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Meditation and Writing

Sometimes, a writer's mind can dissolve into a sea of text and letters that have no meaning at all. Meditation and writing are two things that should go hand in hand. Meditation is one thing that writers can use to clear their minds. Writing is hard work, and it is important to keep in mind that it is mentally fatiguing. Never let anyone tell you it is easy!

Meditation serves many purposes, but the chief ones include relaxing and training the mind to see clearly and analytically. One theory suggests that meditation does not have a goal, but is instead a technique, a tool. If it is a tool, it is a powerful one, and not only can it relax you and bring you back to your center, it can serve as a tool to help with your writing, as well.

The meditation technique known as visualization is also a powerful one for the writing process. When you visualize something, you picture it in your head, taking your time and imagining every detail. You attempt to make the picture in your head as real as possible. Of course, making words come to life for their audience is part of what writing is all about. Once a writer can visualize something coming to life in their own mind, it is a short jump to making it happen for an audience.

Meditation also serves as "stretching" for your brain. Most writers learn that reading is exercise for your mind. Reading gives you things for consideration and contemplation, and lets you reflect on it and compare it to your own writing. Meditation can be used as a way to get your brain ready for that. Have you ever read a page and had no idea what it said? When you meditate, you enhance your ability to focus, and digest what you read. The link between meditation and writing is a strong one, and allows you to reflect carefully on what you want to be saying.

One method that a writer can use for stimulating thought and deliberation is free writing. When you're blocked on a story point, or just can't crank out another line of your movie script, put your project away and get a fresh sheet of paper or open a new document on your computer. Then, just for five minutes, write whatever gibberish comes to mind.  Don't stop, don't go back to read what you've written, just write. First, this exercise acts much the way guided meditation does. By opening your mind, you can clear away the detritus that was stopping you from writing. Take a look at the writing you have created and you might be amazed at what your mind will create when it doesn't have to go through an elaborate editing process.

With a little bit of thought, you can bring your writing to life through meditation. This is a powerful tool that you can use at any location and at any time.

By Geoff Jefferson

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