6 Easy, Revealing Ways You Can Prevent & Overcome Overload

6 Ways to Cope with Writer Overwhelm Natural Writer Podcast

For a writer, writing is the dream. The writer wants to make it in the world and let their words hold their place in it. However, getting to that point can be somewhat overwhelming. So much so, that writer overwhelm can stop some writers from even starting. The goal then is just to reach the finish line of their novel or story, to be able to write “The End.”

But what about when you reach the finish line? What then?

We all know that the rough draft is not the final draft. And no matter how beautiful you think that first draft is, it is not the final draft. Editing and revision is a huge part of the writing journey, and it can seem like a daunting task, but it is a necessary one. This can create overwhelm in itself!

Then you have to consider what you want to do with your book when you’ve completely polished it. Do you want to just keep it for yourself? Make a small batch to give out to friends and family? Publish? Do you want to self-publish, or do you want to traditionally publish? Do you use indie publishers or one of the big 5?

There’s a lot to think about!

The good news is that there are ways to deal with this kind of stress. Let me walk you through the six ways to deal with overwhelm.

Six Ways
to
Combat Writer Overwhelm

Let me first start by saying that this is in no particular order. There are steps which might benefit you to take part in before others, or some steps which might not even be applicable to you. I encourage you to try everything to prevent your writer overwhelm, but I’ll leave the order in which you test them up to your own creative expertise.

ONE
Make a To-Do List
to Prevent & Overcome
Writer Overwhelm

Make a to-do list to combat and prevent writer overwhelm.
This image is to povide a quick glance at how to create your to-do list

When I was in college, I would get overwhelmed by everything on my plate. It didn’t help that I was working three jobs at the time, including my tutoring gig for the college, and not including the private tutoring I was doing on the side, or even working as a class assistant for the ESLA students.

When I had the massive tsunami of to-do’s crashing through my mind, I stressed myself out, to put it mildly. I would sit and stare at the homework I was supposed to be doing and be completely paralyzed and unable to focus on getting anything done.

Finally, I wrote a list and organized it.

It went something like this:

  1. Create a list of everything that needs doing by the end of the week/month
  2. Organize it by what needs doing first
  3. Break down the steps for each item on the list (research, editing, writing, gathering surveys, how long a shift takes, etc.)
  4. Estimate how long each task will take to complete.
  5. Write out how much time I need for daily living (eating, sleeping, transport, exercise, etc.)
  6. Create a schedule for each day to complete each task

I found that when I did this, I realized two things:

  1. I didn’t have as much on my plate as I thought I did
  2. None of my tasks would take as long as I thought they would

Once I had a visual in front of me of what needed doing, by what time, and how long it would take to get each thing done, I was able to make a plan and stick to it.

Breaking the Day Up

I would take this a step further and break my day up by my breaks. So, for example, lunch break, coffee break in the afternoon, and dinner. As a student, you can imagine that I didn’t stop once dinner time hit. I would usually keep working into the evening, only to get up at 3 in the morning (yeah, you read that right). I’m not suggesting you get up at 3 in the morning to start your day, by the way.

When I broke the day up with my breaks, I could section my day into “bite-sized” chunks. I knew that before breakfast I wanted to go back over my math homework. I knew that between breakfast and lunch I had a class, a tutoring shift, and an hour to work on my English paper, during which time I would pull out the quotes I wanted to use, and so on.

The trick was to only look at the section of the day that was coming up next. This meant I could compartmentalize the day, which made my tasks more manageable.

Crossing Items Off

A pen and to-do list with an item crossed off: this can be a visual affirmation that you are getting stuff done.
Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

When you have a massive to-do list, it can feel like you’re trying to dig a hole on the beach in the surf. You keep shoveling sand and water out of the hole, but it just keeps filling up.

When you list out your tasks for a day, including the mini tasks to build up to the whole task, you feel a sense of accomplishment. You can see that you’re getting things done, and that you’re not just digging a hole that won’t be dug. This is essential to keeping you going through a daunting mountain of work supporting that writer overwhelm.

When we can visually see what we’ve already done and that we’re making progress, we’re more likely to keep moving forward.

TWO
Get Clear on Your Goals
to Prevent Writer Overwhelm

What do you want to do with your story/book/writing career? Do you want to be the next Stephen King? Do you want to be a travel writer? Do you want to make a passive income? Expand your business with your knowledge? Become a self-help guru?

Do you want to just get your story out there, and then whatever happens, happens? Do you want to be a part of the 20Booksto50k rush to make your living with rapid release self-publishing? Or are you wanting to create something for your loved ones to enjoy?

Knowing your goals can help you decide the path you need to take. Furthermore, when you know what you need to take, then you can prevent unnecessary actions, and thus prevent writer overwhelm.

I want to be very clear with this: your goals must represent what you want, not what you think you should want.

This might take some time and a lot of self-reflection to know what it is that you truly want from your writing life. There are a couple steps you can take to discovering this.

Journal

Your journal is your trusty companion that you should be utilizing throughout your writing journey. It is your conversation with yourself so you can understand what’s going on in your head, what you’re feeling, and so on.

In this instance, you can work through these questions in your journal to understand your goals better. Go through each question one at a time and really spend some time writing on it. Set a timer on your phone or your watch and give yourself at least seven minutes to write on each one, trying not to stop writing even when you’ve run out of things to say. If you do run out of things to say, write “I don’t know what to write” on repeat until something else comes up or your timer runs out.

Get into the “why” of each answer you give. Keep asking yourself until you feel you’ve reached the core of your answer.

Journal Questions

Journal questions to help you understand your version of success so you can effectively navigate you way through writer overwhelm
  1. What does success look like to you?
  2. Where have you been successful in the past, in any area of life, and by whose standards of success? How did it feel?
  3. What does writing success look like to you? How is it measured? In money? Books printed? Books sold? Books written?
  4. What does a writing career look like to you?
  5. What does success look like on a daily basis? As in, what does your writing routine look like, how you fit it in with the rest of your life, etc.? Does this include a possible wordcount goal, chapter goal, hourly goal? Get specific.
  6. What is your writing routine now?
  7. How do you feel after completing your wordcount or hourly writing goal? Are you relieved? Drained? Exhausted? Pleased?
  8. What is your timeline of success?

These questions are meant to help you get real with yourself, to know yourself. Often times, we’re stuck in the story of what we’re told is successful or accomplished.

When I graduated high school and was asked what I wanted to do with my life, I said I wanted to be a starving writer. I had in part being glib, but I was also being real. My version of success at that time was simply to write. I didn’t care if I published (I did care, but that wasn’t the end goal), or if I made money. All that mattered to me was that I was always writing.

