Writer’s block. Every writer has encountered this devil more than once in their lives. Sometimes the ideas just keeping flowing and you have to write them down stat before they are completely gone. And then there are times when you try so hard to squeeze the last of your creative juices and nothing—NOTHING comes out. So what about mindful writing as antidote for writer’s block?
What is mindfulness? Wikipedia describes it as “the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to the internal experiences occurring in the present moment.”
Being intentional and aware in and of writing and not looking at it as some strange creature we need to tame and be cautious of is an effective way to write.
To be mindful is to be aware of the present, to be aware of something, to be intentional or deliberate, and is also associated with being careful. Like saying, “Be mindful of your step.”
Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.Mindful.org
Mindfulness is often connected to Buddhism practice that is achieved by meditation. It is done to achieve inner peace and spiritual enlightenment. Mindfulness has many benefits in the well-being of the individual who practice it.
Mindfulness enables us to open our minds and look into what really happens and what is relevant. When we are mindful, we are aware of the noise of the world and know that it is just as it is…a noise. We can distinguish the real from the fake. We’re able to see which ones are shallow and which ones matter. What is relevant in our lives and in our everyday existence and which ones can we eliminate because it does not contribute to our well-being.
Mindful writing is an effective antidote for writer’s block. It makes us aware, intentional and conscious of what is there. We become aware of our purpose so we make a deliberate action to achieve it.
Sometimes, we get too absorbed with our thoughts; with our worries, with our to-dos that we fail to notice what is going on in the present. We do not see what is really around us and to an extent, what is really inside us. There are times when we fail to notice the beautiful sunset or cloud formation. Or fail to notice the soft breeze against our skin. We fail to notice the beautiful rhythm of the world around us; the birds chirping, or the sound of the busy buzz of the city or our neighborhood outside our window.
Because we are busy doing our daily tasks we sometimes ignore our stomach rumbling, or our body aching for a rest.
If we are mindful, we will recognize all these and we will not just go with the flow; we will feel the flow and be aware of where we are as a part of that flow. We will be aware of our surrounding and of our being.
Mindful writing is cutting through our thought bubble and seeing through inside us. It is looking beyond what we see. Mindful writing is diving deep into the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of the ‘what’.
Mindfulness opens our consciousness to what is beyond what meets the eye. A conscious mind is a mind full of ideas, an alert mind, and a mind that is open to receive from the world. That means opening our minds for ideas to flow freely. But it is also being able to strip away the layers of superficiality and seeing what is relevant so you’re able to write what is significant.
Our mind opens to creativity and our fantasies become stronger and more vivid when we are mindful. When we are mindful of what we want to create, we go beyond the everyday thoughts that we have and reach deep within the realm of imaginative ideas hidden inside.
Being mindful is accepting what is there. You have writer’s block and that is normal. Accept that. Having accepted it and looking your devil in the eye makes it easier to conquer it. Now that you have accepted the truth, it is easier to move beyond it and take another step towards the solution and away from the problem.
Getting into the mindful state of writing
Practice makes perfect. It will always be difficult at the beginning. Practice being mindful all the time and not just when you feel like writer’s block is knocking at the door.
The best way to get into the relaxed meditative state is to breathe. Breathe slowly and properly. You’ll be surprised at how many people are not breathing right that leads to a lot of medical problems.
Breathe in and breathe out; breathe in the good vibes, breathe out the bad ones. In other words, breathe in positivity, breathe out toxicity.
You cannot be mindful if you’re worried. You will be preoccupied by the unnecessary things so you will not be able to focus on what really matters. This means that you will not be able to write effectively if your mind is clouded with anxiety. Stay calm to reach mindfulness.
Mindfulness is about being aware of your surrounding and being. Observe closely what is going on around you; the people, the trees, the wind, the buildings, the activities going on. Also observe your breathing and your feelings. Most of all, observe the thoughts that come inside your mind.
Write what you see, write what you have observed. The stories of what you have observed, and how you feel about being a part of it; write about it.
Narrate what is happening. Add your own creative ideas. Exaggerate. Write down the ideas that enter your mind as you observe. Describe what you are seeing.
Let the ideas flow
Open your mind and let the ideas flow. Write down everything without judgment, without proofreading, without care about the commas and the spelling, and the correct agreement of the subject and the verb. You can clean up the mess afterwards.
Write with abandon. Don’t criticize your work yet. Just write your thoughts and observations down. Write deliberately. Write mindfully.
Writer’s block is a pain for every writer. If only we could write anytime we wish. If only we never run out of ideas every once in a while. It is part of the process though so it is bound to happen.
Writer’s block is part of growing as a writer. It strengthens your writing prowess through time. We cannot run away from it forever but we can prevent it from recurring often. We can defeat this giant and we can do that with a simple yet powerful weapon that is mindfulness. So practice mindful writing today and beat writer’s block in no time.
A couple of months ago, we introduced #WritingWednesday on The Frangipani Creative. Do join us.
Fiction: Tammy has been in solitary confinement for 2 years and hasn’t experienced any human contact, not even letters, at least until she starts receiving mysterious notes under her door. (Credit)
Non-fiction: “People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson