10 Meditation Tips for Writers
- Meditate solo. While there are types of meditation that take place while others are present—such classes or retreats—you’ll want to find a meditation practice that fits with your writing process, which means it should be accessible in your daily life. Apps and podcasts offer guided meditation, or you can be your own meditation teacher.
- Find your spot. Sit cross-legged on the ground or a cushion in a quiet, comfortable space away from the distractions that contribute to writer’s block and procrastination. Instead of the office, where your to-do list lives, try meditating in the living room or another place not associated with your writing practice, where the creative juices are simply free to flow.
- Create a mantra. When you start meditating, you may find your mind wanders. Some meditators like to give their inner voice a mantra—a phrase or question—to repeat to themselves during meditation sessions. Yours could be linked to the creative process. For instance: “I will become a better writer,” or “How can I silence my inner critic?”
- Just breathe. Virtually all meditation techniques involve deep breaths, so another way to stay focused is to silently say “inhale” or “exhale” to yourself with the rise and fall of your chest. Since your breath is a resource that’s always with you, this is an easy way to seek well-being via a short meditation break during a writing session.
- Slow your thoughts. If it’s your first time, it may be hard to feel the present moment. If your thoughts are racing—lost in creative problem-solving—try to just slow them down. The goal of mindfulness meditation is not to eliminate thought but observe it through self-awareness. Doing so can allow you to explore your writing objectively and openly.
- Picture your scene. Writing exercises are helpful, but seeing creative ideas through to completion often requires a little extra creative thinking. For your personal meditation program, try picturing a scene from whatever you’ve been writing. Instead of mentally writing down details, visualize every aspect as if you’re in the middle of the moment looking around.
- Let meditation happen. If your daily meditation carries you away from the kind of creative thoughts you initially set out to explore and into a deeper state of relaxation, don’t fight it.
- Forgive every stumble. A core tenet of every type of meditation is that you not judge yourself when your thoughts stray. Even experienced meditators recenter themselves. When it happens, just shift your attention back to your breath, mantra, or focal point. The ability to move on without judgment can be very useful during writing time.
- Write immediately after meditating. When your session is over, slowly open your eyes and take stock of your body, emotions, and thoughts. Before you stand up, open up a notebook or laptop and do some stream-of-consciousness writing, journaling, freewriting, or any kind of writing, really—put pen to paper while you’re creatively open and in the zone.
- Repeat daily. If you have a hard time creating space for meditation, start with five-minute sessions. As you practice more and see the benefits to your creative writing, you may want to increase the length of the session. Ultimately, maintaining the habit is nearly as important as the practice itself—that kind of discipline can be applied to writing as well.
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