Mapping

Map out what your life would look like if you succeeded in your goal. Get as detailed as you can. What does the overall picture look like? What does your living situation look like? Really dig in and look at each area of your life:

  • Lifestyle and livelihood – your housing, your income, how you live your life
  • Body and wellness – how does this affect your physical and mental self?
  • Creativity – you’re a writer, so it feels like you should always be creative, but if you sell your book and become the next J. K. Rowling, how will it affect your creativity? Just ponder this idea.
  • Relationships – how does this affect your romantic life? Your social life? Your family life?
  • Society – how does this affect your role in society? Will you do more in your community? Less?
  • You – how does your success affect who you are?

Go through and examine how you define success for your writing and imagine yourself in that place. Think about how that affects each of these areas in your life. Be as real as possible. If you want to make your living using a rapid-release method of writing, how does that affect your body? Does it mean that you need to move more because you’re sitting for longer periods of time? Does it mean you would need to ask more of your partner while you work to reach this goal?

Once you’ve taken an honest look at each area of your life, ask yourself if you like what you see, if it’s something that you can embrace. If so—excellent. You’re doing this for you.

If not, that’s okay. Ask yourself what you want each area of your life to look like and then see what version of success fits. You can play around with this as much as you want.

This is for you, for your goals, for your life. No one can live your life but you, so make sure that your writing goals are tailored for your idea of writing success.

THREE
Meditation for Writer Overwhelm

Meditation is an extremely useful tool in just about every area of life, but especially when it comes to preventing as well as overcome writer overwhelm. It can calm us, bring us into a state of presence, and put us in touch with our creative sense. When we feel swamped, it can help to bring clarity of mind, which in turn can help us to organize our thoughts and quell our anxiety.

Meditation can also help us delve into ourselves. When we quiet our minds long enough to listen to the voices of our subconscious, or intuition, we can learn what we truly want. This is extremely helpful when considering your goals as a writer, as well as your goals in your daily life.

There are many ways to use meditation, but here are a few that I recommend.

Daily Meditation

meditation can keep the mind calm before stressful situations occur, as well as keep the mind calm when writer overwhelm threatens to strike.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Making meditation a habit can help clear your mind in general. When you create time and space to make meditation a part of your daily routine, your mind is overall calmer. You can read about this more here.

Daily meditation can be as simple as paying attention to your breathing.

Guided Meditation

There are many guided meditations on YouTube that can help you anchor and center yourself. These meditations can also help you delve into yourself specifically to find answers. One might take you on a journey to talk to your future self, another might take you to a path to get in touch with your intuition. Look through what’s available on YouTube and give a couple a try.

For more meditations for writing, you can find Meditations to Overcome Writer’s Block on Audible, which is a compilation of guided meditations from a variety of writers.

Sleep Meditation

Again, on YouTube, you can find meditations which play throughout the night. These are sometimes called subliminal messaging as well, depending on the you choose. If you can hear the words being spoken, they will often guide you into a meditation, or, if you’re like me, into sleep. The words will either play audibly or under the guise of the accompanying music, throughout the night.

I personally have used these for a variety of things including my fear of flying, waking up motivated, overcoming anxiety during this pandemic, and so on.

Spend a week experimenting with these to see how they help you.

FOUR
Delegate Your Tasks
to Overcome Writer Overwhelm

What? Delegate? Delegate what to who?

I used to work in video production. By that I mean that I helped my partner at the time build up his video production business by helping him market himself, learning to film, learning about cameras and audio, and learning to edit.

In return, he wanted to help me with my own writing overwhelm.

I laughed and told him that my writing was a solo project. How on earth could he help me?

At that time, I wasn’t in any position to be helped with my writing projects. I had one book that I had completed and tried to self-publish (which I have since buried and covered the grave with cement), and was barely writing anything else.

Once I began to take my writing more seriously, I could have asked him for help—and lots of it. There was a lot that I wanted to accomplish, and doing the research for detracted from my writing time and added stress.

Here are some tasks you can delegate:

  • Research for your book
  • Research writing competitions
  • Research agents/magazines/journals/anthologies/publishers accepting submissions
  • Writing your cover letter for your submission or query letter.
  • Book cover design/finding quality and affordable designers
  • Finding Beta readers
  • First round of edits
  • Final edits
  • Setting up your author website/social media
  • Social media management

These are just to list a few.

Professionals

Photo by Canva Studio on Pexels.com

There are a few areas where it is essential to hire a professional. Editing and book cover design are two of those areas. You might be able to design your book cover yourself, if you’d like, but unless you specifically have a background in design, you might be better off handing the task over to someone who does design for a living.

With editors, while you might be an editor yourself or have a keen eye for mistakes, you are too close to your project. That is a fact. Your brain will fix mistakes, and no matter how many times you comb over your MS, there will be some tenacious mistakes that get through.

Fun fact: Gone with the Wind has two typos in it. Those suckers get through no matter how big the book.

There are plenty of ways you can get your piece as polished as possible, but you should still hire someone to proofread, to copyedit, and potentially provide a developmental edit.

Freelancers

You don’t necessarily need to go to a big company to get some of these tasks completed. Have a look on freelance websites for people offering their services. Some great websites are:

This is just to name a few.

However, when you hire a freelancer through these websites, be sure that you stick to the website, especially when it comes to sending documents or completing any transactions. It keeps both you and the freelancer safe and above board.

Likewise, be sure that you get a sample of their work before you hire them. There are many wonderful writers, artists, and website designers out there, but they can also be buried by people offering subpar work for a low price. It is better to spend the extra money to get something you will be happy with.

FIVE
Adjusting Your Timeline
to Prevent Writer Overwhelm

When you set yourself a goal, you need to be sure that you set a realistic timeline. A failure to do so can result in writer overwhelm.

Deadlines are wonderful things. They can keep us focused on a task or a project and get us to the finish line. However, sometimes we set unrealistic timelines, which causes stress, which then leads to overwhelm.

Photo by Michaela on Pexels.com

Your Personal Timelines

When you’re writing for yourself, you need to check in with yourself and be sure that you’re not the one contributing to your stress. If the timeline you set yourself is too strict, but you don’t see a way to move it, take some time to examine why you are stuck on this deadline.

When I first decided I needed to make money with my writing, it wasn’t for the love of writing, but because I had student debt to pay off. I wanted to half my debt-paying time. This put a lot of strain on me. It meant that I was going to need to come up with £500 every single month.

