure you’re tapping into all of your creative juices and realising your potential.

Reading definitely helps too – expanding your horizons and increasing your knowledge of the world. But, you have to be in the right frame of mind to access that information and express it on paper in the best way – and meditation helps you do that! It’s the shortest path to unlocking your best writing ideas.

We don’t want to go all kooky here and risk alienating some of you, but it’s easy to see why meditation could help… it calms your nerves and allows the brain to process information. It allows your mind to make honest discoveries, filling the gaps and connecting the dots. It tames fatigue, purifies ideas, discards old ones and gives birth to new ones. It awakens your inner creativity and knowledge and gives it courage to speak up.

Meditation is far too accessible, too easy, and too rewarding not to embrace — if you are willing to cultivate the habit.

The most practical and effective type of meditation (and one where you can use the resulting mindfulness to stimulate your writing) is done on your own. You can choose from different two routes here… You can use guided meditation technique where you listen to CDs that lead you through the meditation. Or you can do it purely on your own, even if you’ve got no prior experience. It just takes a decision and the commitment to try it.

Find a quiet time and space with no interruptions and sit comfortably, on the floor if possible. Place your hands in your lap and choose a mantra, a phrase that you will keep repeating to yourself. It can be a question you ask, a problem you want to solve, or a mental block you wish to release. Then, just close your eyes and begin focusing on your breath. Tune in and listen while repeating your mantra over and over. You can do this for as long as you like, above five minutes. They key is persisting, trying again until it works.

Protect the post-meditation state of mind for as long as you can and write soon after meditation. You can even have your notebook with you and jot down some ideas or thoughts directly after you are finished. Either way, you’re likely to find yourself in a different space – a reflective, creative, productive state – a haven of clarity.

Trust me, try this before you dismiss it. In fact, I say try everything at least twice, because the good ideas in life sometimes deserve two chances.