Staying Mindful while Writing

It is evident that a writer lives in you. That writing self of you follows its own path. If you follow the path which every author follows, it will be doubtless that you will be answered a big ‘NO’ at every step along the way.

The word today which we will be following is being mindful during the writing process. There may seem no connection at all, but if you look closer, both are inexorably linked. Without it, self aversion takes the charge – nit-picking, criticizing, and demanding—exhausting you of your creative mojo.

Worried about how mindfulness can be achieved? We will be listing down the ways of staying mindful during the writing process. Keep reading on –

1. Self Care is the Key  

We all know that to achieve something, self-sacrificing is a virtue. Always putting yourself at the end of the line is a grave disservice and actually works against you.

Like the meditation can’t be done when one is hungry, thirsty, tired or sleepy. Similarly, you can’t write a good piece while feeling any of the above. Healthy eating, rest, and regular exercise give you the stamina to withstand any challenge the writing world throws at you.

Self-pampering helps a lot. Like taking a hot soaking bath or listening to your favorite music? It is important to indulge in a restorative activity that rejuvenates your body and mind and restores your creative juices?

A great example of this is doing nothing at certain intervals of time. Doing nothing is like including integral pauses to a beautiful piece of music. Without absences of sound, music would be just noise.

You need to look into yourself deep within. introspect and pursue a hobby – it can be yoga, playing badminton et al.

2. Keep Self Criticism at Bay

The biggest enemy of you is no other person than you yourself. The self-judgment, self-criticism that does no good. It is the one that is responsible for demotivating you. Don’t believe the booming eviscerating voice that attacks you with, “You don’t have what it takes to be a writer.”

Everybody has one relentless faultfinder is the fine that is too quick to judge you, minimize your accomplishments, or will demote you. 

You need to keep a check on the dominant faultfinder. When does it pop up? In what circumstances it dominates you? Once you recognize the patterns, you would be able to maintain a safe distance from it and give more weight to your favorite self.

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 3. Focus on the Growth Part

The two keywords I will be focusing here are Success and Rejection. Physical tiredness can be easily repaired than emotional or psychological tiredness. In writing business, you will be shamefully rejected and will recklessly fail many times. Only the diligent survive the writing business.

The idea is to cultivate a growth mindset. It is nothing but winning, go-getter attitude. It can be seen in many famous and successful people. Michael Phelps for swimming, Serena Williams in Tennis, J.K Rowling in writing!

Writers who have a growth mindset think of success and rejection as a package deal. They welcome rejections. Success and defeat are equally celebrated by them and they view any obstacles, hindrances, disappointments as opportunities from which to grow.

They envision mistakes as lessons from which to learn rather than sit in a corner and curse their fate.       

You can face the defeat just like the grass grows through the concrete with the growth mindset and hop back into the saddle of writing.

4. Ignore your Self-Doubting Self

There are days when self-doubt takes the residence in your head. The words that are screamed inside your head are ‘You are defeated’. Yes, it makes you realize that you are finished before you begin.

When doubt precedes your path, you’re already halfway down, and you haven’t even started the journey.

Doubt is a shadow over truth. Unless you recognize it, doubt overshadows the truth about who you are as a writer. Each time you step out of doubt’s shadow, you learn more self-truths.

So, send the self-doubt packing and allow the elf confidence to move-in. The path is going to be rough and tough too, remember one thing, in the end, you will win.

5. Stack u the Positivity

Negativity can hamper you mentally, break you down emotionally and it is not good for your writing. Because negativity has a longer shelf life, you overestimate threats and underestimate your ability to overcome them.

The study says that it takes about three positive thoughts to bring down one negative thought.

There are and there will be disappointments. Avoid blowing them out of proportion. Every downside situation has some upside associated with it, look for the upside rather than cribbing about the downside.

All you have to do is to refuse to let one bad outcome rule your future outlook; take chances instead of letting your survival fears hold the cards.    

6. Cry on your own Shoulder

Rejections are everywhere in this lonely and isolated writing world. Whenever you cry, you need a shoulder to cry. Sadly, the shoulder you will have to cry on will be your own.

In an effort to cope, do you kick yourself for shortcomings, thinking this mistreatment can help your improve your writing?

Scientists say that there is a direct link between self-compassion and creative output. After a rejection, it’s possible that you get a setback and may decide to stay away from your creative pursuit and your chances of success will become a distant dream.

Self-compassion, on the other hand, is like a best friend that talks you off the ledge, bounces you back when you’re disheartened, and propels you closer to your writing goals.

When writing struggles leave you downhearted, take time out. Enjoy your own company, be your own best friend, and do for yourself what you would do for those you love most.

7. Stretch your helping hand

It has been an old adage, that giving is always greater than taking. Helping other fellow writers have a boomerang effect.

Not only showing a goodwill help the other writers, but it will also give you an emotional and psychological boost.

According to scientists, brain scans of benevolent and generous people show stronger immune systems, calmer dispositions, and better emotional health.   

In order to stay together in the writing game, we must help each other out. The more you spread goodwill and help other writers, the more it helps you.

By taking good care of fellow writers, you’re taking good care of yourself.

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8. Lifelines vs. Deadlines

Deadlines can wear you out. When you set deadlines, it is highly possible that you can set the bar too high. Deadlines can be suffocating, smothering you down. Deadlines can raise the anxiety levels and can make you switch.

Alternatively, you should consider Lifelines. They help you relax, calm down and paradoxically make you more productive and effective in your writing.

This can help you avoid over scheduling and you put time cushions. You can avoid the sick feeling you had when you selected the deadlines instead!

As a result, you enjoy your writing days more.

Conclusion –

Ultimately, it is suggested that you do a meditation to achieve the mindfulness needed. Out of the 1440 minutes in a day, you just need 5 minutes a day to achieve mindfulness and soothe your writing journey.

Inspired by the book #Chill: Turn Off Your Job and Turn On Your Life by Bryan E. Robinson, Ph.D. Do give it a read!

This is the Cover Feature in Storizen Magazine March 2020 Issue. Click to read!