When I became overwhelmed with this, I adjusted my timeline. I didn’t need to do it right away. I just needed to eventually work my way up to it, reminding myself that I would some day pay off my debt with my writing, but I couldn’t force those writing jobs instantly.

If, for example, your goal is to use the rapid-release publishing model to quit your job in a year and be a full-time writer, ask yourself why you need to do this within a year? Can you aim to be part time at both within that timeline?

Returning to the journal prompts, spend some time in contemplation with these questions and explore possible solutions.

Writing for Others

I am a ghostwriter along side being a writing coach. I have one client with whom I’m working on three different series. I am capable of completing a book a week for my client, and I did so for a while. But just because I can do it, doesn’t mean I should.

After four weeks of doing this, I burnt myself out and became completely overwhelmed with anything else that was going on in my life. I talked to my client, and we adjusted my timeline to 10 days per book. As a result, I take three days off from writing and still have a full seven days to complete the book, which is more than enough time for me.

If you are in overwhelm, look at what can be adjusted. Be sure to keep your deadlines, but if you can move them around so that they work better for you, then do so.

If you are writing for someone else, be communicative. I assure you that your editor/publisher would rather get a quality piece of work from you as a result of extra time than a subpar piece of work on time.

SIX
Take Time Off
to Prevent Writer Overwhelm

When we have a pile of things to do, it’s easy to keep working until we can’t. We have things that need to get done, and they need to get done now.

But that doesn’t help anyone. It will burn you out and it might stop your progress completely. Burnout is really just another word for writer overwhelm.

When you’re making a list of things to do and scheduling your day out, remember to schedule time for relaxing for you.

More importantly, remember to schedule days off. That’s plural, by the way.

I mentioned that when I readjusted my timeline with my client for her books, that I took three days off from writing. While it’s actually three days off from writing her books, not writing in general, I make sure the very first day off is a day off from everything.

lounging on the couch and reading a book: relaxation and taking time off is essential for preventing and dealing with writer overwhelm

I don’t at my phone, I don’t touch my computer, and the only time I’m allowed to look at my kindle is if I’m listening to a podcast or reading a fiction book. The only work-related things I’m allowed to do are coaching calls, and that’s because I enjoy them so much.

Make sure that you are taking the time off that you need and deserve. No one can work all the time. We all need days off, even from things that we love.

If you can’t take a full day off, just be sure to schedule breaks for yourself. Mealtimes don’t count. During this time, do something completely different that you enjoy: read a chapter of a book, go for a walk, take a nap, watch an episode of something, meditate, journal, fantasize about completing your goal.

Try to avoid scrolling on social media during this time. It might feel relaxing, but sometimes it can trigger some anxiety, sadness, depression, or make you feel like you’re slacking. Sure those uplifting posts are designed to be motivational, but if you’re making yourself take a break when you’re already stressed, motivational posts might trigger some guilt.

Do not feel guilty for needing to take time off. It’s called Self Care, and self care is essential.

Six ways to deal with overwhelm: Make a list, know your goals, meditate, delegate, adjust, and take a break

Your Homework

This is essentially a post about self-care. Self-care is how you keep your candle lit and ever burning. You can’t do that if you’re burning it on both ends.

Your homework has four parts:

  1. Find a guided meditation that works for you on YouTube. There are plenty out there. Find one that works for you, and spend at least 20 minutes meditating. The purpose of this is to help you be centered and clear minded for the following parts.
  2. Go through the Journal Questions above and answer them all. Even if you’ve done something similar in the past, do it again. We are always changing, and sometimes our desires shift. This keeps us in communication with ourselves so that we can adjust our goals accordingly.  
  3. Ask yourself what tasks, if any you can delegate. Are there any friends or family who would be willing to help with any of these things?
  4. Create a self-care plan for when you start to feel like overwhelm might be creeping up. This might be to make a list ahead of time, to schedule time for yourself to relax before you get too anxious, or it could be to take a day or a week off before it gets to be too much. Figure out what works for you and prepare yourself.

Good luck, and happy writing!


What self-care works for you? Share in the comments below to help others discover ways they can look after themselves when things get stressful.


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Setting & Releasing Writing Goals: Considering the Writing Journey

I’m a strong advocate of setting goals and really feeling into those goals. That is, looking into what it will be like to reach those goals, and capturing that experience and holding onto it. However, that’s only part of it.

In When Things Fall Apart, Pema Chödrön takes on Buddhist philosophies and teachings for how to handle difficult situations from a place of compassion and love. One of the things she covers, though not specifically, is looking at the outcome of things.

When we are trained in the art of peace, we are not given any promises that, because of our noble intentions, everything will be okay. In fact, there are no promises of fruition at all. Instead, we are encouraged to simply look deeply at joy and sorrow, at laughing and crying, at hoping to fearing, at all that lives and dies. We learn that what truly heals is gratitude and tenderness.

When Things Fall Apart, p. 129

I wanted to share this quote because I believe it expresses perfectly how we should approach our writing and our writing goals—or any goals for that matter.

Let me break it down.

We Are Not Given Any Promises that Everything Will Be Okay

“When we are trained in the art of peace, we are not given any promises that, because of our noble intentions, everything will be okay.”

Let’s consider the first part of the quote.

Setting the Goal

“When we are trained…” Training implies that there is a goal to be reached. In the context of the quote, the goal is peace. When we set out to write, our goal is to finish the piece that we’re working on. It might even go further than that: our goal is to publish, is to be famous, to earn a living, to have a franchise, to just distribute to family, etc.

Consider every time you’ve set a goal. What have you attached to achieving that goal emotionally? Is it pride? A sense of accomplishment? What does that sense of accomplishment feel like? Is it joy? Happiness?

I won’t tell you not to attach any feeling to your goals because that’s going to be what helps you to achieve them. However, I do want to point out a flaw in doing so.

Attaching a feeling to your goals creates the statement, “I will be/feel _________ when I _______.”

The fundamental problem with that is that it implies that you can’t have that feeling until you achieve this goal. Furthermore, what does that mean if you don’t achieve the goal at all?

If we only work toward something because we want the outcome and won’t feel x until we have that outcome, then we may not aim high enough. We might only go for the safe bets which could rob us of our potential. Consider all the authors who submitted dozens if not hundreds of times to be rejected each time. Imagine if they gave up. We wouldn’t have Stephen King.

“In fact, there are no promises of fruition at all.”

This is why one of the most important things I do when I work with writers is ask them how they can bring the feeling that they associate with the completion of their goal into their every-day writing practice.

This leads me to the second part of the quote.

