Mindfulness and Writing

The other day I was in the grocery store and saw on the cover of Time Magazine the words “Mindfulness” with a corresponding story inside. Mindfulness has become the new buzz word. I recently attended a webinar to incorporate mindfulness into the classroom. I’ve been practicing mindfulness for about 5 years now. So, what is this crazy all about and can it help with our writing?

Mindfulness, at least to me, means to be aware of yourself in the present moment. If you stop right now and think about yourself sitting wherever you’re sitting and reading this article and experience the feeling of being aware of yourself in the present moment, what do you feel? If you feel a sort of exhilaration then followed by anxiety, well, you’re normal. When we are really “present” or living in the moment, it is exciting and thrilling. But, then, suddenly our minds take over and it kind of creeps us out and gives us a sense of anxiety mainly because we’re not used to it. However, with practice, you’ll get more and more used to it and even enjoy it.

When you think about it, life occurs in present moments—not in the future and not in the past. We tend to live in either of these places. We are either making plans for our future and indeed we do need to do this or we are ruminating over something from our past. And as a therapist, I can say that some looking back is necessary for healing. However, we tend to ALWAYS live in either one of these places and not in the present moment. What if we started living in the moment and then moment by moment? It would revolutionalize our lives.

For us writers, we live in shall we say “other” worlds, at least us fiction writers do. We can forget to eat when we’re writing because we are so engrossed in what we’re doing. But, sometimes we feel a bit stuck. We can’t think what to write next. We can’t think of how to bring a character to life or create enough tension in the story or how to write a decent ending. My suggestion to you is next time you feel stuck, take a moment and walk away. Do something else entirely. Play with your kids; play with your dog or cat; play with your spouse; enjoy an outdoor sport; eat something delicious—whatever floats your boat. But, more importantly, though, than just doing this activity is practicing mindfulness while you’re doing this activity. Really be in the moment. When you have done this, it will unstick your mind and when you return to writing, you’ll be surprised at what comes up for you.

I’d like to challenge you to practice mindfulness at least once a day. Take a deep breath and feel yourself in your body being in this moment. And then, by all means, please write about this experience. Come back here and share your thoughts and feelings. Come on writers, let’s become mindful!

Wanda Luthman has her Masters of Arts in both Mental Health Counseling and Guidance Counseling from Rollins College located in beautiful Winter Park, Florida. She has worked as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Adjunct Professor, and Hospice Counselor for teens. She’s currently a Guidance Counselor at a local High School. She has self-published 4 children’s books (The Lilac Princess, A Turtle’s Magical Adventure, Gloria and the Unicorn, and Little Birdie). She belongs to the National Pen Women Organization in Cape Canaveral; the Florida’s Writers Association; Space Coast Authors; and Brevard Authors Forum. She presently resides in Brevard County Florida with her husband of 22 years and 2 dogs. Her daughter is away at college, like Little Birdie, she has left the nest. To download a free ebook, visit Wanda Luthman’s website at www.wandaluthmanwordpress.com and follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/wluthman.

1 comment:

  1. Wanda, interesting post on mindfulness and writing and how it can be used to help overcome writer's block. Taking a break and doing something different are great ways to get the juices flowing again.

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