We Are Encouraged to Simply Look Deeply

“Instead, we are encouraged to simply look deeply at joy and sorrow, at laughing and crying, at hoping to fearing, at all that lives and dies.”

To put it simply, the best way for us to consider the end goal’s feelings and bring it to the present is to look at the journey of writing itself.

There are many writers out there who are writing to make a buck—and it can be done, with a lot of time and energy spent. These authors are committed to the process of producing books quickly. The quicker they produce books, the faster the sell, and the more money they make. Their goal is attached to the money.

However, not all of these authors have a love for what they do. In fact, they’re likely to hire out ghostwriters like me to do the job for them. They don’t love the process. As a result, they might experience burn-out.

You don’t have to be a rapid-release author to experience writer burn-out, either. It all has to do with where you put your intention and where you put your energy.

If you can remember what it is that you love about writing, what you love about your project, then you’ll enjoy the entire process. You’ll be writing for the love it rather than for the outcome. This takes the pressure off of you, and when the pressure is off, you’re more likely to reach your goal.

Gratitude & Tenderness

“We learn that what truly heals is gratitude and tenderness.”

I interpret “healing” in this context to mean the outcome-oriented mind. Not to say that it’s broken so much as it’s only partially complete. It knows what it wants, it knows how it wants to feel, but it’s forgetting the part where it needs to feel that way through the journey.

Grateful to be a Part of the Journey

Being grateful to be a part of the journey and regularly recognizing that is a truly beautiful step to take. I personally practice daily gratitude, writing a page of things I am grateful for every day. I highly recommend it. However, if that’s not your thing (I get it. It took me a long time to get to practicing gratitude in this way), being thankful that you have the ability to spend time on what you love, and recognizing that ability every day is enough.

This gratitude can help you to cherish where you are now and the moments you spend trying to get words to the page, trying to edit and re-work your piece so it makes sense, or even drafting those query letters.

So many people in the world have a dream to do what they love. And so few actually take the time to work toward actually making it happen. I’ve read statistics (though not verified) that say 80% of people say they want to write a book. Only 1% of that 80% actually complete a book. Something like that, anyway. If that statistic is right, that means that only 1 person out of every 125 people who say they want to write a book ever actually finishes one.

Approaching Tenderness

How does one go about approaching tenderness?

There is a dark comedy British show called Uncle. The main character, Andy is quitting smoking and all forms of drugs and alcohol, and when people start to get on his nerves, he yells “I said I’m feeling tender today!”

Being tender is being sensitive, though not in a negative way. It’s being open to what is being revealed internally and externally. It’s acknowledging feelings that arise and sitting with them. It’s noticing bursts of energy. It’s also being aware of the feelings of those around you.

I personally am not a fan of the term “sensitive,” and like I mentioned, when I hear “tender,” all I can think of is Andy telling that he’s feeling tender before launching himself at someone. This doesn’t exactly instill a feeling of tranquility.

However, I choose to approach writing and my projects with curiosity.

Practicing Non-Attachment & Releasing Through Curiosity

The best way that I’ve found to approach goals is by practicing non-attachment through curiosity. You know what you’re working toward. You know what you want to achieve, but you do so through curiosity.

Now, this is complete curiosity. This does start with the aim to answer a question, but with complete openness to what might be discovered. For example, the question might be what would happen if you tried to write a book, or it might be the question you hope to explore in the content of your piece.

When we take the approach of achieving our goal through curiosity, we must ensure that we aren’t driving toward a specific answer.

Releasing Parallels in the Law of Attraction

This is a common practice in the Law of Attraction: you set your intention which is more of a feeling or status rather than a specific number or object (contrary to what the teachings of the Secret might say), and you approach it with openness. You don’t know how you’re going to achieve it, but you open yourself up to the journey that will take you there. If, for example, your goal is financial freedom, you don’t set a ridged path to it and stick to it no matter what. I personally hoped to get to financial freedom through tarot, and instead it was through writing coaching and ghost writing that I found my independence. My flexibility to finding my way to financial independence is what got me to where I am today, not sticking to a rigid schedule and plan that burnt me out after six months (true story).

I kept the goal, I opened myself up to possibility, and through that, I found a tribe of tarot-centered writers who were looking for coaching. The same month, I found people looking for ghost writers for their series. In ten months, I went from barely finding enough work to cover the bills to being completely financially independent by being open to my options, keeping the goal in mind, and following what felt good at the time.

Curiosity in Writing

Keeping your curiosity in your writing practice will keep you interested in what you do. The goal is there, but you don’t know what’s around the corner when it comes to your actual writing because you’re not looking at the next step, you’re looking at what’s happening now, right in front of you.

True curiosity is what leads to discoveries.

Consider science. Consider the contemplation of theories for the sake of knowledge versus the attempt to try and discover a specific thing. When a lab is funded to find out x, then all of their experiments are designed to find x. However, when a lab is set on seeing what possibilities are to be found in the realm of exploring the element y, then they are open to possibilities. It widens the scope, and in the process, they might also find out x.

Okay, I know that’s not quite how science goes, but you get the picture.

Your writing is the same way. Whether you’re setting an outline or pantsing it, keeping yourself open to curiosity will make the process more fun, and you might discover a new path that you hadn’t anticipated.

Setting and Releasing Goals

So what is the take away from all of this? Goals are important, however, they aren’t the end-all and be-all. There is more than just setting the goal and sticking to it. You need to be able to release the goal as well. You know what you’re aiming for, but when you release the goal, you’re releasing your expectation of the outcome. When you do that, then

  • you enjoy the process more
  • you open your writing to more creativity
  • you open yourself up to more enjoyment
  • and most importantly, you open yourself up to growth.

Your Homework

Your homework has two parts to it: the first part is journaling-related (because inner growth comes from inner exploration!) and the second part is to start a new project. I’ll get to that in a minute though.

Journaling Questions

Spend some time writing about the goals you set and how they make you feel. Danielle LaPorte, in her book, Desire Mapping, which is all about setting and achieving goals, writes about how she absolutely hates goals. She doesn’t do well with them because they feel like pressure to her. I, personally, most of the time, am the opposite. I do well with goals.

The first thing I want you to do is explore your goals and how you feel about them.

  • Do you have too many?
  • Are they too intense?
  • Do they inspire you?
  • Do they make you feel restricted?

After you’ve spent some time with these questions, consider and journal on the following questions:

  1. What do I expect from my writing?
  2. What do I love about the process of writing?
  3. What do I love about what I’m working on right now?
  4. What emotions do I have attached to my goals?
  5. How can I bring those emotions forward so I can experience them now?

Once you have a good understanding of this, then I want you to move on to the second part of your homework assignment.

A New Project

Develop a new project. It doesn’t have to be big. It can be to write a series of ten poems, to write a piece of flash fiction or a short story. Or it can be your next epic fantasies series of eight books. Whatever you like.

However, I want you to approach it in this order:

  1. What do you want to achieve with this new project? (to finish it? To answer a question? To publish it? Etc.)
  2. Once you have your goal, release it. You know what it is. Don’t spend any more time focusing on it.
  3. Look at your project with complete curiosity. Ask yourself how you can remain curious through the entire process. How can you turn this project into an experiment of discovery?
  4. As you work on this project, notice yourself and how you interact with it. Is it different than usual? Is it the same? How do you feel?
  5. If you start to feel doubt or anxious about the project, sit for a moment and express gratitude that you have the time, energy, and space to work on that which you love.

If you don’t finish the project, that’s okay. This is a project of exploration and discovery. It’s to learn about you, how you interact with goals, how you interact with your writing, and how you best grow within yourself.

Let me know how this experiment goes in the comments.

Happy Writing.

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Natural Writer Coaching Transformation

First of all, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for your patience with my unannounced break in my blog posts and even my social media attendance. I’d like to say it was intentional, but let’s face it—I had no idea what was going on.

Here’s what I knew:

  1. I was refraining at first from writing newsletters in support of Black Lives Matter. I felt like to refrain one week and then go back to normal the next week was insensitive, and I spent a little bit of time trying to figure out when would be most appropriate. During that time, I tried to educate myself as best as I could, take a good hard look at those I follow on social media, whose voices I read and listen to, and so on. I’ve been working on my own biases and I know that it is an on-going process that I’ll likely never complete, though I do strive to be better in my failings.
  2. I wasn’t doing enough for you. At least, I felt like I wasn’t. Sure, I was providing weekly writing prompts and journal prompts for my newsletter recipients (which hopefully were helpful) and I was posting daily on Instagram, though I felt like both of these things fell a bit short.
  3. I wanted to dive deeper. More than just what gets us writing, but more into what gets our blood pumping and our pulses racing in excitement. I wanted to dive deeper. I knew how I wanted to dive deeper, but I didn’t know how my audience would respond to it.

I think I know how I personally want to remedy these things, at least, I know how I want to open myself up to my audience as well as really focus in on those who I think will connect best with my message.

But first, regarding the last two things, let’s step back a beat. Let’s go back to when I started coaching. A few of you on my mailing list are my first clients, so you already know this story. But I’ll share it for the newer folx.

I Started Out as a Tarot Reader

In case you hadn’t picked up on this nugget of information from my tarot posts, my first successful website was not about writing (for the most part). Nope, it was about card-slinging.

I was a tarot reader—well, I still am. That hasn’t stopped. But I was trying to make headway with a tarot website, KarmaStar Tarot.

It was doing alright, but I was working myself to the bone with it. I was trying to make sure I had 3 blog posts up A DAY. If you’ve ever run a blog, you understand how absurd that it. But I did it for a good six months before I burnt myself out. That, however, was enough for me to get steady traffic. The last post I put up was in January, and I still get more traffic on a day to day basis than I did when I was regularly writing in it.

I digress.

One of the things I was doing on my tarot blog was creating tarot spreads for writers. I started (very last minute and will hardly any planning) the #30DayTarotWritingChallenge for Camp NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I created 31 daily tarot spreads to help anyone participating in any form of NaNoWriMo with their story, from character development, to story structure, to plot, to good ol’ being stuck.

And my blog exploded. The months before Camp NanoWriMo and NaNoWriMo proper, my blog always explodes with writers using the tarot for their writing prompts. I get comments on my blogs asking about writing and I just adored it.

And that was what got me from making the switch from being tarot-focused to being a writing coach. I have my background as a college writing tutor, I have my education, I have my vast experience writing as a ghost writer, and I have my absolute adoration of talking to writers about writing. It was perfect, and I already had an audience of folks who might be willing to work with me.

I put out an announcement saying I was wanting to try out coaching, and I worked with three wonderful women. I adored it.

I don’t want to say it was my favorite part, because there was so much I loved about working with my first three clients, but one of my favorite parts was that because I connected with them as a result of my tarot blog, I knew we were all somewhat into spirituality in whatever form that took. And all of us used that aspect of ourselves through those first few months working together, whether they used their cards to guide their work, or we worked together through meditation and affirmations. The spirituality aspect was there.

However, since creating my writing coaching website, I’ve tried to keep that aspect of myself on the downlow. I didn’t know if I would lose clients or not, or if it would mean people wouldn’t take me as seriously.

Now, Fast-Forward to My Unannounced Hiatus

When the BLM movement started, I began to pay very close attention to what advocates and Black voices were asking for. One of the best pieces of information I was given was to ask myself if I feel uncomfortable, and if so, sit with it, knowing that no one is going to get me for being uncomfortable.

There is a lot to be said regarding this. I highly suggest you check out Ar-tic.org or art_tic_org (IG), or if you want to read more about where I took it, you can check out my series here regarding privilege and how I, as a white person, sat with my discomfort, and offered journal prompts to help other white people do the same. Though, the best place to start is with the first link rather than mine.

However, this invitation to sit with discomfort and know that no harm is going to come from me beings uncomfortable is such a beautiful action to take. It allows you to give space to it and truly listen to why you’re uncomfortable, and from there you can know what actions to take that will promote the most growth for you.

That was what I did regarding BLM and the many social injustices caused by a system of which I am a part of, and that was what I did when I considered what I really wanted from my writing coaching practice.

While I of course want to work with any writer who is struggling, I am going to take a particular focus and approach that intertwines spirituality and writers. Thus, I am a spiritually-based writing coach.

What Does That Mean?

Ok, first of all, let’s start out with acknowledging that the biggest thing that scares us and our egos, is change. But let me show you how it’s not that scary in regards to what I’m mixing up here. First, allow me to set your mind at ease with what isn’t changing:

Here’s what hasn’t changed:

  1. I am always going to be in your corner cheering you on.
  2. I am always going to be there as a soundboard to help you through your story
  3. I’ll talk story structure, character development, plot development, marketing, goals, etc.
  4. I’m going to help you work through the blocks that are getting in your way
  5. My pricing is still the same

Here’s what’s different:

  1. I’m going to include more spiritually-based concepts such as affirmations, meditation, prayer (though non-denominational), energy shifting, etc.
  2. I’m going to include the tarot in my newsletters

That’s it in a very small nutshell.

Getting a Little Personal

While I’ve been asking what I want from this business over my hiatus, other than to help people create their master pieces, I realized that all I want is freedom.

One of my own personal problems over the last few years is that my inner core has been buried. Years ago, I went through a breakup that left me feeling empty, and instead of spending time trying to refill myself, I made myself busier and busier, identifying myself with my work. I moved to another country, and instead of letting myself be me, I tried to be what I thought other people wanted.

The result was a lot of depression, anxiety, and anger. I created an environment for myself where I couldn’t be me.

And now I’m financially independent, and I don’t need to be anyone else other than myself. Thus, I’ve resolved to be unapologetically me, and that is how I intend to find my freedom.

Part of that, is my spirituality. And I want to be me in sessions with my clients. I don’t want to hold myself back during sessions, especially if I think it will help people.

I of course am never going to push my own personal spirituality onto people, but I will mention a mediation, or a mantra, a book, etc., that I might think will help. If my client isn’t interested, that’s totally cool. But I want to feel the freedom to be able to mention it without wondering if I’m going to scare my client off in doing so.

That’s where I’m at.

That’s my big announcement. And I am so thrilled to be doing this.

Your Homework

What, just because I have an announcement for you, you think that means you don’t have homework? Bsha!

Things have been weird for everyone. If it hasn’t been weird for you over the last eight months—please write to me or share in the comments below how you have kept things absolutely the same. I am super intrigued and I’m sure some of us could learn from you!

Weird isn’t a bad thing though. It causes us to reevaluate and adjust in order to adapt. So I want you to take note of that. I want you to spend some time making a list of things you have had to do to change and adapt to this new way of living.

Make a numbered list of everything you’ve done.

Now, go through and ask yourself what’s working—what feels good, what doesn’t feel good and you’ll be happy to see the back of.

I don’t think this is going to happen, because we are forever changed by this virus, but, let’s just say that everything goes completely back to the way things were before the virus. What have you learned over the last eight months that you’d like to carry through with you? How have you adapted in positive ways that will enhance how you move through life?

This is a time to reflect on your growth.

And just know, I’m proud of you.

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Exploring Our Sense: How Meditation Is a Creative Tool

Hey friends. Just a reminder that through April and May of 2020, I am offering coaching sessions at a Pay What Feels Right for You rate. That means that you get a coaching session and you choose the price. Read all about this offer here.

| Creativity as a Sense | Meditation as a Writing Tool |
| Meditation for Your Writing | Meditation vs. Mindfulness |
| Using Meditation and Mindfulness Together | Meditations to Try |
| Meditation and Creativity | Your Homework |
| Contact Me |

Stewards of Our Senses

I was watching an IGTV stream of Elizabeth Gilbert this morning and something she said really struck me.

She said that she operates by the concept that we are the stewards of our senses, which means, our senses will do what we tell them to do.

The context of this was that she was talking about not giving in to watching the news 24/7, or our phones, scrolling mindlessly, etc. You can watch the video here.

Our senses can be somewhat distracting at times. We can hear something which will set our mind reeling, or see something that we feel like we need to tend to, crave something to taste, smell something that reminds us of years gone by, and so on. All of this can take us out of our creative practices and send our minds anywhere else.

A way of combating this is through meditation and mindfulness. I’ll explore how and why a little later, but first I want to talk about just what exactly our senses are.

Creativity as Sense

| The World | Creativity as a Sense | Contact |

Of course, when we think of our senses, we’re looking at the basic five: sight, smell, touch, sound, and taste

One could argue that our senses are that which we use to experience the world around us, or, if you want to get quite rigid about it, our external world. But to me, this is quite limiting. I believe that we all have a whole other set of senses that are more internal.

The World

The philosophy major in me wants to point out that how we define “the world” is important here. There are a lot of philosophical differences in how we define this. For one, it can be the solely physical world that we can touch and experience together. Another way to look at the world is through the concepts that are assigned to it (the economy, peace, war, seasons, science, culture, etc.). The interesting thing is that what we view of the world is meant to be a collection of agreed upon understandings of it. However, the perplexing and converse thing is that we don’t all experience the world the same, in part because not all of us experience our five basic senses the same, but also because our mind tends to influence our perception so drastically (This is of course just touching on the many reasons why we don’t all view the same world, but these are a couple examples relevant to this piece article).

If our perceptions alter the way the world “is”, then we each experience the world differently, and thus, we interpret our senses differently. Furthermore, these fives senses are how we take in the external world to experience it. But how we experience the world is more than just how we take it in. It’s how we interact with it. Thus, it’s how we project ourselves and our ideas.

If this is a topic you’re interested in, I highly encourage you to check out Markus Gabriel’s “The World Does Not Exist.” I was lucky enough to see him speak while I was studying at Durham, and the guy is truly fascinating. His TEDtalk is here and a lecture he gave at Radbound University is here. Be cautioned: this is dense stuff.

Because of this, I consider creativity to be a sense.

Creativity as a Sense

If our senses are how we experience the world, we must consider that we, ourselves, are a part of the world, and thus, how we experience ourselves (our thoughts, our feelings, our physical and mental discomforts and pleasures, etc.) is, in part, experiencing the world. Thus, internal experiences such as thoughts and emotions, should be considered senses.

The second reason is that I believe that creativity is an experience. It isn’t just what you put out, but it’s that moment that the idea is forming within you. It’s in every stage that you’re developing your thought, your idea, your project. It’s that internal bit of pleasure that we experience and reach for.

Think about when your mind gently caresses an idea and your imagination bursts into excitement because you’ve been struck by inspiration. Think about the last time you were struck by the muse and just about jumped out of your seat with enthusiasm, or that bubble of curiosity swelled in you and your fingers itched to pick up a pen or get to a keyboard.

My personal experiences in this realm tell me that these are the times where I experience every sense that I possess, known and unknown. I feel it, I hear it, I salivate, I feel my whole body tingle in anticipation, I feel excitement through every part of me, I experience a surge in my intuition, my brain releases those good-feeling chemicals, and my nose is filled with a scent that reminds me of being in kindergarten—don’t ask me why.

When I’m writing, and I’m in the zone, not just trudging through to get to finish line, but feeling the course of creativity running through me, I go into this all-encompassing experience, which is what pulses me forward.

Thus, if we are to take what Elizabeth Gilbert says, that we are the stewards of our senses, in theory, we should be able to have some reasonable control over our creativity.

Well, doesn’t that just sound like trying to herd a bunch of wet cats.

Meditation as a Writing Tool

| Benefits of Meditation| Boost your Self-Control | Meditation for Your Writing Practice |
| Mindfulness vs. Meditation | Meditation | Mindfulness |
| Using Meditation and Mindfulness in Your Writing |
| Back to the Top | Contact |

Meditation isn’t just what people do to reach enlightenment, or god, or access the Akashic Records. Meditation is a wonderful and essential tool that I truly believe every individual should be taught from childhood.

A Quick Word on the General Benefits of Meditation

I will just list a few scientifically acknowledge benefits of it before I go on. There are plenty of wonderful and more informed minds out there than my own who can express the beauty and importance of meditation.

However, just to list a few benefits, regularly practiced meditation can:

  • Ease anxiety
  • Ease depression
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Boost your immune system
  • Help you think clearer

I’ll also leave you with a couple of links for further information:

And, a client of mine recommends the book, Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics by Dan Harris (though I haven’t personally read it).

“Boosts Your Self Control”

One of the items listed in one of those articles mentioned above, states that meditation “boosts your self-control.” I couldn’t have put it better myself. Meditation enhances your ability to control yourself. Which is a much nicer way of saying that it’s self-discipline.

The act of meditation stills your mind to focus on one thing, or on no thing at all (not a typo, I certainly meant “no thing.”), which, if you have ever tried to hone in on just one thought or even an image for any length of time without any practice, you’ll find your mind gets pretty squirrelly.

And when you sit down to write when you’re not in the zone? Your mind gets pretty squirrelly. Are you picking up what I’m putting down?

Meditation for Your Writing Practice

Writing can be a difficult task when you’re trying to form the habit. We write because we love to write, because we have a story in us, and we want to get it out in the world. We write because it puts us in touch with our inner world and senses, and it helps us to experience the external world differently.

But that spark of inspiration and creativity doesn’t necessarily stay with us through the whole writing process. In fact, sometimes writing can feel like a chore. And when we feel like that, we experience some pretty severe procrastination, or, as Steven Pressfield calls in his book The War of Art, Resistance.

Mindfulness, or meditation, can be the perfect combatant to this resistance, however it might manifest during your writing routine.

Practicing either mindfulness or meditation can keep you focused on the task in front of you, through regular practice. It will help you gain stewardship over all your senses, not just the ones bringing input from the external world.

Mindfulness vs. Meditation

Depending on who you talk to, these terms are somewhat synonymous. For me, personally, they are not, which is why I’ll share my take on these two terms.

Meditation

Meditation is the practice of quieting the mind, and going into a specifically desired state through persistent practice. Meditation will usually be a structure practice for me, in which I sit in a certain way (though there is no “one right way”), breathe a certain way, and sit for a certain amount of time in stillness.

There is a plethora of books on various forms of meditation from different cultures, religious practices, personal practices, and from a corporate perspective. I won’t recommend any because there are far too many out there. Likewise, there are wonderful apps and YouTube channels out there that offer guided meditations. Other than the steps I offer later on, I can only suggest that you try a few books and channels and apps (but definitely at least a couple books) and find what’s right for you.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the act of being present in the moment, no matter what you are doing. It is keeping a focus on what is going on right in front of you, and only thinking about that one thing, instead of thinking about what might be going on at the office, or wondering if you’ll be able to save enough money for your kids’ college tuitions, or thinking about what you’ll get at the grocery store next week for that potluck. Mindfulness is blocking all that out so you can be fully present in the current moment that you’re in. This can be useful in every area of your life, from your personal relationships, to your work, to your mental health.

There are countless books on the subject, but I personally recommend Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth (though I will say that the first chapter can be a bit of a schlog, the rest of it is pure gold).

Using Meditation and Mindfulness Together

While there are some slight differences between the two, I certainly recommend using them in conjunction with each other. Whether it’s to work on something specific, or to get you through your day, you can use these two as part of your regiment.

Starting your day off with meditation, can set you up for a calmer day, especially if it is followed up with a persistent practice of mindfulness. You can meditate  as soon as your feet hit the floor out of bed, allowing yourself to sit up straight, and spend a minute, two minutes, five minutes, ten minutes—however long you want—in meditation before you completely get out of bed. You can set up a specific meditation space in your office, in your living room, wherever you are comfortable and won’t be disturbed. I’ve even meditated in the bathroom just so I wouldn’t be disturbed.

When you’ve centered your mind, it’s easier to keep it focused on what’s right in front of you when you come out of meditation, and hold that presence of mind, or state of mindfulness, throughout your day.

When it comes to creating, spend some time in meditation for a few minutes, or twenty minutes, however long feels good to you, and when you come out, remain present with your writing.

That’s it. That’s the simple formula.

That being said, meditation and mindfulness come with practice, and that does involve self-control.

Meditations to Try

| A Simple Meditation | White Light Meditation | Grounding Meditation |
| Walking Meditation | Back to the Top |

There are so many different ways to meditate. There have been volumes written on the subject, and no doubt, there are many more volumes to come. However, I want to share a few ways I meditate, to show the diverse ways that it can be done.

A Simple Meditation

This is the one that I practice the most. It’s simple and doesn’t take much visualization. I can do it while sitting in the car (NEVER while driving, of course), in a lecture hall, in bed, at my desk—anywhere. Whenever I can spare just one minute, I turn to this one (though, of course, you can do this for longer than a minute).

  1. Sit, cross-legged or not, trying to keep your back comfortably strait, and your arms uncrossed. Crossing your arms can be a guarded position, and by uncrossing them and resting your hands on your lap, you’re mentally shifting to a neutral place.
  2. Breathe in through your nose, feeling the breath extend your belly.
  3. Breathe out through your mouth.
  4. Close your eyes, and focus visualizing a dot, or circle, or vertical line. Really, it can be whatever shape you want it to be so long as it is simple and unchanging.
  5. Hold that visualization for as long as you can, remembering to breathe.

Don’t get frustrated with yourself if thoughts come into your mind. Let them pass by like someone blowing bubbles nearby. Witness them, but don’t engage with them. They’ll pass through. Just keep focusing on the visualization.

Notice your body while you meditate. Try to keep it relaxed. Sometimes when we’re first starting out, we’re trying to hard to visualize that we physically tense up. There’s no need. I promise you that flexing your muscles will do little to keep your mind focused. When you notice tension, release it. Like your thoughts, witness the tension, but do not engage with it any more than releasing it.

With practice, the bubbling thoughts stop trying to infiltrate, and it gets easier. Like any exercise, it’s difficult at first, but is easier with practice.

White Light meditation

I usually practice this one at night when I’m going to sleep, but I’ve practiced it at all times of the day. It’s a variant of a meditation from Donald Michael Kraig, an author of various Kabala books. It’s been so long since I’ve read it that I don’t know if I’ve altered the meditation at all, but it has worked for me over the last fifteen years.

  1. Sit or lay down, with no limbs crossing. Your back should be comfortably strait. If you are choosing a sitting position, keep your knees as close to a comfortable 90-degree angle as you can. If you are laying, keep your legs comfortably straight.
  2. Breathe in slowly, hold the breath for a couple of seconds, then breathe out, slowly. When you feel like you have found a good rhythm of breathing, move on to the next step.
  3. Know that high above you, in the cosmos, beyond this solar system or even galaxy, there is a white light of infinity. Imagine a beam of it coming down to meet you. It gathers into a sphere of white light at the top of your head. The light is filled with peace, protection, love, and calm.
  4. Visualize this ball of light slowly moving over you, down from your head to your neck, over your shoulders, your arms, your torso, your hips, your legs, your calves, your ankles, your toes. Everywhere the light touches, you relax.
  5. Draw the sphere back up your body, sending it gently wherever you feel tension. You can do this in any order you’d like, sending the sphere down one side of your body then up the other side, or by expanding it so that it encompasses your width as it moves. Go with whatever feels natural to you.
  6. When you are completely relaxed, bring the sphere of light back to the top of your head, and hold it there. Remember to breathe through all of this.
  7. Stay like this for as long as you’d like.

If you’re doing this laying down, just be warned, you might fall asleep. This is why I do this meditation at night. It helps me get to sleep.

Grounding Meditation

I find this to be the most creative meditation. I don’t mean creativity-inducing, but just a more creative visualization technique.

You can do this meditation sitting cross-legged, though I find it’s more effective if I have my feet planted on the ground. This meditation does require you to be sitting up, though.

  1. Sit, however you’re most comfortable, and put your hands on your lap. Keep your back comfortably straight.
  2. Breathe in slowly, pause for a couple of seconds, and breathe out slowly. Repeating until you find a comfortable and calm rhythm.
  3. Visualize a silver chord of energy from your core, traveling down through your feet (if you’re sitting cross-legged, down through your spine) and into the ground. It travels deep into the earth, moving like roots, wrapping around rocks, dipping into underground water reservoirs, until it reaches the molten core of the earth.
  4. Visualize bringing that earth and elemental energy up through the roots coming from you, drawing that energy into you and into your core. Feel it nourish you and fill you with connection.
  5. Now, send that energy up your spine, through the top of your head, into the sky, through the clouds, out of the solar system, beyond our galaxy, to the ball of infinite light (talked about in the White Light Meditation).
  6. When you feel as though your grounded energy has reached that sphere of infinite light, then draw down that light, down that chord and back into you.
  7. Sit, feeling the connection between above and below, the energies intermingling, and transitioning through you, their medium.
  8. Stay this way as long as you feel comfortable.

When I’m feeling down or disconnected, this meditation helps me to feel connected to my own personal source, however you want to define that.

A Walking Meditation

This is more of a combination of meditation and mindfulness. I read it in a book by Starhawk years ago, and unfortunately, I can’t remember the name of it, though I’m wanting to say it was Earth Path.

I suggest this meditation for while you’re walking through woods or some other place where you’re not on concrete or gravel, but are actually on dirt, or grass, or something else a little more natural. Also, somewhere that you’re not going to have to be overly focused on your steps, so probably not while you’re hiking along narrow mountain paths.

  1. Breathe in and out, slowly and deliberately. If it helps you, find a way of matching your breathing with a certain amount of steps. Three steps to breathe in, hold for three steps, exhale for three steps. This isn’t a requirement, but it is helpful.
  2. Similar to the Grounding Meditation, visualize silver chords of energy traveling from your core through your legs and to the soles of your feet. With each step, the chord dives into the earth, extending roots into it.
  3. That’s it, focus on grounding yourself through each step.

This helps you be present with your steps and the path you’re on. It helps you to feel the ground under your feet, and in a way, interact with it. This meditation can be awkward at first, and you might find yourself stepping like you’re trying to find couch cushions to keep you safe from the lava carpet, but eventually it feels more natural, and you can do it without much concentration, and far less noticeably.

Walking when we’re in a creative rut is a great way to clear the mind. Combining the walk with meditation and/or mindfulness can be very beneficial.

Meditation and Creativity

Meditation and mindfulness put us in touch with our inner senses. It silences our thoughts, judgments, worries, and distractions so that we can listen to what’s really going on within us.

Many spiritual gurus and practitioners will tell you that meditation will put you in touch with your inner calm and your inner voice. It will be what helps you rise above simply being human to being a spiritual being.

I have a background in Tarot, and as a result, I think of these things in term of Tarot. The Cups is a suit that is representative of the element of water. Water is essential to life, and it is fluid. It can be rough and give you a beating, but it can be soothing and cleansing. This is essentially what our inner workings are. Thus, the Cups represent our emotions, our subconscious selves, our intuition, and most importantly in this context, our creativity.

Meditation is a dive into our cups of water to explore our inner senses, and thus, to help stir up our creativity that might be laying on the bottom of our inner ocean floor. When we still the waters enough, then our creativity can rise to the top, unencumbered.

Furthermore, when we’re in the throws of creating, meditation can help to center our focus when our inner editor or inner critic pipes up while we’re just trying to get our damn first drafts done. Quell it by giving yourself a few minutes of silence and centering, and bring yourself back to a mindful state.

Your Homework

Your homework is pretty simple, though, debatably, it’s a difficult task. All I ask for is a few minutes of your time and for you to give it due process.. It’s a daily exercise for the next 28 days.

  1. For the first 7 days, spend one minute (or more) doing the Simple Meditation when you wake up (the sooner the better), when you sit down to write, and before you go to bed. You can of course do it more if you’d like, but make that the goal.
  2. For the second 7 days, spend 5 minutes (or more) doing the Simple meditation when you wake up, when you sit down to write, and before you go to bed.
  3. For the third 7 days, spend 10 minutes (or more) following this routine.
  4. For the fourth and final 7 days, spend 20 minutes following this routine.

If you find that you like this, keep at it. Play around with it, read books and articles on it, explore what works for you. But try, at the very least, to spend at least a couple days in meditation.

Keep a journal and record your findings at the end of the day. Was the practice difficult? Getting easier? Getting more difficult? Were you comfortable? Uncomfortable? Did it help your creativity? Did you feel better or worse throughout the day?

Let me know what you think and how you find the experience. I would love to know what works for you!

Happy Writing.

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